How Did Champion Rally Pro Top The Air Jordan? Seth Campbell Is The Answer.
Seth Campbell has extended experience with footwear. Back in his teenage years, he played basketball and baseball; today he competes in triathlons; and throughout, he’s kept his knowledge on sports shoes growing. He keeps his consumer tastes up to date, presently favoring the Champion Rally Pro, which for him took over from the long-reigning Nike Air Jordan 4’s. But he’s also on the supplier side of the market—Seth is Senior Vice President of BBC International, a footwear corporation founded in 1975 and led by his father Robert.
The Champion Rally Pro
The Air Jordan dominated the shoe market for decades.
BBC International has three business models, in which they own, license, and source footwear brands. With those that they own, their operation is completely vertical, controlling the design, manufacturing, sourcing, and distribution of footwear. BBC owns the likes of Feiyue, a canvas brand, and Robert Wayne, a men’s dresswear brand.
It’s a different story with independent licensed brands, such as the Ralph Lauren Corporation and Champion. While they play a role in the design, sourcing, and distribution, it’s required that they work within the brand’s guidelines. And for BBC's sourcing model, the company designs footwear on behalf of brands, but the brand handles the sales and distribution. BBC has enduring relationships; it’s sourced for Reebok since early on in its history.
As Senior VP, Seth oversees all business development. He assesses each partner and supervises their relationship with BBC through the entire vertical operation. Seth has also helped the company expand into booming footwear markets across the globe, in places such as China, among others. He’s a bit of a maverick; when asked about this international involvement, he responded, “I’ve helped our international divisions to discover slightly different distribution methods.” He would find the best class in model, and the best distributor in the region for a certain product. Through his strategy, he allowed BBC’s operations to “not be pigeonholed to one partner,” which helped them grow.
Seth is moving BBC forward, expanding operations into India, and further growing them in China. He explains, “We’ve had a long battle for control in [those countries], and [are] growing very well at the moment.”
As Chinese footwear brands are looking to go global, Seth wants to make sure BBC can help facilitate that process by partnering with these companies.
Seth also serves as an associate board member at the Two Ten Foundation. Started in the post-Depression era, the Two Ten Foundation serves 300,000 employees in the footwear industry with professional development opportunities or in times of personal or industry crisis, from housing evictions to natural disasters. Seth describes the foundation as “footwear people helping footwear people.” He helps fundraise and spread awareness of issues important to the foundation. In fact, in 2017, Seth co-chaired the foundation’s annual gala and fundraiser with his dad, Bob Campbell.
When I asked Seth about the relevance of new technology in his industry, Seth explained that “it’s obviously going to impact manufacturing and sourcing, and the industry as a whole will be vastly impacted by tech as it relates to robotics and automation.” "Maybe we should ask Jeff Bezos about his delivery with drones,” he quipped. Here at Rebellion Research, we look forward to witnessing and analyzing the impacts of new technologies in various industries.
Written by Michael Ding, Edited by Devaansh Mahtani & Alexander Fleiss