adidas: Harden Vol. 1 Product Launch & Activation


The launch of James Harden’s first U.S. signature shoe had to be as disruptive as he is on the court.

A wall display of Harden Vol. 1 shoes, set at a dynamic angle over squares divided into black and white sections, so the white toes of each shoe align with the black section of the square. All set over textured red, black and white wheatpaste graphics.

Activate the Artists. Activate the World.

We hit up regional artist influencers across NYC, ATL and LA and gave them the reins to create Harden-inspired art using our “Disruptor Kit” as a starting point, documenting their process along the way. Their process and art were shared via social and on posters, both as pre-event wheat paste hype and at events.

A custom black heavy-duty plastic cargo case with the Harden H logo on the lid.
The kit opens to reveal a Harden silhouette in black on black on a perforated panel, a pair of Harden Vol. 1 sneakers, and a zine.


On the morning of Black Friday, mysterious “Activation Pods” were dropped in targeted areas of each city. Revealed within were Harden-inspired GIF booths and a custom Pop-a-Shot game where fans could test their skills and win Harden Vol. 1 footwear and swag.

To celebrate the shoe’s retail launch, we threw memorable parties for three unique target audiences: high schoolers (Wheeler High in ATL), Influencers (Footlocker event space in NYC) and Sneakerheads (Nice Kicks in LA). But these weren’t just any party; on top of food, DJs, activation pods, swag, hip-hop performances and featured artists signing posters, a surprise guest showed up at the LA party. You guessed it: James Harden.

A guy stands in the gif booth with a backlit black and white striped wall.
A view of the pop-a-shot game customized with adidas and Harden branding, and immersive black and white striped wall graphics showing a hand holding a pair of the shoes.
An aerial view of the activation pod which is a large black shipping container with large lit adidas and Harden logos, and a door cracked open to reveal a black and white striped glowing interior.
Two focused people playing the pop-a-shot game.
A smiling kid stands in front of the pop-a-shot game while two other kids play behind him.
A closeup of the black and red Harden Vol. 1 shoe, with white dipped toe.
James Harden and a DJ on stage.
An MC talks to a crowd from a balcony.
High school students cheering along with an MC at the Atlanta party.

Engage, Engage,

The result? 10,000 consumers were engaged over 3,500 through the activation pods alone. The brand saw the highest spike in conversations to date and our Snapchat campaign had over 18,000 views. Bleacher Report remarked on the campaign: “What a time to be on Team adidas!”

A collection of enthusiastic articles and Tweets about the sneaker release events.