Dennis Rodman is often called the ‘wild child of the NBA’ but I like to think he was just ahead of his time. Colored hair, tattoos, living the life he wants to live, zero f*cks given? Sounds like a SoundCloud rapper just a couple decades ahead of SoundCloud. Rodman’s second signature model with Converse, the Converse All-Star Rodman from 1997, embodied Dennis Rodman’s rebellious nature quite literally. Converse looked to Rodman’s tattoos and instead of being scared of them like most of society at the time, they embraced them. Converse incorporated Dennis’ sun-inspired tattoo from his shoulder onto the ankle of the All-Star Rodman. In fact, they ran print ads that spoke directly to me (and every other kid that wanted to be different!) with the statement “Stay True,” also the name of one of my favorite Tupac tracks from the Thuglife Vol. 1 album, which I’m listening to as I type this. This vintage sneaker ad also stood out because it said more by saying less. The image of the Converse AS Rodman being held up top by Dennis, and the subtle imagery of his tattoo on his shoulder, with little else to distract you from the message, will always be one of my favorite advertisements from the late ’90s. Of course, the variation with Dennis Rodman’s 4 NBA championship rings, was another version that inspired the kids to win.
Nick Engvall is a sneaker enthusiast with over 15 years of experience in the footwear business. He has written for publications such as Complex, Sole Collector, and Sneaker News, helped companies like Eastbay, Finish Line, Foot Locker, StockX, and Stadium Goods better connect with their consumers, has an addiction to burritos and Sour Patch Kids, and owns way too many shoes for his own good.