Who? Jon Wexler
Where is he from? Chicago, Illinois
What does he do? Adidas Vice President Global Entertainment Influencer
The term “influencer” has been thrown around a lot lately with the rise of social media. An influencer is a person who has the power to influence the masses through social or traditional media if one has a massive following they have the ability to be a walking advertisement for brands. Companies are putting their products in the hands of influential people who kids want to be just like in efforts to increase their popularity and revenue. Jon Wexler is the guru of marketing and brand engagement and holds the title as Adidas Vice President Global Entertainment Influencer.
Sounds like the coolest job ever right? Product seeding and developing relationships with inclusive artists and entertainers and connecting them to the Adidas brand for successful endorsement deals. How does one maneuver their way into such a prominent position? The answer can be found in the title of a classic Drake song, “Started From The Bottom”, and now he’s here.
“We’ve all become instruments of our passion” – Jon Wexler
From his early adolescent years, Wexler was always obsessed with basketball, hip-hop, and sneakers. He began working at a sneaker shop when he was 16 years old and was the freshest hooping Jewish kid at his high school prom. He fell in love with hip-hop when he first heard “It’s Like That” by Run DMC and then began his journey as a DJ, to throwing concerts, to banging on Adidas doors for 3 years until they let him in.
3 years of rejection, persistence, and dedication.
No matter the circumstance, Wexler stuck to his guns to create the life he always imagined by permitting himself to fail and go through the struggle. He says that people who don’t give up will be the one’s who cut through. Utilize every moment and lesson from your past while moving forward:
Playing basketball in high school taught Wexler how to trust his instincts and accept his skills for where they were by understanding what he was good at and what his limitations were.
Throwing expensive concerts and not making any profit taught Wexler that he was truly passionate about the field and gave him the confidence that money could never buy. He was reassured that he was in it for the love of the culture and enjoyed every bit of the process, good and bad.
Being Ignored while trying to lock down an account with a buyer when working as an independent sales rep taught him how to get what he wants by any means necessary, even if that route is against protocol and has never been done that way before. Wexler went over the buyers head and called the VP of the company which ultimately led to a great deal. By taking a risk that his competition was not willing to take, he got that deal.
Tweeting confidential business information about a deal while he was working an entry level job at Adidas led to him being a known celebrity sneaker news source.
“If you know who you are, be who you are and permit yourself to fail”- Jon Wexler
We appreciate Wexler because his heart is in his business and it is shown by the way Adidas handles their relationships and deals with influencers. A deal with Adidas is like a partnership, and everyone is a big family able to have an input on decisions and express themselves authentically without fear of being dropped. It is rare find brands that don’t expect their influencers to walk on egg shells in efforts to protect an image, even though we all make mistakes.
“When you’re pioneering a movement you’ve got the mindset that you don’t have to be perfect to get other people to embrace you. You embrace your flaws and you manage through them, and through that, you inspire others to get on board.” – Jon Wexler
Wexler is living civilly behind the scenes of one of the most innovative sneaker companies of our time. Working with the likes of Big Sean, Pharrell, and Kanye West who says that Wexler saved his life by helping him put together the first Yeezy X Adidas deal that allowed Kanye to truly create. Without Wexler, Yeezy X Adidas would not exist and the door would still be shut for the billions of kids who have been inspired to chase their dreams as creatives. Wexler’s success has helped him, help others and that is the epitome of true success.