When you consider the greatest sneakers of all-time, they still carry the name of the player who made them famous. We obviously have Air Jordan and the Pennys, but even others like the Agassi, Bo Jackson and David Robinson sneakers are most often referred to by these player’s names rather than by the ones given to them by Nike.
Mars Blackmon told us “It’s Gotta Be The Shoes,” but maybe the better question is, “was it the ad campaign?” Complex asked me to compile a list of the 50 best sneaker ad campaigns, and this is how I ranked them. You’ll see that I’m not into puppets, gladiator-style war re-enactments or LeBron James wearing a wig and talking like some smooth cat from the '70s. What I am into are quirky alter-egos, the essence of sports, and ads that create an emotional connection with the amateur athlete. This list will certainly have some well-known campaigns still being used to sell sneakers, but also some commercials and print ads that you probably haven’t seen before.
The nature of any countdown list is open for debate and criticism, and I’m here to take it. Find me on twitter @classickicksnyc and check out my Tumblr blog for more honorable mention ads and campaigns that didn’t make the Top 50 — classickicksnyc.tumblr.com —NICK SANTORA