Kobe Bryant is 'forever' in Nike's Mamba tribute

Film debuted at the Staples Center memorial in Los Angeles

Published On
Feb 24, 2020

Editor's Pick

There was an outpouring of love, grief and memories of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna at the Staples Center in Los Angeles this morning. Their wife and mother Vanessa Bryant took the podium along with a host of basketball world icons and celebrities, including Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Jimmy Kimmel, Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka and WNBA player Diana Taurasi. 

Nike also stepped in to offer its own tribute in the form of a video that ran on the screens above the crowd before Jordan took his turn to speak. The simple film uses plain white text against a black background to recall Bryant’s illustrious career, framed around a single word: “Forever.” 

In a style reminiscent of The New York Times’ “Truth” campaign, the copy changes around that single word to chart the various stages of Bryant’s life: “Philly Kid Forever ... Lower Merion Forever (recalling his famed high school years) ... Laker Forever.” Sound clips from his games and accomplishments over the years help to complement the visuals. 

The words even capture that low point in Bryant's career in 1997 when, as a rookie, he shot four different airballs during the Lakers’ face-off against the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference semifinals, and the team was eliminated after a 98-93 loss: “Airball Airball Airball Airball Forever.” 

But that turned out to be the moment when Bryant vowed to never falter again. The film then goes on to honor the Lakers’ three-peat (“2001… 2002… 2003 Forever”);  Bryant’s Olympic championships (“Team USA Forever”) and 81-point game, his Oscar win and his post-retirement moves and life outside of basketball as “Coach,” “Father,” “Husband Forever." It culminates with a final line honoring the fighter persona that defined his life and career: “Mamba Forever," with "Mamba" rendered in Lakers' gold. 

Nike's agency Wieden + Kennedy Portland was behind the film, with editing and sound out of Joint. 


Feb 24, 2020
Client :
Agency :
Wieden & Kennedy-Portland
Executive Creative Director :
Jason Bagley
Executive Creative Director :
Eric Baldwin
Creative Director :
Alberto Ponte
Creative Director :
Ryan O’Rourke
Copywriter / Art Director :
Guilherme Souza
Copywriter / Art Director :
Emma Barnett
Head of Production :
Matt Hunnicutt
Executive Producer :
Jake Grand
Producer :
Antonio Burnett
Director of Business Affairs :
Amber Lavender
Business Affairs Manager :
Laura Caldwell
Business Affairs Manager :
Maggie Harasyn
Group Brand Director :
Andre Gustavo
Brand Director :
Erik Wade
Brand Executive :
Jon Vaughan
Media Director :
Reme DeBisschop
Communications Planning Supervisor :
Ryan Craven
Communications Planning Supervisor :
Kallie Tenzeldam
Design Ops Manager/Design Producer :
Alicia Kuna
Studio Designer :
Mitch Wilson
Editorial :
Joint Editorial
Editor :
Steve Sprinkel
Assistant Editor :
Kevin Alfoldy
Post Executive Producer :
Jen Milano
Flame :
Kevin Alfoldy
VFX Executive Producer :
Bugs Russell
VFX Producer :
Annie Rosick
Artist :
Song :
Sound Design Company :
Sound Designer :
Noah Woodburn
Mix Company :
Audio Mixer :
Noah Woodburn

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