If you have ever been at Valleyfair on Saturday during the heat of the season, you may have noticed something exciting happening at 3-Point Challenge. Guests crowd around the basketball court's fence to watch hopeful hoopers compete to win the ultimate prize, a fresh pair of kicks.
For eight Saturdays during the season, Valleyfair hosts the 3-Point Challenge shootout! The five highest scorers throughout the day are invited back one hour before park close for a late-night shootout. The lucky winner goes home with a pair of sneakers from Studiiyo 23.
This competition was started in 2015 by Valleyfair's Games Manager, Zach Peterson. "That year, we had some supervisors in our department who were total sneakerheads," Peterson said, "They would always be talking about new shoes, and that gave me the idea to create this competition."
Peterson knew he would need some fancy footwear to draw in the crowd he was looking for, so he started his search for a local sneaker vendor. He visited multiple local shoe stores in the Minneapolis metro area, but when he walked into Studiiyo 23, he knew he found the perfect partner.
"The atmosphere of Studiiyo 23's store is incredible," Peterson said, "They have artwork, apparel, and of course, awesome shoes." Studiiyo 23's owner, Moh, loved the idea of the shootout competition and agreed to provide Valleyfair with eight pairs of sneakers for the season.
The guest's reaction was more than either Moh or Peterson hoped. "We would have guests who would return every Saturday to compete in hopes of winning the shoes," Peterson said. The event also attracted a wide range of guests who were eager to compete. Peterson noted that kids who were barely able to throw the ball to the hoop were just as enthusiastic as college athletes trying their hardest for the Studiiyo 23 kicks.
Peterson vividly remembers one night when a man who won the competition requested a much smaller pair of sneakers than the size he initially obtained. "I thought it was strange that he wanted such small shoes because he was a big guy," Peterson recalls, "But then he told me that he wanted to give the shoes to his son for this birthday. He got choked up, telling me that he didn't think he was going to be able to afford to give his son a birthday present, and winning this competition was the best thing that had happened to him all week. That's when I knew that we were doing something fun, but we were also making an impact."
The 3-Point Challenge shootout will return for the 2020 season! The competition will be eight weeks in a row (weather depending) running June through August. Be sure to stop the 3-Point Challenge on Saturdays to compete to win a pair of awesome sneakers.