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The Global Competition Has Evolved into an Online, Single-Elimination, All-or-Nothing Tournament with a $130,000 in Cash and Prizes

Portland, OR — PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy today announced the kickoff and schedule for the 2018 World Sneaker Championship (WSC) – Powered by Foot Locker, according to PENSOLE founder D’Wayne Edwards.

The global competition, now in its fourth year, is an online, single-elimination, all-or-nothing tournament, with a grand prize comprising $20,018 in cash, scholarships to PENSOLE, and design products from Wacom valued at more than $8,000. A limited quantity of the winning design will be produced and sold at Foot Locker outlets globally.

“Our goal has always been to identify and develop the next generation of great sneaker designers,” Edwards said. “In three years we have been able to do that and, WSC has grown to be PENSOLE’s most celebrated and anticipated competition each year, worldwide.”

Beginning April 8, contestants will battle head-to-head against the world’s most talented designers round-by-round. Viewer will vote for who advances online at PENSOLE and Foot Locker will then broadcast the winners of each round weekly from the top 64 all the way down to the top eight via Facebook Live.

This year, the World Sneaker Championship also will feature an in-person “battle royal” where the top four designers will challenge each other face-to-face in front of a live audience at PENSOLE Academy in Portland, Oregon. On the final day of the “battle royal,” the last designer standing will become The World Sneaker Champion, crowned with his or her championship belt.

Registration and all submission details for the WSC can be accessed here: Deadline for registration is 11:59 p.m. EST, March 25.


PENSOLE’s “learn by doing” curriculum teaches students the entire footwear design process: inspiration, concept-development, design process, problem solving, materials, business, networking, marketing, and branding. PENSOLE features the most sought-after faculty in footwear, comprised of both young professional designers and established footwear design leaders from the top footwear brands, with more than 100 years combined experience to help you with your professional development.

D’Wayne Edwards, a celebrated member of the global footwear community for the last 28 years, founded PENSOLE to give talented young design students—regardless of socioeconomic background—an opportunity to learn from the industry’s best, without financial barriers, and to provide the industry with a farm system for the next generation of footwear designers.

Since the first PENSOLE class in 2010, more than 300 Academy graduates have been placed professionally, full-time or as interns, for footwear companies worldwide, including Columbia Sportswear, Timberland, Converse, AND1, New Balance, Wolverine, Cole Haan, Under Armour, Keen, Ariat, Stride Rite, adidas, JORDAN, Kenneth Cole, Reebok and Nike.

About Foot Locker:

Foot Locker is part of Foot Locker, Inc., a specialty athletic retailer that operates approximately 3,400 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.  Through its Foot Locker, Footaction, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, SIX:02, Runners Point, and Sidestep retail stores, as well as its direct-to-customer channels, including, and, the Company is a leading provider of athletic footwear and apparel.

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