If you don’t know who Nadeshot is, don’t worry; I had no idea who he is either. I was walking through the halls of adidas one day and happened to run into a colleague of mine who mentioned that he had recently sent shoes to Mr. Shot, also known as Matthew Haag. And not just any shoes. I’m talking about the NMD and Ultra Boost, two of the most coveted sneakers in the industry at the time. These were the type of products reserved for the most influential figures in sports and entertainment—shoes that I myself had a hard time getting my hands on as an employee! All this for a person I had never heard of.
The joke was on me, though. It turns out Nadeshot is kind of a big deal. Haag, born in 1992 and now retired, was an eSports champion. His preferred game: Call of Duty. Not exactly the type of celebrity I was used to. Even more surprising was the scale of celebrity we were dealing with. At the time he received his box full of shoes, Haag had more Twitter followers (1.8 million) than Julio Jones, Jeff Gordon, Jordan Spieth, and the New York Knicks.
If you’re an athlete reading this and wondering why your favorite shoe brand hasn’t been sending you the latest sneaker drops, check the Twitter tape. How many followers do you have? Martin Haag has 1.8 million people to thank for those shoes.
But, this instafame phenomenon doesn’t stop with Nadeshot. In fact there are several digital icons out there, with more emerging every day. Whether you know their names or not, this fresh-faced group represents the future of personal branding.
That’s more good news for you, because if this collection of talent can build instafame from scratch, imagine what you can do with the built-in influence and following that comes with being an athlete.