Athletes Tour

Athletes Tour
(N°19
/ 24)
  • Event
  • Art direction
2023’
Nike
Using global athletes' visit to leave something behind

Like any big influencer, big athletes will always bring traction to the brands that use them. That’s the beauty of it, and that’s how it goes. But we always felt there was something more to be done when such names are in town.

First, we resisted the general temptation to bring them to places as influential as their name like the Eiffel Tower, the roof of the Grand Palais or the Stade de France. They’ve been there already and will come back. But most importantly it is not where the youth they appeal to, live. These areas are billboard backgrounds, not relatable connection-creating places.

So when we got the chance to work with athletes like Lebron James or Kobe Bryant (rest in power), Giannis Antetokounmpo or Kylian MBappe : we decided to bring them to places in line with the people and culture that feed from their inspiration on the daily. Operating a proper U turn from the Eiffel Tower to Bondy, Bagnolet or 19th district of Paris. All less admired than the shiny center of the capital. But with a much stronger cultural connection to basketball and football.
We also believed that if we kept considering these guys the same way everybody does, we would miss out on something major when activating their presence in town.

Through their achievement, their words, and even just their mere presence on the ground, a person like Kobe or Lebron stands as an absolute empowering energy for all the kids that will connect with them.

So why not make the most from that? We could have just played ball with Lebron in Bagnolet, but instead we made a school for all the kids to be mentored by the king and craft their project around basketball. We could have had Kylian on a billboard everywhere in France showcasing his new collection. Instead, we gave meaning to his presence and refurbished his childhood playground in Bondy and invited him to play with the community. We could have invited Kobe to the fashion week show but instead, we took over and entire gymnasium in Paris, threw a dinner party there, had him talk in front of everyone and organized a tournament where he himself coached teams, asking the cameras not to film what he was telling them.

The power of not only the encounter, but what it leaves behind is equal to none. Whether it takes the form of a sentence, a look, a pass, a handshake or a brand new court. Leveraging the empowering potential of such big names, wherever they come from, wherever they visit, is an absolute asset for brands to spark and sustain profound relationships with their local communities. From brand urbanism rebuilding a central part of the neighborhood like Kylian’s pitch in Bondy, to a landmark tournament like the Ring with Giannis in Paris:
It’s not about what you do.
But what you leave behind.

NextWork
Havana

Havana Global - Social