Nike's powerful new spot for 'Mamba Week' honors Kobe Bryant's dedication to 'better'
Kendrick Lamar narrates ad featuring several nods to social justice
Aug 24, 2020
Nike dropped a powerful new spot honoring the late Kobe Bryant last night, as it launches “Mamba Week” on what would have been the basketball legend's 42nd birthday.
The 90-second spot pays homage to Bryant as its starting point but urges us all to be “better,” not just as athletes just as people. Narrated with huge emotional vigor by Kendrick Lamar, it includes footage of Black Lives Matter protests as well as other nods to the fight against racism, and features athletes like Megan Rapinoe who have also spoken up for social justice, as well as female NBA stars like Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird. The spot was created by Wieden & Kennedy Portland and directed by Melina Matsoukas of Prettybird, with editing by Spot Welders' Robert Duffy.
As well as the ad, Nike has planned a slew of events and programming around Mamba Week, which kicks off as Orange County California marks “Kobe Bryant Day” today (the date, 8.24, matches the two jersey numbers he wore). It's the first time Nike has released his signature sneakers and jerseys since his death in January. As well as further videos featuring famous sports stars dubbed "Mamba Mentors," everyday athletes can join in with the campaign too, with a number of "Mamba Mentality" branded workout challenges they can follow via Nike.