advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nike gives you a hoops event you didn’t know you needed.

Buck for Nike and the World Basketball Festival that kicked off in NYC last week. Schoolhouse Rock meets Yellow Submarine meets bangin track, as they say. Really sweet spot with Times Square support too. As for the festival, it’s meant to promote hoops domestically in urban settings, something I think we’re good on. (I’m pretty sure the Williams’ sisters would prefer cities fix up some tennis courts instead.) Granted, promotions are everywhere in sports now, but this manufactured event by three of Nike’s brands—Converse, Jordan Brand and Nike Basketball—feels off, like it’s going beyond the usual sponsorship of our national sports teams. In this case, USA Basketball.*

Going deeper here and putting on my shit that’s on my mind cap—sideways, slightly of course—that’s not at all meant as a dig on Buck. Nike comes to you and says we need a way to promote a major new event, you’re taking the gig, no question. But it reminds me of what I’m seeing other digital shops still struggle with. They want to move beyond the silos major brands put them in, but they keep undermining their own effort by settling for work that reinforces the notion that they’re just an extra pair of hands, one that executes an ad agency’s vision, not theirs. They do the work in hopes of it being a foot in the door, but it seldom ever is. They not only need to fight to become a partner who thinks beyond one project, they need a client willing to let them.

*Now, if Nike wants to help the sport, see about pumping life into the NBA’s All-Star weekend.

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