You may well have seen the good people at Pro Direct Soccer posting images as video, looking back over the last 20 years of the adidas Predator.
A boot that has given so much to the game. From the sensational to the sublime. Gazza in Euro ’96 at Wembley or Beckham in those final seconds against Greece, taking England to Korea and Japan 2002.
History has been written by these oh so iconic and lethal boots.
The team at Pro Direct have created a wall of memories – a collection of all these moments, so carefully designed and curated. They are utterly stunning to the point where adidas are now using them to greet people in their offices.
I’m a massive fan of the collection, the people behind it are clearly a talented bunch. Pro Direct has an incredibly high standard of creative – you only need to sign up to their newsletter, follow them on facebook or twitter to see that.
Here are some of the images (and more) that they have been releasing across their social channels recently.
I have also been lucky enough to speak to Scott McRoy – the lead creative on this project. I couldn’t resist but fire a couple of questions his way…
The 12th Man: As a football fan – when a project like this comes up, where do you draw the inspiration from?
Here at Pro-Direct we see a high volume of brand assets through the studio on a day-to-day basis so have the opportunity to see which ones really resonate with the Pro-Direct consumer. The artwork PUMA produced when they announced Mario Balotelli as one of their athletes is a personal favourite.
There is a real movement toward football-related artwork at the moment-its really taken off! For this particular project I drew inspiration from street art, the paste up poster style of Obey with a bit of stenciling thrown in. To capture the adidas Predator release years we looked at print adverts from that period plus older adidas adverts. It was hard representing the earlier years as assets were not produced as frequently or in the same quantity as they are now, so we could really do what we wanted for those. As the piece progresses through time you will notice a few brand supplied assets sneak in.
The 12th Man: The adidas Predator Collection is iconic for so many reasons – what are your favourite Predators?
That’s a tough one…but it has to be the Accelerator. I loved them so much I had to get a summer job in a fish and chip shop just to be able to afford it. £120 for a twelve year old lad was a lot of money at the time but I simply HAD to have a pair! The 2002 adidas Predator Mania firm ground version is a very close second though. I still have a pair of Mania’s at home in the box but I’m too scared to wear them!
I will definitely be trying to get my hands on the re-releases when they come out because adidas have done such a great job modernising the iconic design.
The 12th Man: When you see Adidas running with the art work that you have helped create, that’s got to feel pretty good?
(worth noting that adidas never ran with this artwork for themselves externally – everything in the shop was Pro-Direct presenting the adidas Predator)
As Predator fans we knew when this project came up that we had the chance to deliver something out of the ordinary. With it being the 20th anniversary and knowing what adidas were planning with all the boot releases, in particular the re-releases, we wanted to produce something
that would do the adidas Predator series justice.
We worked collaboratively with the local and global adidas team throughout the entire creation/ production process to ensure the content complimented and aligned to the global communications whilst amplifying the brand story and fantastic heritage. It was great to see the Pro-Direct Digital content showcased as a permanent feature at adidas UK HQ covering a large majority of the reception area. It worked really well on a larger scale and it was very satisfying to know it had been so well received at adidas. Seeing the artwork in the window of our LDN19 store in Carnaby Street for the recent adidas Predator takeover was also pretty special.
The 12th Man: Is there a piece of artwork from this series of images that you are most proud of or fond of most for a particular reason?
My favorite is probably the Beckham 2001 image because it’s an iconic moment and one that resonates with any England fan. Most people will be able to recall where they watched that goal go in and Becks is a bit of a hero to everyone, isn’t he? The next one though would be the Zidane 1998 image. The composition works well and it’s a dynamic pose – one that he made look effortless at times!
Scott was kind enough to share an incredibly rare insight into artwork of this nature and a little behind the scenes as to what he and his team have been doing. Please enjoy, the construction behind the masterpiece – sketches that help demonstrate how these stunning murals started out.
What’s more – it looks like prints of these pieces may just be run on a very limited edition. Tasty eh:
A huge thanks to the team at Pro Direct Soccer firstly for their time in helping me showcase this but secondly for investing in the work itself. It speaks volumes and will be looked back on for years to come.
I urge you to check out their site, dedicated to the Predator collection. The latest boot being the Predator Instinct.
Even more pressing than that however, the much talked of re-issue of all these classic boots. How long have we craved for these most stunning boots to be back on our feet. So long is the answer.
It looks like we don’t have to wait much longer.