The fact that former NBA player Allen Iverson has a signature sneaker line that has reigned in popularity through different eras is impressive, to say the least.
Iverson is one of few elite athletes who have sustained a namesake line that has maintained interest among consumers over decades. His second Reebok shoe, the Answer DMX, celebrates its silver anniversary this year, Complex reported.
The shoe was last available in 2018 and, at that time, was Reebok’s follow-up to Iverson’s rookie-year model, the Question.
Both releases were designed by Scott Hewett, with the first shoe model name inspired by a nickname Iverson had before signing with Reebok.
A.I. definitely lived up to the hype surrounding him during his Rookie year and gave Reebok a built-in marketing plan.
Known for his infamous crossover and pregame style way before tunnel fits became a thing, Iverson shook up the league by bringing new, youthful energy both on and off the court.
There are several reasons Iverson’s signature shoes have stood the test of time. For one, Iverson, who has been dubbed one of the league’s most influential players of all time, had people copying not only his dribble moves but also his cornrows and his sneakers.
Hewitt’s designs, which go from the Question through the Answer 7, also played a significant part, as the designs managed to debut massively while also re-creating magic time and time again.
Matt O’Brien, who is the director of product storytelling and marketing at Reebok, says Iverson is still involved in the process, working with the brand on the product, communication strategies, seasonal launch plans, and brand activations which could be the number one reason the line as sustained.
“Anniversaries have been a big part of validating why we’re rereleasing a product,” O’Brien says. “They can help OG consumers connect with nostalgic feelings while educating new consumers and offering them a piece of history. We also build our release strategies around market trends, global cultural events, and on-court moments. That last pillar has been especially important to our retro-centric release strategy—meaningful moments in sport and sneakers with which Reebok is authentically connected help to validate the product.”
The Answer DMX is back on the shelves for the first time in four years, and the “Blue Toe” Question Mid will return this weekend.
As for people still chasing his shoes 25 years later, Iverson said: “It’s surreal. It was surreal to see people wearing the shoe back in ’96, and it’s surreal to see people wearing it today. That feeling hasn’t changed. And it’s kids and OGs and everyone. I give props to Reebok for always supporting me and telling my story to the next generation coming up. As for the ‘Blue Toe,’ that’s such a smooth shoe. It’s almost like the ‘Red Toe’s’ alter ego—the other side of a super hero’s uniform. It looks really good, and shoes like that last forever.”