Crocs steps into limelight
We will not write about the company “kicking off” another year, or taking a bite out of the competition. We will not speak of a new CEO attempting to land the company on firmer footing, or the fact that the company has been putting a better foot forward with investors.
Nor will we lament the fact that the company initially got off on the wrong foot with the fashion-conscious, although the endless ridicule was a bit of a crock.
(That one doesn’t count.)
But we will discuss some of the amusing facts that have helped Niwot’s own Crocs Inc. garner attention, enthusiasm, derision and anecdotes over the past decade.
The maker of casual, resin-material footwear recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, which saw it hit the $1 billion sales milestone. That impressive achievement likely won’t calm the ongoing battle over the company’s fashion sense. But love ’em or hate ’em, Crocs are here to stay, and for that, I’m grateful.
What other product garners headlines just because some celebrity, official or statesman chooses to slip the resin-material clogs onto their feet?
Looking back at recent years, here are some of my favorite Crocs and factoids:
• Croc vs. gator — Just a couple of months ago, a South Carolina alligator was photographed attempting to eat an abandoned Crocs shoe in the marshes of Huntington Beach State Park. After 30 minutes of chewing, the ‘gator moved on in search of tastier morsels. (No word on the fate of the shoe’s original owner.)
• Then-President George W. Bush was photographed more than once sporting a pair of Crocs. Once was while holding a pair of University of Colorado Buffaloes Crocs, presented by CU’s men’s cross country national championship team. Dubya was also photographed in 2007 actually wearing a pair of Niwot’s finest.
• Not to be outdone, the other side of the political aisle has stepped out in Crocs. First lady Michelle Obama grabbed headlines in 2009 wearing a pair.
• Celebrities including Brooke Shields, Morgan Freeman, Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler, Adam Sandler and — dare we say it — Jack Nicholson have been spotted wearing the squishy footwear.
• Derision has come from some pretty high-powered quarters. The Washington Post has taken numerous swipes at Crocs over the years, ridiculing the styling and predicting the company’s demise.
In 2006, Jennifer Huget wrote for the Post, “You’ve tried to ignore them, but they’ve spread like vermin. Crocs are everywhere.”
The Washington Post prediction of Crocs’ demise came later, in 2009, quoting a manager of a Seattle investment fund saying, “The company’s toast. They’re zombie-ish. They’re dead, and they don’t know it.”
Crocs posted $1 billion in revenue in 2011, with net income reaching $61.5 million in the second quarter of 2012 alone. Of course, the Seattle genius wouldn’t be the first Crocs critic to put their foot in their mouth.
Christopher Wood can be reached at 303-440-4950 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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