Patrick Mahomes has joined another exclusive club.
NBA superstars James Harden, Damian Lillard and Donovan Mitchell also have their own signature Adidas footwear, but what makes Mahomes so unique is that he’s the only NFL athlete to have one with Adidas.
“It’s the first of its kind,” said Jacquelyn Dahl, Mahomes’ marketing agent and the founder of 1UP Sports Marketing.
Although NBA stars can showcase the exact shoe consumers will buy while playing on the court, a signature line is a rarity for football players because they can’t wear their product during games; they, of course, use cleats instead.
But the Mahomes 1.0 IMPACT FLX, which was released Aug. 23, is a training shoe the quarterback will wear during his workouts rather than while suiting up for the Chiefs on Sundays.
And not surprisingly — considering the intensity with which he trains and the meticulous work ethic for which he’s known — Mahomes was more involved than the typical athlete.
A multitude of reviews of sketches, follow-up phone calls, Zoom meetings and physical tests of the prototypes ensued. The quarterback consulted his personal trainer, Bobby Stroupe, to make sure the shoe would fit his myriad movements during his workout sessions. Mahomes also is an active participant on a text thread with the Adidas designers.
“He was very involved,” said Todd Rolak, Adidas’ senior design director. “He was really a part of that process, which is pretty awesome from a creative standpoint to have someone so engaged.”
The very first design meeting was held in early March of 2020 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon shortly after Mahomes won Super Bowl LIV MVP honors.
It was a natural place for a business meeting. Mahomes is a golf enthusiast, and the North American headquarters of Adidas, a sports apparel company that had a brand value of $12.9 billion in 2020, is in Portland, Ore.
“We paired his love of golf,” Rolak said, “with his involvement in building his brand.”
The only problem is the pandemic would soon take over the world — and more specifically cancel the flights for Dahl and her team. She would join via Zoom.
Mahomes, who has Airshare — a Kansas-based charter company — as one of his sponsors, and his fiancée (then girlfriend) made it to the meeting because they had flown on a private plane.
It typically takes about 18 months for a shoe to go from concept to product on the shelves, and Adidas hit its Aug. 23 release date — just in time for the start of football season — despite the obvious difficulties the pandemic wreaked on home and work.
Adidas managed to craft a shoe not only the public would like, but also one that met the demands of its global icon.
Mahomes sought something supportive for his plyometric training and cutting drills, but he didn’t want it to be bulky.
So Adidas created a sock-like upper part of the shoe. It remained sleek while reinforcement zones provided additional support.
The athletic company also incorporated data from quarterback-specific actions, including heat map graphics of the way his muscles worked during training.
“We studied his movements and built concepts around his training needs,” Rolak said. “He’s the perfect muse for his own project.”
The color of the Mahomes 1.0 is bright green to represent a traffic light. The theme is that green time is go time.
The primary signature logo is designed to evoke the shape of a gladiator’s mask, drawing inspiration from the warrior mentality that drives competitors like Mahomes.
“The gladiator mask in my logo represents the mindset of making an impact every single day,” Mahomes said in the Adidas press release. “Whether it’s training in the gym, on-field practice or a game day, that’s always my mentality.”
In addition to shoes, the new logo will be displayed on Mahomes’ line of Adidas T-shirts, hoodies and shorts.
Adidas is part of the growing empire of the player the NFL just listed as it best in its sport.
The league’s highest paid player with a contract worth nearly half a billion dollars, Mahomes is an endorser or partner of Oakley, Head & Shoulders, State Farm, Bose, DIRECTV, Electronic Arts
His $130 Mahomes 1.0 sold out within hours, but there is hope for those who didn’t get their hands on an initial pair.
Adidas was vague on a timeframe, only offering cryptic clues on those craving more Mahomes merchandise.
“There will be additional products forthcoming,” Rolak said.