Yesterday there was a minor meltdown on the internet because of this tweet and these images.
Congrats to Runtown for becoming Africa’s first Adidas Ambassador. pic.twitter.com/Eg5Zm7IaNP
— Adenike (@morenikeJI75) April 14, 2016
Before long, it had gotten picked up by Nigerian gossip blogs eager to cash in on any celebrity buzz. In minutes people were tweeting congratulations to Runtown, a Nigerian afropop musician who has recently gained some international exposure after collaborating with DJ and Music producer, Diplo. On the surface, it seemed like a natural progression. And of course, the tweet was supported by images of the singer all swaddled in Adidas, to further buttress the point.
But we smelt a rat.
It didn’t seem logical that an international brand like Adidas would sign a Nigerian ambassador and not put out a proper press statement to announce such a collaboration. Many of the fashion and athleisure brands are looking to Africa as a new source of untapped revenue and rival althleisure brand Puma has practically dominated the South African market, sponsoring many high profile fashion weeks and working with many bloggers in the country. Even here in Nigeria, Wrangler and Levi’s have had parties and launch campaigns to announce their entry into the Nigerian accessible fashion lines. It didn’t make sense.
As of today, it has been confirmed that Runtown is actually not an Adidas ambassador (at least not yet.)
The silver lining in this PR nightmare is this though, it has proven that Nigerian consumers really want an ambassador to represent their favorite brands. There is a demand for people that Nigerians can relate to, to incentivize them into spending their hard earned money. Somewhere in Nigeria, people want to dress like Runtown and Wizkid and many of the other afro-pop stars that our entertainment industry churns out.
Someone needs to make this happen, ASAP.