YouTube Launching Sneaker Design Competition Show22 Jun, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel
YouTube is launching an original video series in which aspiring footwear designers from around the world battle it out to determine who can design, develop and produce the next great sneaker.
“Lace Up: The Ultimate Sneaker Challenge” is an eight-episode series launching this fall on Google’s SVOD service, YouTube Red, from producer Ken Mok (“America’s Next Top Model”) and hosted by YouTube celebrity Adande Thorne.
The weekly show emphasizes a mix of footwear design and professional skills, and features 12 competitors operating in four teams, with the winning team earning a production creation contract with Adidas.
Contestants will work with sneaker designer D’Wayne Edwards, founder of the Pensole Footwear Design Academy, at his Portland, Ore.-based headquarters.
Each week, teams will create and present a new sneaker whose design is inspired by a guest “sneakerhead.” The special guests, along with Edwards and a panel of experts, select the winning designs. Actors, musicians and influencers slated to appear in the series include: Anthony Anderson, Fetty Wap, Ashley Graham, Macklemore, Jamie Chung, Stan Smith, Jesse Wellens and Jacques Slade, among others.
“Sneaker culture is already huge on YouTube, and this new series will cater directly to that audience,” said Susanne Daniels, global head of original content.
YouTube Red, which is currently available in the United States ($9.99 monthly), Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea, includes YouTube Gaming and YouTube Kids.
Red claims to have 37 original programs streaming that have generated 1 billion views since the platform’s Oct. 21, 2015, launch, company officials disclosed June 22 at VidCon in Anaheim, Calif.
Other upcoming series include, "Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television," starring Ryan Hansen ("Veronica Mars" and "Party Down") and "Do You Want to See a Dead Body?" starring Ron Huebel ("Transparent" and "Childrens Hospital").
“From the very beginning, I’ve made it my goal to have storytellers of all kinds see YouTube Red as a creative haven,” Daniels said. “Showrunners need a space where they can realize their wildest ambitions, and we’re not afraid to hand over the keys and let them drive.”