When Enrico Moretti Polegato took over as president and CEO of Diadora in 2014, he inherited a sneaker brand that had been producing quality products affiliated with sporting success for more than six decades.
Tennis superstar Bjorn Borg wore Diadora during the 1970s and 80s. Soccer players including Dutch legend Marco Van Basten, rat-tailed Italian hero Roberto Baggio, and George Weah, the only African man to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award, all donned Diadora during their impressive careers.
What Polegato's company lacked was modern caché, a hook that would appeal to kids and adults who collect shoes. These sneakerheads, the majority of them young men, wait for hours outside boutiques on Saturday mornings, desperate to scoop up limited releases, which they either keep to impress their friends or sell for profit on secondary markets like eBay or Grailed.
Nike and its money-printing Jordan brand dominate the billion-dollar resell industry, but Polegato decided to see if his company could make a small dent.
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