NBA Star Anthony Davis Chips In on Designing a Sneaker as Ruffles’ Creative Partner

Athlete's new shoe uses the colors of the snack's packaging

Anthony Davis introduced a Ruffles-inspired shoe, dubbed The Ruffles Ridge Tops.
Trent Joaquin for Adweek

At a press event today at the NBA Store in New York City, Ruffles, the potato chip brand, announced that it’s entered a “Chip Deal” with reportedly the newest member of the Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony Davis, “to develop bold new products and transformational fan experiences.”  

Who knew potato chips could be so filled with corporate-speak?

The six-time NBA All-Star will serve as a creative partner to the PepsiCo brand, and also introduced a Ruffles-inspired shoe, dubbed The Ruffles Ridge Tops, in collaboration with Nike and luxury shoemaker Dominic “The Shoe Surgeon” Chambrone. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but when asked by Adweek if he gets paid in cash or potato chips, Davis, whose favorite Ruffles flavor is cheddar and sour cream, said, “both.”

Davis, during a Q&A with Mike McCarthy of Front Office Sports, said that when it comes to brands that he partners with (other companies he’s worked with: Red Bull, Saks, Foot Locker, Nike), he likes “to be involved and have input.”

“The beauty of a partnership like The Chip Deal is in merging the relationships and resources of two brands—Ruffles and AD—in new and surprising ways,” said Sadira Furlow, Frito-Lay North America’s vp of marketing. “From day one, AD matched our team with his own energy, ideas and contacts—including this collaboration with Nike, which is an iconic brand that believes in AD and supports his pursuits on and off the court.”

The kicks use the colors of the Ruffles packaging and were designed with a ribbed accent near the heel of the shoe, in a nod to what the company says is the “experience of opening a Ruffles bag and the silhouette of the ridged chip.”

And to really lean into the chip/sneaker crossover, the shoe also includes “Shoetrition Facts” that include the materials in the shoe.   

Starting next week, and going through August 4, fans that buy Ruffles and enter the code on the back can win different kinds of prizes, with the grand prize being the Ruffles-and-Davis-crafted sneakers.

As Davis’s star continues to rise, it’s not hard to see more sponsorship opportunities coming his way.

“We are certainly proud to be the brand that has welcomed AD into the PepsiCo family with the first-ever Chip Deal, and, given not only what a tremendous athlete he is, but also what a collaborative partner he’s been, we wouldn’t be surprised to see other brands look for ways to work with him, as well,” Furlow said.