Nike Laces Up Three Ways to Rule the Court

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Nike "Uptempo, Flight, Force"
What kind of baller are you? Recognizing that basketball players come in three distinct styles, Nike tapped agency AKQA to roll out an interactive campaign centered on the sneaker giant's three main b-ball product lines: Force, Flight and Uptempo. "The Force players are those who reign over the paint, the Flight players are those who defy gravity and the Uptempo players are those who dictate the pace," explains AKQA global creative director Rei Inamoto. "Through Nike players like Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter and Elton Brand, the campaign informs consumers about these Three Laws of Basketball."

Initially launched in Asia Pacific with a European rollout scheduled for the first quarter of 2006, the campaign kicked off with a fantasy tournament conducted via email, which called on fans to vote for their favorite superstar players from different eras. This was followed by the launch of the website, which utilizes integrated video and 3D animations of sneakers on the move to showcase Nike's latest basketball footwear. "The technical challenge was to keep the site experience smooth and efficient while pushing the bandwidth boundary," says Inamoto. "We wanted to use video in a way that wasn't a typical 'video player,' but a much more experiential approach where video is seamlessly integrated into the site. And the animations of the shoes, which are to be used as TV spots in Asia, were mixed in to portray the Three Laws in a different light."

Visitors to the site can also download wallpapers, IM icons and blog avatars, as well as take a trip down memory lane with colorful retrospective timelines that recall Nike and the NBA's joint history. The final phase of the campaign, an interactive card collecting game dubbed "Rule the Court" in which players collect over 30 exclusive Nike player cards by testing their skills against the Hoopsbot Super Computer, will be unveiled in the coming months.
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