This week, Saucony launched a Dunkin Donuts-themed model of its Kinvara 9 running shoe to celebrate the city of Boston a couple of weeks ahead of the 2018 Boston Marathon. The city’s ties with Dunkin are well known, and here runners get the brand’s colors and some sprinkles on their runners. Of course, it takes running about three miles to burn off a Boston Kreme Donut from Dunkin.
This is just the latest in junk food-athletics cross-overs. Back in 2016, Nike released a Krispy Kreme-themed version of Kyrie Irving’s Kyrie 2 models. Incidentally, it would take about 45 minutes of playing hoops to burn off the 190 calories packed into one Krispy Kreme cake donut.
Earlier this month to promote March Madness, Pizza Hut announced a pair of high tops that could pause your TV and order a pizza. They’re called–wait for it–Pie Tops. It would take about four hours of playing basketball to burn off the approximately 1,200 calories in a small pan cheese pizza.
We’re accustomed to seeing brand partnerships and co-branded products that align in a logical way. Doritos Locos Tacos at Taco Bell. Cheetos Chicken Fries at Burger King. Oreo ice cream. In that way, these sneaker partnerships seem counterintuitive. Like a Greenpeace-branded bottled water, Tinder-sponsored Xbox tournament, or McDonald’s and Coke sponsoring the Olympics. Oh, wait . . .