Three Lego stripes, one playful running shoe
Lego has got it going. For Adidas the shoe has been pinching. While the Danish brickmakers have piled up a double-digit sales growth (article in German) during the crisis year and are raking in rich profits, the three stripes are working on a shoe string as they’re struck with a profit slump of almost 80 per cent (article in German). As the age-old saying goes: when life gives you bricks, make a sneaker. Or something similar. Just make sure those bricks are Lego. Because if it says Lego, it almost doesn’t matter what you’re selling – sneakers or lemonade. Adidas isn’t the only one using this strategy. This trend is seen in a variety of companies that are integrating the childhood nostalgia of generation 30+ in their products with the colourful little bricks. So much so that my colleague Simon Balissat had a rant about Lego’s transformation into a lifestyle brand (currently only available in German).
On the one hand, he’s right. On the other hand, with Lego and Adidas the shoe fits. At least more than with Pokémon and Fila (article in German) or Jägermeister and KangaROOS, whose shoes nonetheless were a fruitful venture. A match for everyone involved. Whether it’s liqueur or a pocket monster, nothing’s too obscure to be a sneaker. The main thing is that it’s exclusive, attention grabbing and trendy in one way or another. Adidas also earns more from their lifestyle products than their traditional athletics wear, and the transitions between them have become fluid.
In style, the PR slogans of the collaboration with the toy giant consist of elements of sport, play, creativity and inspirational phrases that are easier to assemble than a «Lego Friends» set for four-year-olds. Last year we already saw colourful sneakers sporting a Lego design. However, the Adidas Ultraboost DNA x Lego, which looks simple at first glance, is a sportier version yet. And only once you’ve pushed the included building blocks into the transparent,punctured three stripes is not only the logo but the Lego look completed.
Useless, but nice
The Lego in your shoe won’t make you faster nor will it send data to your smartwatch. Basically, it’s of no use in a running shoe. Of course, you could pop in a building block after each successful workout session as a visual motivation. There’s also the option to leave the sneaker in its box and wait for an increase in collectors value. Otherwise, the colourful stones together with the characteristic knobs are simply an eye catcher you can redesign again and again. And that’s the point. Adidas routinely tries to highligt the Ultraboost’s athletic roots. «When it debuted in 2015, it revolutionised running with its mix of distinctive style and innovative technologies like the responsive Boost midsole and snug-fitting adidas prime knit upper», is what the manufacturer claims.
So after revolutionising running, which in this modern day and age of Ultraboost is barely reminiscent of the wild stomping it was in the years before 2015, it quickly crept into the lifestyle corner. Thanks to celebrities like Pharrell Williams or Beyoncé, good marketing and sneakerheads around the globe. Whether you wear your Lego sneakers to run through the forest, onto a concert stage, or over Lego building bricks, doesn’t matter for business success. It’s only logical that Adidas took a successful model that reached all target groups and tuned it with such a high-class partner. Two «lovebrands», one shoe. This «tribute to all dreamers, revolutionaries and creators» will find buyers. However, not with us. The model will be available exclusively at Adidas from 8 April. Whereas real dreamers and creators might just want to do it themselves and choose the revolutionary DIY version: the Ultraboost DNA x Lego x UHU.