What happened to this iconic shoe brand worn by the greats of the PBA?
Some of the middle aged fathers today or born in the 60s and 70s were fortunate enough to own at least one pair of this then most popular brand of footwear in the local market and worn by some members. of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) major.
Long before Nike Lebron and UA Curry in the National Basketball Association (NBA), there were the Black Superman shoes.
Made by Grosby, the Black Superman variant was arguably the first and richest marketing endorsement deal between a basketball player and a shoe brand in Filipino sports history.
Grosby made the shoes specifically for Billy Ray Bates, former NBA player turned PBA importer then nicknamed Black Superman who conquered Asia’s only existing professional cage league for his high-flying acts.
Then there was the Grosby Mythical Five designed for basketball legends Robert Jaworski, Francis Arnaiz, Mon Fernandez, Bogs Adornado and Atoy Co.
Grosby and Adidas were the top shoe brands at the time, as both are made locally by Filipino licensee Rubberworld. Nike joined the market fray a bit later.
And let’s not forget Grosby’s RB23 for Ricardo Brown.
Fast Brown Fox
Brown, nicknamed The Quick Brown Fox, was a Filipino-American player who played for Great Taste and San Miguel from 1983 to 1990. He won nine PBA titles and became MVP in 1985.
He was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 2009 and was named one of the league’s top 25 players.
Now living in the United States, Brown is still proud of his PBA achievements.
In his recent Christmas post on his Facebook page, he posted a photo of his Grosby Limited Editions shoes that sparked memories of the brand among Filipino netizens, especially those who followed the professional league in the ’80s.
âWow, this is a retro classic wishing you had an RB23 Merry Christmas idol. Once I get home I must have one of these shoes, âsaid Allan Cruz Santiago.
Christian Michael said the post brought back memories of his brother who had the Billy Ray Bates version
An Ark Matig said: “I miss this shoe brand, Grosby.” And Patrick Carvajal also recalled that his brother wore the shoe brand during his college days in Cebu while playing alongside former PBA player Presto Peter Jao.
Grosby left the country in the 1990s and returned in late 2008 and re-released the Black Superman shoes which were a hit until 2017.
Just as the brad was slowly making a smooth comeback, it was not clear why it had faded again.
His last official post on his Grosby Philippines Facebook page was on June 14, 2019, selling the Bruiser Sneakers variant for the celebration of Father’s Day.
To make matters worse, the Covid 19 pandemic began in January 2020 which caused the shutdown of many businesses, including the footwear industry.
In the mid-90s, Kaypee became the next hottest local brand endorsed by the next generation of PBA superstars, like four-time MVP Alvin Patrimonio.