Nice Kicks: Why make the Crazy Light its own franchise as opposed to a signature shoe?
Robbie Fuller: With Derrick Rose or Dwight Howard shoes, I can?t go into those designs with an end goal idea; I have to go in with space so that it?s honest and inspired by the athlete. With this shoe it has to be a concept for the industry. How does it make the industry better? We?re going to improve the game of basketball. That?s the focus and only incentive with this shoes.
Nice Kicks: Lawrence, how does your background in basketball influence your creative process?
Lawrence Norman: It allows me to be selfish! (Laughs) I want to build something that helps my game. We did that before. I hated the ankle braces that I was wearing, the suede and the leather soaked up sweat. I wanted to create something that was better than that. So, I built an ankle brace that I thought would be relevant for me but also relevant for Derrick Rose. The selfish part is that as a basketball player I?m able to build products that are right for my game, but in general, it?s all about the 14 to 19 year old athlete and what drives them. Innovations like Crazy Light are exciting and humbling because you have an opportunity to make an athlete faster. In the bigger scheme of things you can make a whole group of athletes faster. Whether it?s a Revolution 30 NBA uniform or a Crazy Light shoe, you have a chance to make the game faster and increase scoring, dunks, more exciting plays. That?s the cool, humbling thing about being involved in this business.
Nice Kicks: What does being an innovation leader mean to adidas Basketball?
Lawrence Norman: Being an innovation leader means first of all listening a lot. You?ve got to listen to athletes. You?ve got to know what makes them tick, how can they be faster and better. We listen to athletes almost every day, every week for sure. Whether it?s a high school athlete, college athlete, Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard; we are constantly listening to them. Secondly, what are the most important things to them? Lightweight to us is the most important ratio. Everything we do across all the products we make, it?s got to be light. That?s had a big influence on our basketball category. We have a lot of momentum in the marketplace right now and I think a lot of it’s due with what we brought to life with the Crazy Light and now the Crazy Light 2.
Nice Kicks: Do you read the comment sections?
Lawrence Norman: I go on Nice Kicks. Sneaker blogs do matter a lot to me and a lot to us. This is real feedback from real consumers, so we do spend time there. It?s really important to learn from Nice Kicks and places like that. It?s a combination of a lot of insight from Nice Kicks, from consumers directly, from our NBA athletes, and from our own team. We balance all this feedback into solutions for the end consumer, which is the athlete. We take the feedback very seriously, but it?s fun. I was on Twitter a second ago looking at what you?re posting. It?s redeeming and it?s humbling because you have to take the good with the bad, but with the Crazy Light 2 it?s all been good. The feedback on Twitter is off the charts, both popular and positive right now. We?re off to a really good start.
Robbie Fuller: Online comments are awesome! I love them. We use them as the morning newspaper to check them and see what?s going on.
Nice Kicks: When designing the Crazy Light 2, did you account for casual crossover?
Lawrence Norman:?The off court element of the Crazy Light 2 is almost as important as the performance. The majority of basketball shoes are worn off the court anyways so the shoe has got to look great. Now that the Crazy Light 1 is established it?s easier to launch the Crazy Light 2. It looks faster, it has a really cool signature design element, the whole thing is fast and sleek, and the shoe will be worn off the court just as much as it’s worn on.
Robbie Fuller: Trends come and go, but winning is always cool. As long as you deliver the best, people are going to gravitate towards it. This can work its way off court because it?s the best at what it does.
Nice Kicks: The “Electricity” makeup is a standout. How did that colorway come about?
Robbie Fuller:?The ?Electricity? color spun off a conversation about trying to do the impossible again, like lightning striking twice. The Crazy Light 1 set the tone with the ?Sharp Blue? colorway. With every shoe from here on, we think about what?s going to be the disruptive color. Not necessarily the most commercial, but the most memorable.
Nice Kicks: How do you expect athletes to use miCoach with the Crazy Light 2?
Robbie Fuller:?We kicked it off with running and soccer and now we?re transitioning into basketball. I think it?s the future. When you?ve got the stats you can tweak and tune your game so that you?re more efficient.
Lawrence Norman:?What it does is it provides coaching to get you from point A to point B. We?re going to continue to improve this month by month because we really see the future in helping athletes be better, not just through the product but through the coaching elements as well.
The adidas adiZero Crazy Light 2 launches tomorrow at Foot Locker and Shop adidas.