Superga Touts Sneakers at Boccie-Filled Family Picnic

Italian sneaker brand Superaga marked its entry into the U.S. market at a family picnic with boccie for trendsetters (and their kids).

By Irene Lacher July 23, 2008, 3:35 PM EDT

Superga's Festa di Bocce

Photo: Tonya Wise

Superga's Festa di Bocce
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Summer picnics are always tempting options for parties aimed at families, but in these days of global warming, they're always a crapshoot: When temperatures soar on event day, carefully orchestrated fun can suddenly seem more like an ordeal. Fortunately for Superga Italia, the gods were smiling on the company's boccie picnic on Saturday at Franklin Canyon Park, where breezes cooled the 350 guests getting acquainted with the classic Italian sneaker brand.

The event sprang from a collaboration between Superga's U.S. brand president, Juliana Prather, and fashion management agency S.PR, hired to provide a public relations strategy for the company's recent reentry into the American market (which it had penetrated briefly in the '80s). Because Superga makes sneakers for the entire family, Prather and S.PR wanted to create an event for Los Angeles trendsetters of all ages with a theme that reinforced the retro Italiana lifestyle. (The canvas shoes were originally introduced in 1913.) The theme that seemed to fit best with the brand was boccie, the traditional Italian lawn bowling game (which is often spelled “bocce").

S.PR brought in Best Events to produce “Festa di Bocce,” a boccie picnic with bars, booths, and other decor elements bearing the red, white and green of the Italian flag. When guests arrived, they were handed a canvas tote bag with the Superga logo, filled with a baguette, olives and roasted garlic, olive tapenade, brie, salads and cookies. (Grilled salmon, corn and chicken skewers were also available.) Families dined at picnic tables topped with silver buckets of fruit and picked up gelato and Hansen's sodas, Peroni beer, and Smart Water at nearby bars and booths.

Each family was also handed Superga T-shirts and a ticket that could be exchanged for a pair of sneakers (Additional sneakers were on sale at a reduced price to benefit the Art of Elysium, which provides art workshops to sick children.) Crafts tables let kids embellish their shoes with beads and charms or color in black-and-white drawings of sneakers. Other kids' attractions included a petting zoo, a simple bubble booth equipped with pipe cleaners and bubble solution, and balloon animals created by a clown who circulated among the guests.

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