Is Drake a Secret Scorpion of the Kicks Game?

Say what you will about Drizzy, but a low-key sneaker selfie could be worth millions. Beyond the new album and the thirsty fandom, what's up with that shoe-deal flirtation? Part of the B/R POWER 50 Shake It Up list.
photo of Giancarlo Ferrari-KingGiancarlo Ferrari-King@@GiancarloKingFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2018

Aubrey Graham, Drizzy, Champagne Papi, Wheelchair Jimmy. Drake has many names, but he remains incomparable when it comes to his ability to shift the paradigm of sports and music.

An almost prodigal level of self-awareness tends to put Drake at the center of pop culture's biggest moments. (See: his hit summer single, "Nice for What.") Fans love and respect Drake's everywhereness, despite naysayers rolling their eyes, pushing to conquer his throne. Drake's public life has become a part of ours.

No matter how you feel, the facts are clear and present: Drake creates waves. It's what he does. Sometimes we are caught riding the wave, as the #InMyFeelings challenge has so joyously displayed this summer alongside Scorpion. Other times, it's Drake himself who gets caught swimming against the tide—hello, Pusha T!

But Drake doesn't stop with music: He'll risk a beatdown while putting on for his hometown Toronto Raptors, or pop up to support to his friend Serena Williams during her Wimbledon run.

His most direct leap into the business of sports culture, though, started in 2013, when when he began a partnership between OVO—his homegrown apparel and lifestyle venture—and Jordan Brand, the Nike subsidiary.

Five years later, on the brink of contract renegotiations with Nike, the Toronto MC flipped the script by sparking a carefully constructed flirtation with Adidas.

Drake used Instagram like a weapon, posting photos of himself wearing Adidas kicks and gear to turn the internet on its head once again. Had the swoosh just lost its most influential non-athlete? Had Drake already left Nike?

@champagnepapi/Instagram

If a picture is worth a thousand words, that batch of Adidas pics from March could represent millions.

This all comes at a pivotal time for Nike, which has reigned over its rival for years—but Adidas brand sales in North America have shot up 21 percent as of May 2018, while Nike declined by 6 percent, according to Matt Powell of the NPD Group.

Drake has more than 43 million Instagram followers, and his bidding war has his comments section more lit up with sneakerheads than in the middle of a Pusha T tirade. And that's where Drake himself said it best: "They'd rather run on me than towards they goals." Like it or not, it's Drizzy's world—we're just a part of it.

Giancarlo Ferrari King is a freelance writer for B/R Kicks. Follow him on Twitter: @GiancarloKing


Check out more groundbreakers on the B/R POWER 50 Shake It Up list:

1. Meek Mill
2. FaZe Clan
3. Katie Sowers
4. Drake
5. Lamar Jackson
6. Rachel DeMita
7. UMBC
8. KSI
9. Michael Rubin
10. Darius Bazley

Explore the B/R POWER 50, a list of the most influential people in sports culture right now >>

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