While Carmelo Anthony and Jimmy Butler represent for Team USA basketball in Air Jordans during the 2016 Olympics, the ultra-marketable Neymar Jr. is taking the Jumpman to the football pitch in his home games.
There are football boot fanatics and there’s a snowballing culture of collecting sports footwear, but it’s been a challenge to get the two realms to meet credibly. Both places are heavily connected. Whether its the colossal influence of the terraces and football fans on the UK’s love of trainers and sportswear, pre-millennial photos of a newly-signed Thierry Henry in his Air Max TNs, or a modern player flexing an ostentatious collection of hype on Instagram.
Each of the big brands tried — with particular emphasis during global tournaments — to make it happen time and time again in the past, but bar some well-executed makeups of a shoe based on a national side’s colours, they’ve largely been forgotten.