adidas Originals Harden Launch

Launching the Next Chapter in Adidas Basketball



In early 2021, Adidas Basketball launched a new technology— and in the process, ushered in a daring new era in performance through the brand’s biggest basketball star, James Harden.

Not only did this launch feature an all-new silhouette, The Harden Vol. 5, but it also introduced the brand’s newest technology: Futurenatural, which is primed to change the landscape of the space.

Due to the unique nature of this launch, Code and Theory was tapped to skillfully deploy distinct messages across the digital campaign ecosystem in a cohesive manner. Based on the unique purpose and audience of each touchpoint, the narrative would slightly shift and scale to highlight either the technology, the fashion, or the talent behind the product.

Through a combination of on- and off-foot photography, technical illustrations, and longer form video content, Code and Theory was able to introduce a new proprietary technology by Adidas through their biggest Basketball star—all while grounding the digital experience in consumer-first e-comm needs.

Harden Overview1


Storytelling Ecosystem

The interconnected story between James Harden, Futurenatural, and The Harden Vol. 5 was purposefully deployed across the ecosystem—leveraging a variety of formats and parsing out conversion touchpoints from storytelling-led ones.

Harden In Room 2 1


Innovative Tech

As Adidas’s newest and most revolutionary piece of technology, Futurenatural was put at the forefront of the campaign narrative. The technology story was told by both literally and figuratively breaking down The Harden Vol. 5—showing how the Futurenatural shoe mold worked together with other Adidas technology, like Boost, to create the lightest, most responsive basketball shoe on the market.

Harden In Room 2


Brand Love

With a goal of generating positive sentiment for the Harden brand within Adidas Basketball, Harden’s story was told through the lens of the Futurenatural technology. By drawing a connection between the shoe’s design and Harden’s skills on the court, consumers had a new appreciation for the athlete’s commitment to being “one step ahead.”

Harden In Room 1



Within 24 hours, the shoe completely sold out in US markets.

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