Walkathon – Skechers consumer engagement: Rahul Vira, CEO, South Asia.


Skechers, the athletic footwear and apparel brand, launched registrations for the third edition of the Skechers Mumbai Walkathon on Thursday, with actor Kriti Sanon serving as the walkathon’s brand ambassador. The walkathon, which will take place on October 9 at BKC in Mumbai, is part of the company’s efforts to commemorate their popular Skechers Go Walk category, a line of walking footwear.

Skechers was founded in the United States in 1992 by Robert Greenberg and his son Michael Greenberg. According to a Tofler report, the brand debuted in India a decade ago and its operating revenue range for the fiscal year ending March 2020 was Rs 100 cr to Rs 500 cr. Rahul Vira, CEO of Skechers South Asia, spoke exclusively with exchange4media about their marathon partnership with Kriti Sanon, the brand’s USP, the company’s marketing strategy, and expansion plans.

“When we first started, there were no targets,” Vira explained. We simply wanted to promote walking as enjoyable. Our first event was a success, giving us hope for the future. Over 6,000 people took part in the previous edition. This time, we’re hoping for more footfall.”

“This year, the Walkathon aims to bring the city together in a festive atmosphere while promoting fitness as a culture in Mumbai,” Vira says proudly. Kriti Sanon is a fitness fanatic who enjoys walking and is enthusiastic about the product. She adores the brand, so she is an ideal candidate for our walkathon, Vira explains.

“Skechers has no specific marketing strategy,” the CEO insists, adding, “We simply listen to our business partners and tap into consumer needs.” Skechers is involved in a variety of community activities. According to Vira, Skechers has established “Go run clubs” in several cities, including Mumbai and Delhi that offer a variety of fitness activities based on products and consumers. Skechers selects media platforms based on the products and categories they offer.

“In that regard, we are very flexible,” Vira says. For example, we will run digital campaigns to promote a young fashion product. Now that the pandemic has passed and people are getting vaccinated and going out, we have an opportunity to engage with consumers through activities like the Walkathon.”

Athletic footwear, also known as sneakers, can be found everywhere from boardrooms to fashion runways, and several companies are profiting handsomely from the sneaker craze. Who does he consider Skechers’ main rival, and how does he intend to win the race? “We don’t see it as rivalry or competition,” Vira says. We’re only concerned with what customers want and how we can meet their needs.”

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