One of the many events that took place on Day 1 of ComplexCon Chicago was a panel featuring Adidas Vice President of Global Entertainment & Influencer Marketing Jon Wexler and Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker. The discussion at hand was about whether entertainers or athletes are currently more influential for sneaker brands, with Wexler weighing in from the entertainment POV and Tucker representing athletes.
Of course, Wexler is best known for bringing Kanye West into the fold at Adidas, so the Yeezy line becoming a hot topic was inevitable. Sneaker Shopping's Joe La Puma, the event's host, specifically asked Wexler about the highly anticipated Yeezy Basketball line and what impact he thinks it will have on the entertainer vs. athlete debate.
"He's just such a master story teller that people are kinda like waiting for that next move, because they want to move how he's moving," said Wexler. "So if he moves into basketball, that's going to actually help the entire category. That won't just lift our basketball category, but the whole industry."
Tucker, widely regarded as the NBA's "Sneaker King," is a Nike Basketball athlete, but the significance of a potential Yeezy Basketball line isn't lost on him. He thinks it's only a matter of when, not if, Yeezy will help Adidas Basketball explode.
"There is no if in that," said Tucker. "Nick Young played in the ones that weren't even basketball shoes. So now it's an actual basketball shoe? Come on now!"
Buzz around the Yeezy Basketball line grew earlier this month, when several colorways of the rumored Yeezy Basketball 1 prototype were spotted in photos from West's much talked about Forbes interview. Wexler was non-committal about the shoe's release at ComplexCon, but insists it will be a game changer.
"I know he's passionate about it, as is everything that he puts his name on," said Wexler. "So when or if it comes out eventually, it will shake up the industry."