The adidas Speedfactory AM4 has become the canvas for all kinds of special edition Three Stripes releases. This month, the brand is celebrating the great Billie Jean King with a limited run of bright blue sneakers dubbed the AM4BJK.
The adidas Speedfactory program is one of the most innovative means of production ever. The facilities are made to design, prototype, and produce new shoes in a matter of months, an unheard of number for the shoe industry. This month, adidas is utilizing their futuristic facility for another limited edition release, this time honoring tennis great Billie Jean King with a bold blue AM4.
Billie Jean King’s new adidas AM4 is made to commemorate one of the greatest moments in tennis history. King’s competitive days began in 1959, and she quickly began racking up wins and dominating tournaments around the world. By 1973, BJK was a star, holding the crown of No. 1 women’s tennis player in the world for the fifth year running. Around this time, male tennis legend Bobby Riggs had established himself as a tennis “hustler” playing exhibition matches for money. Riggs had taunted that the men’s game was more superior to women’s, and at the age of 55, he could beat the best female players in the world. He first petitioned Billie Jean King to play him but she refused, and Margaret Court stepped up the challenge instead. Court lost quickly, prompting King to reconsider the challenge knowing that “it would set us back 50 years if I didn’t win that match”. Soon, the “Battle of the Sexes” was set for September 1973 in Houston, Texas.
The tennis event of the century brought in an unprecedented amount of viewership for the sport. With a winner-take-all $100,000 prize on the line, there was a lot at stake for both athletes. Billie Jean King, 29 years old at the time, initially fell behind in the first set before coming back to win three straight, taking the match in glorious fashion. Riggs was forced to drop his casual demeanor midway through the match, leading to a much more intense finish. After the win, King was famously quoted as saying “To beat a 55-year-old man was no thrill for me. The thrill was exposing a lot of new people to tennis”. This love for sports was shared by the same brand who made the bright blue sneaker she wore that day and is now honoring the fateful event 45 years later.
The new adidas Speedfactory AM4BJK features a very similar look to the blue suede adidas King wore in 1973. The Primeknit upper of the AM4 is bathed in bright blue tone, with deeper accents around the heel and eyestay. The laces and signature three sidewall stripes come in white stand out from the bolder blue. The tongue labels feature adidas’ classic blocked branding, featuring Billie Jean King’s face, and a special # of 300 decals to mark their limited numbers.
ADIDAS SPEEDFACTORY AM4 BILLIE JEAN KING RELEASE INFORMATION
The new adidas SpeedFactory AM4BJK honoring the great Billie Jean King is scheduled to drop on August 27th, 2018. Releasing in extremely limited numbers, the shoe will retail for $200 from adidas NYC, adidas.com, and the US Open Store in New York. Check out the mock-up images from the site below, and stay tuned to JustFreshKicks for more adidas Speedfactory release news.
adidas Speedfactory AM4BJK
Release Date: August 27, 2018
Color: Blue/Cloud White/Shock Blue
Style Code: EF2967
Words by Ben Serleth, images via adidas.