Fresh off signing a $100 million extension with shoe company Adidas, Damian Lillard unveiled his debut signature shoe line on February 6, 2015, right in the middle of his 3rd NBA season.
Although the shoe line hardly influenced the season, it was an essential step toward national stardom for Portland's rising son, the latest in a line of events marking Lillard's transition from local hero to national name brand.
Adidas' 2013 "Quick Ain't Fair" campaign made Lillard a peer to East Coast stars John Wall and Derrick Rose.
An even larger push came after Lillard's series-winning shot against Houston Rockets in the 2014 playoffs. This summer he began advertising the new Adidas Boost technology.
When signature shoe time finally arrived, the line embodied many of Lillard's characteristics. Adidas pasted "DAME" on the tongue with a #4BarFriday verse printed on each sole. Selling them at a relatively affordable price of $105 implied how much Lillard loves the fans. That connection was strengthened as Dame held events for his fans, giving away D Lillard 1s.
The fasting selling D Lillard 1's were the Florist City editions inspired by Rose City, selling out within minutes on Adidas.com and within an hour on footlocker.com. Following Lillard's second consecutive All-Star selection, Adidas unveiled an All-Star variation. They also provided an option to create your own design, rivaling Nike ID.
As a fan, I love seeing a local superstar getting national exposure like this. Other Trail Blazers stars such as Brandon Roy and Lamarcus Aldridge never received this level of love from their respective shoe companies. It's another way in which Damian Lillard has proved himself singular.