Sport and Fashion
Sports are making people famous and were always connected to clothing. Part of clothing is design. So, what you get, when you have famous person, design, clothing and money from sponsors at the same place? Fashion.
Also sportsmen need better and better equipment, so brands are trying to improve their product. And non-professional sportsmen want to wear what their idols wear, so they buy their products. Looking fresh is part of being famous and sports today are just some kind of theatre, so everyone needs nice costume. Nicer and more successful it gets, more people want to be part of it, so you can find reference in movies, songs, art, books etc.
Probably the most known and the best selling collaboration between a sportsman and the brand is Air Jordan. At one side, there is sport (and fashion) clothing gigant Nike, the biggest apparel company on the earth, on the second side stands a man, who has never ended else then first, the basketball legend, the number 23, Michael Jordan.
In the season of 1985, his first signature silhouette dropped and it caused total madness. Just 22 years old player paid 10k$ fee for every match he played in these, because the colors didn't follow NBA dressing rules, but Nike just paid and paid, because AJ brand was still in very profitable. Those shoes, Air Jordan 1 in black and red colorway were later nicknamed Banned in reference for that fee. From 1985 till today, there is just in main collection 33 shades and most of them are still being made, no exception for AJ1. Want a proof? I'm rocking a pair of them right now.