In case you hadn’t realized, the National Basketball Association has a ton of sponsors. The league is booming, money is good, and almost everything the NBA touches turns to gold, so companies are lining up to be associated with the Association. Foot Locker got together with the League to drop a pop-up shop in New Orleans this All-Star Weekend and we were invited for an exclusive (well, there were about 25 people there) look at the spot. The space included booths for Stance socks, Tissot watches and timepieces (game clocks and shot clocks), Crep Protect, and (of course) Foot Locker. Artists painted team logos, which were plastered on backpacks and skateboard decks.
With a DJ spinning and the ridiculously cool 360° camera booth to take a full-circle action shot of your kicks (IG @Duke4005), the area was beyond nuts. One area was especially interesting to me — no, not the pizza — but the chainlink display featuring every basketball shoe released at Foot Locker this past weekend. From the All-Star Harden Vol. 1 to the Vachetta Zoom Generation, the Curry 3 Brass Band, and even the hated Carolina Blue Nike Uptempos, the heat was definitely burning. But wait, there was more…
After the event, a select few of us were invited to grab our goody bags and head to the Boys Club for a little game. With Slam editors, Bleacher Report bosses, a Complex sneaker gawd, and Foot Locker VIPs in attendance, we split up into two seven-person teams and ran a full game, refs and scoreboard included. While we weren’t scaring any of the All-Stars with our play, there was some serious game in the house (don’t mess with Sarah or Abe). While my team didn’t win, we put up a good fight and lost 58-55 (calm down, it was 8-minute quarters).
Besides meeting Grant Hill — the best player ever — this event was the highlight of the trip. Any time I get a chance to run it elevates my opinion of the event, and getting to see old friends like Russ, Abe, Ben, Nick, Peter, Matt, Sarah, and Jacques was the icing.
All I can think now is, “Where do we play next?” Oh, and thank you Sarah, Jed, and Foot Locker.
Images via me