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Category > History > Page Uploaded: 01/04/15

Adidas Streetball: basketball tournament that inspired the creation of a sneaker (1992)

Adidas Streetball is a basketball tournament that comprises three-on-three 'fair play' teams. The first Adidas Streetball tournament was held in Germany - on the 22nd and 23rd of August 1992 - and featured 365 teams. Adidas funded the entirety of the tournament: purchasing the equipment, creating the venues, and inventing the rules. Adidas Streetball was launched at a time when 'street' basketball tournaments were at the peak of their popularity. Basketball was a growing sport in Germany in the early 1990's; aided by the victory of Germany at the 1993 European Championship. The most iconic German basketball player of this era was Detlef Schrempf: who played for the Seattle Supersonics.

Streetball tournament that was held in 2013, in a city within the country of Croatia. The streetball tournament, inspired the creation of the hitop sneaker, ideal for playing street basketball. Streetball basketball released to celebrate twenty years of the tournament being in operation.

In the mid-1990's, Basketball was becoming a global sport: the Michael Jordan inspired Chicago Bulls, and the American 'Dreamteam' of the 1992 Olympic Games, had stirred an interest in the sport in countries that had previously ignored it. In 1993, the movie 'White Men Can't Jump' was released: the movie was based around street basketball players, and was one of the first Hollywood movies to feature a street basketball tournament. Adidas Streetball was an attempt to reposition and remarket the Adidas brand to a younger generation; 'hawking' back to their popularity amongst urban youth subcultures of the 1980's.

Due to the popularity of the first Adidas Streetball tournament in Germany, Adidas launched the tournament globally by 1995. Adidas Streetball tournaments have since been held in: England, Russia, Hong Kong, Spain, France, Italy and the United States. To capitalise on the popularity of the Streetball tournament, Adidas released the Streetball hi-top sneaker (shown below) and a basketball (shown above) to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the tournament. Adidas Streetball has been immensely successful: the event has been held every year for over twenty years, and continues to market the Adidas brand to a new generation of teenagers and young adults.