When Arizona Iced Tea posted on social media in 2019 to announce a New York popup that would sell Adidas sneakers at the same price as its iconic, 99-cent tall can, locals turned out in droves.
Unfortunately, as the throngs of eager consumers crowded sidewalks and fights broke out—according to Business Insider, two teenagers were taken to the hospital—the NYPD was forced to shut down the event before the popup even opened its doors.
A year and a half later, Adidas and Arizona have decided to reunite and release a second collection of themed footwear on Feb. 4. This time, however, they will do things a little differently.
“First of all, we aren’t selling the sneakers for 99 cents,” Arizona Beverages chief marketing officer Spencer Vultaggio told Sourcing Journal. Instead, the four new colorways, each on Adidas’ Superstar silhouette this time, will retail for $100. That’s just $15 above the model’s standard price, and well below that of some other specialty colorways.
Due to the pandemic ruling out an in-person experience, Vultaggio said Arizona also decided to pivot to a digital approach, with the sneakers available online only. The choice, he added, opens the collection up to a wider audience, giving more of the brand’s “loyal fans a chance to get their hands on these shoes.”
Each sneaker in the collection will come with a cherry blossom-laced pouch large enough to hold a $1 bill. Among the colorway designs will be a cherry blossom print, emulating Arizona’s classic can. Other colorways will include various symbols referencing the Adidas and Arizona brands, including an embroidery of the latter’s “Have an Iced Day” slogan.
Arizona’s 2019 collaboration with Adidas didn’t mark its first entry into the streetwear market. In 2018, the brand hosted the Great Buy 99 popup in New York City, where it sold a line of merch and limited-edition items. “Our fans were super excited, and it was a huge success all around,” Vultaggio said of the event.
Not long after, he said, Adidas reached out about collaborating. “It seemed like a natural fit given the synergies between the two brands,” he continued. “My brother [creative director Wesley Vultaggio] and I traveled to the Adidas headquarters in Germany to align with their design team on something that felt unique and fit the general Arizona aesthetic. Together we designed the sneakers for our first drop. Given the fanfare, I think they were very well-received.”
The original run of Arizona shoes included two silhouettes, Adidas’ Continental 80 and Yung-1, each in two silhouettes.
A week before Adidas debuts its four Arizona colorways, the footwear giant will drop the latest entry in its Ultraboost running line.
Featuring the brand’s new Linear Energy Push technology, the Ultraboost 21 includes stiffer, reinforced material in the midsole, increasing forefoot bending stiffness by 15 percent and delivering a more responsive stride, Adidas said. An exaggerated heel curve packs in 6 percent more Boost capsules than the Ultraboost 20, “providing runners with incredible energy return and comfort in every step,” it added.
The new design also helps Adidas further its goal of using sustainable materials in more than 60 percent of its products this year. The shoe’s upper is made with the company’s Primeblue fabric. Introduced last year, the material contains at least 50 percent ocean plastic.