Converse to restructure Euro team

US sports shoe operation Converse is restructuring its European marketing department, following the departure of marketing director Bob Sheard.

Sheard, who has only been in the post for six months, is leaving two weeks after the appointment of new managing director Willy Umland. Umland has joined the European headquarters in the UK from Converse’s German operation.

Converse has almost tripled its marketing and advertising spend in Europe over the past 18 months, and emphasised its sporting heritage rather than fashion. It claims to be the biggest manufacturer of sports footwear in the US, but has had difficulty breaking into the European market outside basketball.

In the past year it has spent about 8m on advertising in Europe through Boston agency Houston Hersteck Farat and the Media Business Group.

The latest push breaks later this month and features Chicago Bulls basketball champion Dennis Rodman, who is sponsored by Converse.

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