The collaborations are helping the company to grow amid the pandemic. Today it reported sales in the recent quarter rose to $362 million, or 15.7% higher than their level last year, returning Crocs to growth after Covid-19 battered its sales earlier in the year. The company has some factors working in its favor right now. Its shoes are comfortable and casual, making them great for a moment when many shoppers are spending their days at home. They’re inexpensive, costing about $40 to $50 a pair. But the collaborations are also helping to create what could be considered a surprising amount of excitement for plastic clogs.

That’s the real goal of the celebrity tie-ups. Crocs releases them in limited quantities to keep them exclusive, meaning Crocs likely isn’t selling enough products from the collaborations themselves to make a big difference in its total sales. The company doesn’t specify how large or small the release numbers are, but on a call with investors and analysts today, CEO Andrew Rees explained the purpose of the collaborations:

They drive consumer engagement. They drive social and digital impressions on a global basis and on an enormous scale. In addition, the dynamics of the consumer shopping on our website allows us typically to collect their email addresses and create a relationship with those consumers, which obviously has value beyond the sale of that collaboration…Given the portfolio of collaborations, and the different types of consumers that we’re bringing to the site, that obviously broadens our reach as a brand.

Crocs may not look like sneakers from Nike or Adidas, but the playbook is similar to the one those companies use. The company doesn’t just partner with pop stars either. It has done deals with actors such as Drew Barrymore and Ruby Rose as well as a number of fashion companies large and small.

Rees said it’s translating into sales, remarking on the call how collaborations helped bring in shoppers in regions such as the US and Europe where growth was strong. Whether or not wearing the clogs is helping Justin Bieber’s brand, it looks to be working for Crocs.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.