Converse Leans on Culture to Lead Next Phase of Global Growth

By Sabrina Lynch

  • G. Scott Uzzell to lead Converse as its next President & CEO

  • In 2018, revenues for Converse were $425M

Nike’s (NKE +1.33%) stakeholders are investing in the strategic mind of G.Scott Uzzell to lead Converse as its next President & CEO. Following the brand’s positive sales performance in the first quarter of 2018, the number one athletic shoe maker’s endgame seems to be predicated on persuading culture to re-embrace Converse shoes.

Photo: G. Scott Uzzell

Photo: G. Scott Uzzell

Why This Matters: Investors may have been pessimistic about the strength of Converse’s platform as "America's Original Sports Company" following two years of declining sales that began in 2016. Uzzell brings a legacy of experience nurturing billion-dollar brands, insight which could significantly shape Nike’s approach to driving relevancy among its audiences. Uzzell joins Converse from Coca Cola’s (KO +1.13%) Venturing and Emerging Brands Unit.

At the close of 2018, revenues for Converse were $425 million, a six percent increase mainly driven by growth in Asia and its digital channels. Nike’s North America business used to negatively affect earning results in the past, however that could be changing. Now with African American buying power expected to increase from $1.2 trillion to $1.4 trillion by 2020, Converse will seek to reconnect to their heritage in sport, enticing customers back to the brand for lucrative payoffs.

Situational Awareness: Nike President of Categories and Product Michael Spillane shared his confidence in Scott’s ability to unlock the full potential of the brand. All eyes will be focused on the business’ next steps to sustain its growth and outperform expectations across the lifestyle and apparel categories.

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