By Julian M.

In 1983 the rap group Run-D.M.C. became a household name in pop culture. Choosing not to conform to pop standards the group chose to depict their style in the way they dressed in the streets. The trio’s style was very reminiscent of the way young urban teens and “B-Boys” in NYC wore sneakers. The preferred brand choice of the group from Hollis Queens were Adidas , wearing the classic German brand’s simplistic silhouette  “Superstar” which was a low top basketball shoe that featured an all leather upper with a rubber shell toe.

The nation was swept away with the new fresh sound and look of Run-D.M.C. and the sales of the Adidas Superstar were at all time high due to all the praise that the shoe was getting from the group. Having a pair of Adidas in the early to mid 80’s became more of a status symbol for young teens across the nation. After a tasteless anti-rap diss song was released by Jerrald Deas called “Felon Sneakers” the trio replied with the now hip hop classic song “My Adidas” which heavily promoted the shoe. Along with the success of the song which reached the top of the billboard charts it got the attention of the higher ups at brand adidas. A man by the name of Angelo Anastasio who was the marketing director at the time for the German shoe brand happened to be in attendance at a sold out show at Madison Square Garden when the group told over 20,000 people “If you got a pair of Adidas put em up in the air and let me see em”. When Anastasio saw the sea of sneakers being held in the air he was compelled to make mention to the executives to capitalize on the growing popularity of the rap culture icons’ influence with the increasing sales of this shoe. Run-D.M.C. were the first non athletes in history that were given an endorsement deal for an outstanding $1 million at the time.


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