Home » Adidas finds success with 22-year-old NBA star’s sneaker after cutting ties with Kanye West

Adidas finds success with 22-year-old NBA star’s sneaker after cutting ties with Kanye West

AE 1 sneakers outsell rivals in first six months

by Omokolade Ajayi
Anthony Edwards

Key Points:

  • Anthony Edwards’ signature Adidas shoe, the AE 1, dominates the market, outselling established stars and rival brands.
  • Edwards’ sneaker is the hottest in the NBA, surpassing rivals on the resale market and potentially becoming Adidas’ top seller in a decade.
  • Adidas eyes pop icon Taylor Swift as a potential partner after her growing affinity for the brand.

Nearly two years after parting ways with multi-industry creative Kanye West and his Yeezy brand, German sportswear giant Adidas has achieved a major hit with a new sneaker line designed in collaboration with 22-year-old NBA star Anthony Edwards.

According to footwear retailers, the new sneaker line has been a smash hit in its first six months on the market, drawing comparisons to the initial triumph of the Yeezy sneakers launched in collaboration with Kanye West.

Anthony Edwards’ Adidas sneaker shines

Edwards debuted his first sneaker with Adidas, a futuristic design called the AE 1, in December. Featuring perforated honeycomb sides, the sneaker was first introduced in catchy advertisements in October 2023.

The AE 1 has since competed successfully against signature models like LeBron James’ Nike Air Zoom Generation and LaMelo Ball’s Puma MB.02. Building on this success, Adidas unveiled a low-top version of the AE 1 last month before the NBA Playoffs. The official release is still pending.

Despite falling short of an NBA championship, Edwards is optimistic about his partnership with Adidas. The AE 1 is now regarded as the best signature sneaker in the NBA, outperforming rivals.

AE 1 heats up the market

On the secondary market, sales of Edwards’ sneakers have surpassed those of Devin Booker’s Nike line and Kawhi Leonard’s New Balance shoes

Bjorn Gulden, CEO of Adidas, expressed optimism about the AE 1 in March. He stated that the Edwards line could be the brand’s best-selling basketball shoe in the past decade, even surpassing established stars like Damian Lillard and James Harden.

Gulden further highlighted the positive trend for Adidas, noting that each new color release of the AE 1 sells out quickly. This strong performance indicates a potential advantage for Adidas as they compete with Nike in the lucrative basketball shoe market.

Adidas seeks A-list boost, eyes Taylor Swift collab

In addition to its current success, Adidas is eyeing fresh collaborations, with U.S. pop icon Taylor Swift emerging as a potential frontrunner.

During the group’s results presentation in March, CEO Gulden discussed the company’s growth plans and hinted at potential partnerships with pop culture icons, highlighting Swift’s recent preference for Adidas products.

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