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The Women’s Basketball Shoe Company Taking on Nike, Adidas, and UA

  • In less than two years, Natalie White has built an empire for women’s basketball shoes.
  • While high-profile competition builds flashy marketing campaigns, White takes a grassroots approach.
Taylor Soule/Moolah Kicks

In 2020, Boston College graduate Natalie White launched Moolah Kicks, a women’s basketball shoe company that, unlike competitors, sells sneakers built for “female biomechanics.” 

Since then, the 24-year-old has built a small empire — and isn’t concerned about competing with the big three of Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour.  

  • In less than two years, she’s earned the backing of Mark Cuban and has grown sales distribution from a modest website to 450 stores nationwide through an exclusive partnership with Dick’s Sporting Goods. 
  • Moolah Kicks previously inked a marketing deal with the Connecticut Sun, landed a spot in a March Madness Microsoft commercial, and signed more than 40 NIL deals.
  • Last week, Moolah Kicks launched the Neovolt Pro, which was covered by a blitz of media outlets and promoted by stars like WNBA star Destanni Henderson.

“We are laser-focused on women’s basketball,” White told Front Office Sports. She wants Moolah Kicks to be the Speedo of women’s hoops — the go-to brand for one specific sport.

New Women’s Hoops Sneaker Company Aims to Fight Inequities

How Moolah Kicks founder Natalie White launched a women’s basketball sneaker brand…
May 11, 2021

The key to her successful marketing strategy, she said, is taking a “grassroots approach” — the opposite of the flashy, high-profile advertising of her competitors.  

“I think it’s important that we meet the market where we’re at, rather than following a marketing model from a big brand with a big basketball sneaker,” she said.

The best example? Her strategy in the NIL space.

The company’s NIL deals began with women’s basketball players at Boston College — where White had served as team manager just a couple of years before. As the brand gained notoriety, White began looking for players who had a notable on-court skill. Were they the best at rebounds? Assists? She wanted to highlight players who are excelling on the court. 

White, however, is at a significant disadvantage breaking into college basketball.

Under Armour and Adidas have sprawling NIL strategies with hundreds of athletes. Nike, while not focusing on scale, has inked deals with some of the most high-profile players and prospects, like Bronny James. 

These brands are able to do so because they have deals with athletic departments. Players not only have a direct line to these companies through their programs, but they’re allowed to wear them on the court. In Division I, players are only allowed to wear shoes made by the company that sponsors their team.

Moolah Kicks doesn’t have that relationship, but White developed an NIL program that not only works around those limitations but uses them to her advantage.

  • She signs two classes of players: some in Division III, and some in Division I. 
  • D-I players, she said, are able to introduce the brand to the women’s basketball community using their larger followings off the court. They wear Moolah Kicks whenever they’re not required to sport other brands.
  • D-III athletes, who are allowed to wear the sneakers during games, are tasked with showcasing how the shoes actually perform on the court.

“I think it says something pretty strong that when players have a choice, the choice is Moolah Kicks,” White said. 

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