Growing up in a Coney Island household with parents struggling to make ends meet, Stephon Marbury knows first-hand the pressure kids, parents and playground basketball players feel to spend top-dollar on the latest clothes and sneakers. Today, as a high-profile NBA player, he’s now embarking on a “change-the-world” mission to eliminate that aspect of our culture and the exorbitant price of sneakers.
Marbury has announced that he is teaming with national sports apparel retailer Steve & Barry’s to introduce the Starbury One, a sneaker with a price tag of $14.95 that is also a high performance basketball shoe Marbury will wear on NBA courts beginning this coming season.
Incorporating a sleek design and the same technical features for comfort, stability and durability found in basketball sneakers sold by the nation’s top brands for $100 to $150.
Marbury, a star with the New York Knicks and the fifth-highest salaried player in the league, said, “Kids shouldn’t have to feel the pressure to spend so much to feel good about the way they look. I’m blessed to be in a position to do something about it, to help change the world.”
The shoes and other inexpensive casual clothing will be available in the United States at Steve & Barry’s, a large shopping mall chain with 140+ locations in 31 states.
Steve & Barry’s co-CEO Barry Prevor said: “This is a very exciting moment for Steve & Barry’s. When Steve and I founded our company in 1985, it was with a mission to bring people the most unbelievable values on clothes they’ve ever seen. That’s exactly what Steph’s vision for the Starbury Collection is all about, so this has been a fantastic partnership from the first day we met.”
Leading athletic gear design firm Rocketfish, perhaps best known for providing high performance basketball sneaker concepts to Nike, Reebok and Converse, worked closely with Marbury to create the Starbury One and ensure it delivers all the comfort and stability required for professional basketball players and recreational ballers alike.
Erin Patton, principal of The Mastermind Group, the marketing agency behind the Starbury Collection, said: “Stephon Marbury understood the difficulty parents and kids face keeping pace with the exorbitant price of sneakers. He knows what it means for inner-city living kids and the extreme measures that are sometimes used to get these products.” Patton, who for five years was director of the Jordan brand at Nike, described Marbury’s initiative as “an industry-changing event”. (The Guardian)