Etonic x Hakeem Olajuwon – ‘The Dream’ Team
Former NBA star Hakeem Olajuwon has teamed up with US trainer brand Etonic to re-issue his trademark Akeem the Dream basketball shoe, thirty years after first striking the sponsorship deal.
The launch is part of a “multi-year partnership” signed by Olajuwon to re-unite the 51-year-old with his original designs.
Known as Akeem in his competitive years, Olajuwon lead the Houston Rockets to back-to-back championships in the 1990s. In 2008, five years after retiring, he was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Etonic, a company best known for producing golf and running shoes, was the Nigerian-born, later American, athlete’s first sponsor in 1984.
The initial collaboration saw the release of Olajuwon’s own personalised shoe, the Akeem the Dream trainer.
Speaking on the restored partnership, Olajuwon said: “When I became the Etonic Brand Ambassador during my rookie year, Etonic was fresh and new in the basketball arena. It’s been my ambition to continue my brand in the footwear and apparel industry.”
Teaming back up with Etonic is a natural progression for me,” he added.
Images released show the trainer in three colour ways: red, white and black. The red and white versions both feature a red sole, while the white model also carries accents of yellow. Akeem’s name is known to be on the tongue, with the Etonic logo sitting on the side.
Etonic has confirmed the new deal includes Olajuwon working on the development of a basketball division, to be housed under the American firm, named Brand Dream.
The former design director of Nike’s Jordan brand, D’Wayne Edwards, has been brought in to work with two-time NBA champion on the new line.
The Akeem The Dream trainer will be available from July via the Etonic website, Oi-Polloi and FootPatrol.
While the trainers will be on sale in the UK, a price is yet to be announced. US stores plan to retail the shoes between $75-$120, meaning the UK price could start from £45.