It used to be that when you heard of an artist “signed” to a brand name that was typically a record label. Today, it’s not uncommon for such acts to be part of a major non-music brand. In fact, over the past few years, artists have been signed to New Balance and will often rock their footwear on stage.
The footwear company has put a lot of effort — and money — into changing their image. In 2011’s Crazy, Stupid, Love Ryan Gosling’s Jacob Palmer famously dunked on Steve Carell’s Cal Weaver for wearing New Balances. “In that case, you got no right to wear New Balance sneakers, ever,” Jacob tells Cal, who was praising his 407’s while Jacob was trying to give him a lesson on style, and what not to wear.
New Balance has made a massive comeback, however. Much of this has to do with their retro and vintage approach. Sneaker lines like their 574 model have been the poster shoe for those who are completely embracing this vintage styling. You may even see striped tube socks in tandem with the 574’s.
Complex Magazine detailed how New Balance was moving past their “dad” brand image. In their story, they highlight the company’s approach to being open to collaborations and allowing them to be innovative paths into new demographics. “Media impressions for its collabs increased around 200 percent from early 2021 to early 2022,” Complex explained.
In a recent feature by AOIbot that details the favorite sneaker of every state in the country, New Balance was all over the map. In fact, the NB 550 was Massachusetts’ favorite shoe.
Boston + Sports
With New Balance’s headquarters located in the Boston area, the brand has made a strong effort to have a visible local presence. Former Red Sox players like Dustin Pedrioa (who was a fan favorite) started wearing New Balance cleats. Now, they have partnered with the most popular player in the game in Shohei Ohtani. They announced the long-term deal back in January. Ohtani is not only one of the most popular players in MLB, but in the entire sport, globally.
New Balance has also had a firm grip on Lacrosse. They’ve designed and delivered on the most common brand of Lax cleats. Premier Lacrosse League All-Stars like Trevor Baptiste often collaborate with New Balance as well.
Narrowing in on the entertainment world though, you will find a number of artists sporting New Balance lines on stage. With touring being the primary avenue for artists to maximize their income, many are finding creative ways to to enhance their personal brands by using their platform to showcase others they have teamed with. In addition, comfort and support are important to artists who need to take the stage every night.
Here, we will take a further look at present-day artists who are signed to New Balance.