Adidas enlists Jedi master Yoda to fight recession

Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:18am EST
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FRANKFURT (Reuters Life!) - As the global crisis weighs heavy on consumers' shoulders, sportswear-maker Adidas plans to use "The Force" to fight recession and battle rivals, Puma and Nike.

The world's No. 2 sports goods maker behind Nike launched its first Star Wars collection -- featuring Princess Leia sneakers, Darth Vader jackets with an attachable cape, as well as stormtrooper track tops -- earlier this month in New York, backed by one of its biggest fans, hip hop singer Snoop Dogg.

"There is no specific reason behind the actual time and date," said Dean Lokes, global head of Adidas Core Originals, which is part of the Adidas empire.

"It is more that a vision became reality as the actual idea to work with Star Wars had been brainstormed many times before inside other plans," he added.

The launch comes 33 years after George Lucas's "Star Wars" hit the cinema screens. The first film in the Star Wars franchise mesmerized millions of fans around the world and has raised billions in revenues as a result.

And it comes as the world crawls out of the worst recession in decades, which has left many people out of work and with growing concerns about the future.

"Star Wars is about hope," said Howard Roffman, president of Lucas Licensing of Lucasfilm. "It embraces the idea that one person can make a difference. It is a vehicle for personal empowerment."

It costs about $200 to be empowered by a Star Wars Famous Scenes Micropacer shoe -- which has a "good and evil" microprocessor underneath the lace cover that calculates time, distance and speed -- or $125 for a Yoda Boat shoe.

Fans are rushing to get their share of the 28 piece spring/summer collection, with another collection to come out later this year.   Continued...

<p>Onlookers take photos of people dressed as Star Wars characters as they walk down a sidewalk on Orchard Road in Singapore December 20, 2009. Some 30 characters, including a Darth Vader and storm troopers, walked around the popular shopping district as part of a publicity stunt for Adidas. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash</p>