New York—Wolverine Worldwide and its brands have been stepping up their marketing in the last few years, a strategy that evidently is paying off.
At the Plus Awards last week, Wolverine received five Plus Awards, including Company of the Year, a high-profile distinction conferred annually by retailers nationwide.
The Plus Awards for Excellence in Design were created 15 years ago and each year features awards in a variety of different categories. The Plus Awards are unusual because they are voted on by thousands of U.S. retailers, including department stores, outdoor specialty stores and independent retailers. The awards were announced at an event hosted by the Fashion Footwear Association of New York (FFANY) and Footwear Plus.
This year, Wolverine received top awards in the following key categories:
Company of the Year–Wolverine Worldwide had also named Company of the Year at the 2011 and 2012 Plus awards, making this its third consecutive win. Wolverine Worldwide is the parent of 16 lifestyle brands that market footwear, apparel and accessories. With an industry-leading portfolio of brands, including brands such as Merrell, Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Cat Footwear and Sebago, Wolverine annually markets approximately 100 million units of footwear, apparel and accessories around the world, with sales approaching $3 billion. The company also owns and operates over 460 stores and 60 websites globally through its consumer direct operations.
Brand of the Year – Sperry Top-Sider has been a footwear leader and icon of American style since Paul Sperry invented the world’s first boat shoe in 1935. Sperry is also the leading casual footwear company in the United States for men’s and No. 2 for women’s, according to recent NPD data.
Work Boots – The company’s Wolverine brand has been honored in the Work category an unprecedented 14 times in the 15 years the Plus Awards have been given. Wolverine first introduced its comfort technology in 1992 with exclusive, patented innovations such as Wolverine DuraShocks.
Athletic Lifestyle – In 1916, Keds redefined footwear with the introduction of the Champion sneaker. This spring, Keds is launching its new campaign “Million Brave Acts”, starring teen icon Taylor Swift. The campaign builds on Keds’ partnership with Taylor Swift, and introduces the Keds Brave Life Project, a pioneering new program that will encourage girls to take positive risks, develop practical skills and build supportive networks.
Outdoor–Merrell is for seekers of outside challenges, personal firsts and those who seize the outside today–not this weekend. Built on a proud history and a led by a passionate team comprised of outdoor enthusiasts, gear testers and people inspired to achieve outside.
“We are very proud to receive the Footwear Plus Company of the Year Award for the third year in a row,” said Blake Krueger, Wolverine’s chairman/ceo. “This recognition and the other Plus awards for our brands are extra special to us because they are voted on by our numerous retail partners across the United States. Delivering our very best to those partners and creating powerful brand experiences with our consumers is something to which our entire team is dedicated every single day.” www.wolverineworldwide.com