by Brian Lipton

SPERRY LOGOAmerican footwear brand Sperry has become the official footwear supplier for SoftBank Team Japan, a challenger for the 35th America’s Cup, the most prestigious and technologically demanding sailing competition in the world, which will be held in Bermuda in 2017.

Through the partnership, Sperry will collaborate with SoftBank Team Japan athletes to create custom footwear to wear during competition. These shoes will also be available to consumers as a special America’s Cup Collection, to be released by Sperry later this year.

“The footwear requirements for a challenger team like SoftBank Team Japan include optimal speed, agility and grip, which makes for a really exciting design challenge,” said Magnus Wedhammar, SVP of product for Sperry. “In support of this partnership, we’ll blend cutting edge innovation with our tradition of performance to create the perfect shoe that meets the unique demands of an America’s Cup athlete.”

“When we’re in the heat of training and competition, our footwear can have a critical impact on our performance,” said Dean Barker, CEO and skipper for SoftBank Team Japan. “We’ve shared our needs with the designers at Sperry so they can develop a custom shoe that will help us perform at our best and navigate the unpredictable race elements of salt, wind and water. We’re proud to partner with Sperry and thank them for their support.”