Cannes Lions

Kyrie 3: Improv

R/GA LOS ANGELES, Los Angeles / NIKE / 2017

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The film features NBA superstar Kyrie Irving, and drummer Questlove of The Roots crew. Both athlete and musician are performing elaborate, improvised solos: Kyrie with a basketball, and Questlove on the drums.

Through whip-pan camera action we go back and forth between the two artists as their solos gradually intensify, almost as if each performer is egging the other on. The sound of the basketball against the gym floor, in combination with the drumming, creates a unique harmony between the respective crafts. As the soloists crescendo, the camera whips faster and faster, before culminating in an epic finish.


In casting Kyrie’s co-star, we wanted the talent to reinforce Kyrie’s reputation as more than a gifted youngster, but a true generational talent. Moreover, we aimed to feature a performing artist with real crossover appeal (no pun intended), someone whose skill and impact on culture transcends their individual lane or job description. Questlove’s prowess as both a musician and as a cultural icon helped serve the greater purpose of positioning Kyrie as a full-fledged superstar, pushing the conversation beyond athletics and into the realms of music and entertainment.

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