How adidas used technology to promote Harden’s shoes
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When Houston Rockets goalie James Harden signed his sneaker deal with adidas in October 2015, the adidas basketball team wanted to “change the game” around the signing’s future launch, according to Mark Rasoul. The adidas basketball social media manager said it was something he and his colleagues always envisioned when working with different athletes.
“The basketball sneaker landscape is sort of at a standstill, whether it’s marketing or sneaker designs in general. We looked at that, ”Rasoul said of Harden’s shoe launch plans. “When we partnered with James, a big thing for him was collaboration and co-creation.”
As fans clamored for more information on the signature shoe, as Rasoul explained, he and his team, along with Harden’s management team, decided to reverse the typical six to eight week campaign and extend it over six to seven months, incorporating virtual reality. and Instagram in the Harden Vol. 1 launch.
Over a three-month period starting this summer, adidas hosted contextual micro-launches to give fans, influencers and media insight into the shoe and the process behind it, an initiative which she called Project Harden. Online, adidas created a specific Instagram account to build engagement until the nationwide launch, which officially took place on December 3.
adidas and Harden kicked off the tour in mid-July at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas for approximately 2,000 attendees. Future stops included Los Angles, Houston, Paris, Madrid, New York and other major cities.
The Las Vegas event centered around an offline virtual reality component, the first time the technology was used by adidas for a signature shoe launch. Rasoul likened it to a “roller coaster ride” of an experience.
As fans stood in a designated area while wearing Samsung Gear VR headsets, they could hear the ground rumble and shake and feel the wind blowing past them as James virtually blown them while dribbling across the field.
The immersive experience took a full day to capture with Harden and six to 10 weeks of post-production work by adidas to bring the experience together. With the first VR test case in the books, Rasoul hasn’t ruled out future signature launches designed with technology integration in mind.
“We were able to show the product in a very premium way and in 3 dimensions. The 2D image doesn’t give you a lot of context. . . . The experience has been so well received by our fans and partners that to date it exists in over 20 retail stores that actually sell the shoe (Harden Vol. 1), ”said Rasoul, adding that he There are also headsets inside Manhattan’s new tech-focused store for consumers to see as well.