Since its launch in 1979, ESPN has broadcasted some of the most iconic moments in sports. The sports media giant kept us locked in to moments like Michael Jordan’s legendary three-peat run with the Chicago Bulls, Ken Griffey Jr. hitting his 600th home run in 2008, and Odell Beckham Jr.’s signature one-handed catch against the Dallas Cowboys in 2014.
SportsCenter has not only covered the latest news and highlights in the world of sports, but in the process has been able to give fans a glimpse of what sneakers their favorite athletes are wearing. From older fans watching Dikembe Mutombo get buckets in his eponymous Adidas model back in ‘92, to the current generation eyeing what the latest colorway of Lionel Messi’s game-worn cleats are, many of us have nostalgia for watching some of our favorite sneakers in action.
After helping define sports culture for decades, ESPN has entered the sneaker partnership game with Adidas. The ESPN x Adidas collaboration features an Adidas Top Ten Hi ($150) that commemorates the channel’s early studio set from 1979. The sneakers come dressed in a cream white, orange, and vivid red color scheme with subtle ESPN branding found on the tongue, ankle collar, and insole. They are paired with an Adilette slide ($35) done in a similar theme. The capsule was released on Oct. 10 and is available now.
We got the chance to talk with Christopher McClure, senior creative director at ESPN’s creative division Grande and Leonard, about the ESPN x Adidas collaboration. McClure offered insight on how the project came to fruition and what it was like working with The Three Stripes on the sports network’s first venture into an official sneaker collab. The conversation, edited for clarity, appears below.