Wednesday, 26 January 2011

♔ NIKE Basketball lets fans 'Unlock the Black Mamba' using Twitter (by R/GA)

Early in 1984, Nike was a struggling shoe company who needed a way to revitalize and reinvent themselves in order to appeal to segment of the market other then running shoes.  Around the same time, rookie player Michael Jordan saw a golden opportunity in Nike's offer to create a new line of shoes called "Air Jordans." At that time, there was not a tremendous impact from a shoe endorsement, and few companies were willing to risk so much of their marketing budget to bet on one athlete to promote their products.  But we all know how that turned out.  Nike ended up owning Basketball.  So, no one then was likely surprised to see Nike throw their weight behind Tiger Woods to amplify Nike’s Golf products. 

So what next along this line of endorsement?  Presumably, with new energy needed in Basketball, Nike has now attached the brand to Kobe Bryant a.k.a. “The Black Mamba” (named appropriately after the fastest snake in the world (capable of moving at up to 5.4 meters per second 16–20 km/h or 10–12 mph). 

Nike Basketball and R/GA have teamed up to emulate his transformation digitally through a website experience that changes the superstar from Kobe to Mamba through tweets.  As Kobe’s tweets accumulate the dark serpent inside him gradually grows until the beast is unleashed.

The best part?  When the site reaches “Mamba” state (600/hr. required), which is dependent upon a Twitter integration/algorithm that monitors the social conversations and automates the metamorphosis, users will have six-hour access to exclusive Kobe content and be eligible to win limited edition Kobe VI sneakers.
With exclusive incentivized participatory content, viral engagement, peer advocacy and the opportunity to win free sneakers – Nike’s yet again proven to clearly understand their target audience and knows how to drive engagement and activation with through-the-line activities.  With so many activities driving ‘street cred’ - it’s really no wonder Nike reigns supreme in so many sectors.

Think everything is big budget?  Think again.  Check out their "Sneak and Destroy"- Destroyer Burrito Promotion below.  Yet again proving to have their finger directly on the pulse of trending topics.  Kudos.