Nike gave us a sneak peek at the next signature shoe for reigning MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo. The second installment of the Zoom Freak line has Giannis’s DNA all through it. Nike wanted to make sure they captured every aspect of his life, into the shoe. Familial influences and connections are evident throughout the silhouette, which makes the shoe as unique and versatile as the man himself.
The creative process for the Zoom Freak was one of a kind. Nike gathered a team of 35, for an 18-month expedition, to make a product that served Giannis perfectly, down to the smallest specifications. They took a scientific approach, to create a weapon, tailored to its’ user, like the dwarven blacksmiths made Mjolnir for Thor. If you have ever seen a Marvel movie or read a comic book, you know the destructive force of Thor swinging his hammer, is definitely comparable to Giannis doing work on the court.
The team certainly left no stones unturned, in regards to the performative aspect of the sneaker. They broke down everything , from where Giannis puts the most pressure on his foot doing the euro step, to where they should put the air bubble to help him get more burst on his first step. The conversation about the specifics of the shoe, sounded like it should have taken place in a NASA testing lab, and not a Nike boardroom.
The sneaker isn’t only uniquely Giannis from a construction standpoint. The design tells the story of his journey through basketball, and pays homage to his family and heritage. The shoe was birthed from a collaborative by not only the Nike design team and Giannis, but his brothers were also involved in the process as well. As they were in the first model, his brothers’ and parents’ names, are listed on the shoe. There is also an ode to his lineage on the insole. Underneath Giannis’s “GA” logo are the words, “I am my father’s legacy.” It should be no surprise that Antetokounmpo looks to honor his family, at every turn. In his early days in the league, he would send every dime he earned back home, to make sure they wanted for nothing. Now that he has ascended to superstardom, he will undoubtedly keep them at the forefront of everything he does.
As with most things Nike does, The Zoom Freak has a widespread impact across the sports world. Nike believes basketball should be all-encompassing. With the recent arrival of the Swoosh Fly Women’s line, it is obvious that they are dedicated to being inclusive in regards to whom they cater their products to. Seeing players like Arike Ogunbowale and Brittney Sykes lace up the Zoom Freak 1 is fantastic. To see a signature shoe by one of the NBA’s biggest names find its’ way to the women’s game is something that Nike is extremely happy about. When seeking input for how their gear should function, Nike does not only seek the counsel of male athletes, but look for insight from multiple sides, to make sure they are creating a product that services the world.
Giannis and Nike have come together to create a sneaker that embodies him, in every way, as he was inherently vocal during every step of the process. Giannis wanted the shoe to reflect his game: simple and straight to the point. Yet, it is difficult to create simplicity with such a complex athlete. But as Giannis evolves, his signature model will evolve with him. While we are unlikely to see the shoe on court in the bubble, we definitely cannot wait for it to hit the shelves. An early August release date was rumored, but like everything else in this current climate, it is still shrouded in uncertainty.
Whenever the sneaker becomes available, you can be sure it will be a hot ticket item. We are already anxiously awaiting the Zoom Freak 3.