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"My Adidas": a single released by RUN DMC

"My Adidas" was a single released by RUN DMC in 1986; the single represented an important non-athletic promotion of the Adidas brand. RUN DMC, with their fashionable hip-hop credentials, was the genesis of marketing Adidas as an urban 'street' brand. From 1949-1980, Adidas had based it's marketing on paying top athletes and sportsmen/ladies to wear their shoes and apparel. Adidas had largely ignored the potential of having musicians and celebrities endorse their products.

Recent photo of RUN DMC endorsing sneakers at a footlocker marketing meeting. The RUN DMC my adidas single cover, with peter piper also printed on the cover.

By 1980, Adidas was the world's most popular sporting goods brand, and was particular popular with teenagers and youth cultures. It became clear to Adidas that their shoes were being worn as a fashion accessory rather than for sporting purposes, and they released their 'city series' dress shoes in 1982. Adidas footwear was especially popular with 'Casuals' in the UK, and the urban Hip-Hop subculture in North America. Culminating in musicians and bands from the 1980's - like the RUN DMC, Beastie Boys, and The Jam - wearing and eventually endorsing Adidas.

RUN DMC were formed in 1981: the group hail from the New York City suburb of Hollis, Queens, and includes: Jam Master Jay, Joseph Simmons and Darryl McDaniels. RUN DMC were at the peak of their popularity in the 1980's, and have influenced a wide variety of Hip-Hop musicians. RUN DMC are credited with creating a subculture of sneakerheads; sneakers were viewed as functional footwear before the 1980's and the release of "My Adidas".

The "My Adidas" song lasts two minutes and forty even seconds, and the lyrics to the song begin with:

"My Adidas, walk through concert doors
And roam all over coliseum floors
I stepped on stage at Live Aid
All the people gave, and the poor got paid
And out of speakers I did speak
I wore my sneakers but I'm not a sneak
My Adidas touch the sand of a foreign land
With mic in hand, I took cold command
My Adidas and me, close as can be
We make a mean team, my Adidas and me
We get around together, we down forever
And we wont be mad when caught in bad weather
My Adidas..
My Adidas.."

Present day, Adidas still pay athletes and sportsmen/ladies to endorse their products, but they also pay musicians to do likewise; the latest of which is Rita Ora. The legacy of RUN DMC is that they displayed to Adidas the importance of endorsement from musicians and celebrities. Sneakers are now collectors items and can be sold for thousands of dollars, and are viewed as a fashion accessory as well as functional footwear.