By  on February 20, 2018

LOS ANGELES — At the second edition of ComplexCon, which took place last November in Long Beach, Calif., Nike was the fan favorite. Its programing, brand activations and storytelling was interactive and impactful. The brand hosted talks between Kendrick Lamar and Kobe Bryant and set up an area were guests could customize a pair of white Air Force 1s alongside influencers and designers. It also didn’t hurt that it was fresh from releasing and seeding its well-received The 10 collaboration with Off-White’s Virgil Abloh. Based on talks and the overall mood, there seemed to be a marked shift in brand sentiment from the first ComplexCon in 2016 where Adidas was the “winner.”

Adidas must have taken notes. For NBA All Star Weekend, which was held last weekend in Los Angeles, the company made a much larger push to align itself with basketball and the U.S. market. It set up the 747 Warehouse, which was essentially a two-day festival that featured musical performances from artists including N.E.R.D. and Lil Uzi Vert, and experiential brand spaces that brought to life its partnerships with Y-3, Parley, an organization that advocates for ocean preservation, Alexander Wang, Bape and Pharrell Williams, who designed a Human Race basketball court. In an attempt to democratize access, Adidas didn’t sell tickets but instead invited guests to apply for admission — the company received 500,000 applicants and 20,000 were able to get in.

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