Is Jordan Using Jayson Tatum Shoe Ads to Start Beef with Adidas, Anthony Edwards?

Anthony Edwards vs Jayson Tatum
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

In case you missed out on watching most of the recent NBA season, arguably the most popular player emerged as Minnesota Timberwolves Anthony Edwards. Adidas, the company who endorses Edwards, also saw considerable time in the spotlight. That didn’t sit well with Jordan Brand.

Anthony Edwards’ saw his star climb at a record pace, possibly only outdone by his AE 1 sneaker, which has been dubbed shoe of the year. In a sport where the footwear is as featured as the players are, Adidas saw this hype train leave the station faster than they’ve probably ever seen before.

Jordan Brand goes at Minnesota Timberwolves Anthony Edwards with Jayson Tatum ad campaign

For the duration of Anthony Edwards’ AE 1’s time in the spotlight, Adidas has run with the tagline “Believe That.” It is a phrase that Edwards himself has uttered postgame, and it has been on every piece of marketing material for the shoe. Jordan Brand’s response, with Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum winning the NBA championship, was very curious.

“Don’t Stop Disbelieving” seems to be a veiled shot at all of Anthony Edwards, his popular saying and his exploding shoe line. It’s hard to see Jordan’s shade attempt at first glance, but a look closer look makes it pretty clear and obvious.

In the commercial above, you’ll notice the original color of the billboard being redone is the exact same highlight pink/orange color as Adidas’ “CAN’T” billboard. Coincidence? Maybe if the background color to both were white. But in what generic world would Tatum’s ad be covering up a random billboard with the same exact pinkish/orange color as Ant’s?

Of course Jordan Brand has a sizable control of the market, and while neither of Tatum’s two shoe iterations have seen the level of popularity that Edwards’ AE 1 has, Jordan is clearly trying to capitalize on the moment and ride the coattails of Ant, and their biggest competitor (outside of their own parent company, Nike).

Related: Anthony Edwards’ Kicks Are Living in the Limelight

Of course a rift between Jordan Brand and Adidas is nothing new. Last year during the Footwear News Awards Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden took a shot before Jordan Brand chairman Larry Miller responded. The two juggernauts are very clearly battling this whole thing out for the world to see.

Anthony Edwards has more receipts to keep

Prior to Jordan Brand coming at Anthony Edwards and Adidas, it was a recent commercial that featured Edwards suggesting he kept the receipts. With another hater coming at him, how Edwards and Adidas use their marketing prowess in response remains to be seen.

It has been weeks since the last AE 1 dropped, but multiple different colorways, and a low version, were seen throughout the playoffs.

Related: Is ’24 Anthony Edwards ’84 Michael Jordan? If the Shoe Fits…

With Anthony Edwards on the Team USA roster for The Olympics, it stands to reason that Adidas will have more options trickling out to retailers soon, and there’s no reason that Edwards’ play won’t immediately draw in fans to grab the latest pairs as well.

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