Klay Thompson's Anta sneakers may be a bigger hit in China than any of us could have predicted. In a new press release, the Chinese sportswear brand says that it's sold over 650,000 pairs of Thompson-branded shoes to date, with 150,000 moved in the shoe's launch year of 2015 and an extra 500,000 ordered this year.
How accurate are these numbers? It's difficult to tell. There's no real Anta footprint here in the U.S. due to the shoes' very limited distribution in America, so it's tough to imagine that 650,000 people have actually approved of them so far when we don't see them in real life with any regularity. That being said, Anta is one of China's bigger sportswear brands, and that market is definitely massive enough to support 650,000 pairs of the sometimes-maligned signature shoes.
Purported sales successes aside, the brand still has much to learn in terms of marketing–it hilariously jumped the gun this year by making a "Back to Back Champions" shoe for Thompson and is still trying to get over the infamous image of him looking rather nonplussed at an Anta media event.
Despite Thompson's apparent lack of enthusiasm for Anta shoes in the past, he says in the press release that he's happy to be with the brand.
"I am honored to be an Anta brand endorser," Thompson said. "The shoes give me the strong grip, safety, balance, and stability that I need to perform and excel. The Anta KT1 has been a big part of my journey to the Championship with the Warriors."