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Anthony Edwards Shoe Deal Propels Adidas; AE1 Success Evokes Jordan Legacy

Anthony Edwards’ AE1 sneakers evoke Jordan legacy.

Anthony Edwards has emerged as the "face of the NBA" after leading the Timberwolves to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2004. In the process, the 22-year-old has garnered inevitable comparisons to Michael Jordan, all while wearing his recently unveiled Adidas AE1 sneakers.

Edwards' AE1 Sneaker Success Draws Comparisons to Jordan, Boosting Adidas' Market Presence

Edwards' first trademark sneaker with Adidas, which coincided with his meteoric rise to prominence, was a success. The brand seems to draw inspiration from its previously popular "YEEZY Foam Runners," which are selling out similarly, as per Sporting News.

The model is not available in practically every men's size, regardless of colorway, on Adidas' website or at other reputable retailers such as Footlocker and Champs. Even his sneaker success has drawn comparisons to Jordan for a different reason.

Despite his trademark sneakers, Edwards can't shake the Jordan comparisons. No, the AE1 does not resemble the well-known Air Jordan 1. However, Adidas can be held responsible for the distinction between the two.

When Adidas launched the AE1, one of its earliest commercials was likely familiar to basketball fans and sneakerheads. The camera pans Edwards' torso from head to toe, identical to Nike's initial advertising for the Air Jordan 1 in 1985.

The most notable difference was that Nike had a narrator speak for Jordan. Adidas chose to play on Edwards' unshakeable and lovable confidence, enabling the Timberwolves star to speak for himself.

Along with the last phrase, "I'm about to drop your favorite hooper's favorite hoop shoe," the brand launched another advertisement featuring Edwards going through and trashing every other trademark shoe in the league.

With Edwards' established success and current trajectory, some of the industry's brightest sneaker brains feel Adidas has struck gold like Nike did with Jordan.

"Many across the industry feel Ant is one of the most promising and exciting endorsers in the space," said Boardroom's Nick DePaula, according to a feature for The Star Tribune. As he grows in popularity, his signature shoes will become increasingly desirable.

Expect Edwards to Become the Face of Adidas Basketball with a Major Contract

Edwards signed with Adidas before being selected as the first choice in the 2020 NBA draft.

The terms of the arrangement were never released, but considering his young age and the desire for his first trademark sneaker, Edwards should expect a larger contract.

Adidas has already signed the nine-figure contracts of NBA superstars Damian Lillard and James Harden.

Lillard inked a 10-year, $100 million contract with Adidas in 2014. In 2015, Harden extended his contract with Adidas for 13 years and $200 million. Regarding negotiations, expect Edwards to become the face of Adidas Basketball.

Photo: Jaye Haych/Unsplash

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