The original show was produced by Wieden & Kennedy Entertainment and @radical.media, and the two entities are believed to be involved in the development of the series. A Nike spokesman in its Beaverton, Ore., headquarters had no comment while an MTV spokeswoman couldn't confirm the deal. According to insiders, the client mulled the pros and cons of a second iteration for quite a while before deciding to go ahead with the series this summer.
%%PULLQUOTE_RIGHT%% The original special, which Nike reports did well in the elusive 18-24 male demo, premiered on MTV on Sept.7, 2003, followed by additional airings on MTV and sister Viacom networks MTV2 and BET. It has also aired recently on New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner's YES cable network.
"Battlegrounds" charted Nike's street-basketball tournament, capped by the championship game last summer in New York. The format consisted of short one-on-one half-court games played in caged courts. Nike had 32 of the best players compete in six cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington and Toronto. Winners of the city finals earned $10,000, with an additional $25,000 going to the ultimate Battleground King. The special offered an intimate look at urban culture through the eyes of the competitors.