Simply a Slam Dunk | adidas Harden Vol. 2

HOW In-House Design Awards 2018 Outstanding Award Winner!

CATEGORY Sports

COMPANY adidas  

WHAT WE LOVE “Nice take on sports/athlete/product branding. Modern and clean design. If I could do two Best in Show awards this one would be it.”


See all the winners of the HOW In-House Design Awards 2018 in our Winner Galleries!

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When branding the Harden Vol. 2 shoe, adidas wanted to build off the momentum and success of its Harden Vol. 1 campaign and basketball star James Harden’s MVP season. The sports/sports lifestyle company also aimed to create excitement for customers and communicate what makes Harden one of the best players in the NBA: his ability to start, stop and change directions. “It is our continued challenge to develop a creative direction for James, rethink traditional storytelling across multiple channels and deliver from a different perspective,” says adidas design director Mark Dayao.

Pivot Points

“We needed to have solutions for how we could cut through the noise and stand out from the competition at all communication touchpoints (retail, social, digital and events),” Dayao says. “Ultimately, we always want to connect to the consumer with immediacy and provoke feeling.”

The project had a very tight turnaround—and some challenges. Harden was in the middle of the season, and locking down his availability for a photo shoot proved to be difficult. Product availability, shortened timelines and hard deadlines come with the territory, but Dayao says his team welcomed the challenge and, in the end, turned it into motivation to meet their goal of on-time delivery at the highest level. The Harden Vol. 2 branding continues to set the standard and push how adidas basketball looks, feels and sounds.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

“My favorite thing about this project, and all projects, is the creativity, collaboration and confidence the team displayed to get to the final outcome,” Dayao says. “There were a lot of people involved in pushing to make this project a success, and without everyone collectively working together toward the same goal, the final outcome would have never happened at such a high level.”


This project won the Outstanding Achievement Award in the Sports Category of the HOW In-House Design Awards for 2018. 

Harden Vol. 2

adidas, Global Brand Design, Portland, OR; www.adidas.com: Eric Vellozzi, Mark Dayao, Jonah Nolde, Ryan Schroeder, Damien Webb, Ed Baigrie, Chris Erickson, Matt Locascio, Paul Yih, Atiba Jefferson, Shaun Mendiola, Matt Taylor, David Emmite, Brian Hamilton, Jake Cham, Bridget Zadoff, Kamp Grizzly, Starch Creative (creative team)

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