Billie Jean King has already made her mark on history--but now, she's making her mark on your shoes.
The 39 Grand Slam-winning tennis icon is at the center of adidas' unusual U.S. Open campaign in which the athletic giant will transform any kicks--whether they're adidas, Nike, Reebok, Puma or Louis Vuitton--into King's blue three-striped trainers--an homage to the shoes she wore during her historic "Battle of the Sexes" against Bobby Riggs at the Houston Astrodome 45 years ago.
The activation created out of TBWA/Chiat/Day New York is part of adidas' broader "Here to Create Change" platform and is taking place today at the Flushing Meadows adidas store. There, consumers can walk in and get their shoes a BJK makeover for free at the hands of artists using stencils and spray paint. There will also be already BJK-revamped Stan Smiths, Barricades and NMDs available for purchase, at $100, $120 and $140 respectively. If you want to pay for the "real" thing, adidas has also released a limited-edition Billie Jean King Speedfactory suede sneaker, the AM4BJK, for $200 a pair-- a more accurate clone of the pair she wore at the Astrodome decades ago.
Billie Jean King herself stars in a teaser being shared on social media to promote the event. In it, she wears a badass bright green adidas tracksuit as she spraypaints a pile of sneakers with a cosmic blue color. She'll also be making her way to the adidas store at Flushing Meadows at 3:30 PM EST to sign the made-over shoes.
The effort is also part of adidas' Women's Equality Day efforts, which also includes a film directed by Doug Liman highlighting the lack of representation or female athletes in the media. The spot showcases powerful women on various playing fields--on the courts, in the pool, and in the ring, and notes how women only make up about 4% of the athletes that are shown on mass media.