Football, fashion and urban youth culture. Sports Tonight would only claim to know much about one of these particular subjects, which is why we looked like fish out of water at the launch of Adidas Football’s brand new Nemeziz boot in London.
As the kit sponsors for Champions League finalists Real Madrid and Juventus, Adidas have a major stake in the summit of world football. But it’s a relationship that runs far deeper than product placement and logos on shirts. Adidas are invested in the culture of football, and by extension a wider youth culture that they play an influential role in shaping.
The Nemeziz launch at the Printworks in central London provided a good opportunity for anyone over the age of 30 to realise exactly how out of touch they had become. That being us. Traditional media is an endangered species at these type of events, and the guestlist was a ‘who’s who’ of social influencers, YouTubers, gamers and popular digital platforms.
While the popular F2 Freestylers showed off their skills in the ‘cage’, American rapper Desiigner performed on the decks and a clutch of current stars were on hand for interviews, including Man United duo Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard, as well as Bayer Leverkusen’s Hakan Calhanoghlu and RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner.
Sports Tonight caught up with Herrera to find out his thoughts on Man United’s season and we started by asking him about the prospect of taking over as captain with uncertainty hanging over Wayne Rooney’s future at the club:
And while he wouldn’t be drawn on a comparison between current manager Jose Mourinho and previous incumbent Louis van Gaal, he did praise the impact that the Portuguese has had in his first season in charge:
The former Athletic Bilbao player also had some positive words for old boss Ernesto Valverde, who has succeeded Luis Enrique as Barcelona boss:
In the business of football, powerful brands like Adidas are seizing an ever-increasing slice of the narrative. This is perhaps best demonstrated by the Pogba transfer, which saw Adidas and the artist Stormzy at the very heart of how the story was broken and then delivered. Sports Tonight sat down with Sam Handy, the VP of Design for Adidas Football to find out how the company has successfully entrenched itself in the urban culture of football.
We also witnessed a memorable Champions League final in Cardiff as guests of Adidas, in which Real Madrid added to their illustrious history with a 12th European Cup title. A sumptuous second half performance saw Los Blancos defeat Juventus 4-1 and with Cristiano Ronaldo bagging two of the goals, a fifth Ballon D’Or crown to tie him with Lionel Messi seems all but certain.