Entertainment Lions For Sport > Branded Content for Sport


WIEDEN+KENNEDY, Portland / NIKE / 2019


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Why is this work relevant for Entertainment Lions for Sport?

2018 marked the 30th anniversary of Nike’s famous line “Just do it,” and we had the perfect opportunity to use its full inspirational power to generate fresh momentum for both the brand and the business.

The brief was to express the full inspirational power and meaning of “Just do it” to a generation of teen athletes that weren’t very familiar with it. For us to be successful, we needed to execute in a way that felt authentically connected to not just youth sports but to the real world experiences that North American kids face every day.

We had two key objectives:

- Become the unequivocal voice of the athlete for today’s generation of youth by being the most relevant, talked about brand.

- Drive demand for Nike product.

Describe the creative idea


The power of Just Do It has always been about inspiring people to push their limits through sport to overcome whatever is in their path. During a time when individuals in America can feel powerless, we wanted to show that no matter who you are, there is no limit to your potential, and that by having dreams that some would call “crazy,” you can achieve extraordinary things. If you chase your crazy dreams, you can make the impossible happen.


By using a combination of both professional Nike athletes and “everyday” athletes, we showed a diverse range of men and women who have overcome different sorts of barriers to achieve their “crazy dreams.”

In particular, we showed how athletes have pushed through barriers both on and off the field – and in both in their personal lives and in society.

Describe the strategy

Our core target was a young athlete, but in order to succeed we knew we needed to engage the greater youth and pop culture audience. To do this built the campaign around three core strategies; authenticate our message through Nike athletes, own a huge sports moment when we knew the mass American audience would be watching, and then have Nike’s athletes appear larger than life in our key cities.

The campaign was specifically tailored to tap into social conversation through athlete social channels, live sports through the NFL season opener, and key city OOH through sharable walls, highly trafficked station dominations, digital screens and storefront takeovers.

Describe the execution

To kick off the campaign Nike athletes posted their crazy dreams on social media, quickly creating interest within their communities and igniting debate across the world, especially around the inclusion of Colin Kaepernick.

We capitalized on this interest by tapping the Nike network again to launch the :90 anthem film featuring professional and everyday athletes chasing their dreams. As attention peaked, athletes posted the anthem to their channels, digital media added frequency and filters and lenses added, and we continued to scale by airing during the NFL Season opener to a mass audience of 19MM.

Additionally, we brought our message to where our athletes live and train by taking “Dream Crazy” OOH to the streets and city landscapes of LA, NYC, and San Francisco. Going a step further, we aligned our stories to the cities where these “Dream Crazy” journeys started: Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco, and Serena in Compton.

Describe the outcome

Financial Impact:

- “Nike sales grew 31% from Sunday through Tuesday over Labor Day this year, besting 2017’s comparative 17% increase.” (Source: Edison Trends.)

- $163MM of media exposure earned by September 6, 3 days after the Kaepernick tweet. Source: Apex Marketing Group/Bloomberg.

- Nike experienced an all-time high of purchase intent tweets after September 3, positive purchase intent tweets outnumbered negative purchase intent tweets 5:1. (Source: Sentieo Research/Forbes).

- By September 21 Nike’s stock had risen to its highest ever point, $85.55, adding over $6 billion (or 5%) in value from the campaign launch.

Cultural Impact:

- Nike became the most mentioned brand on Twitter, with 8.8MM mentions (as of September 6). (Source: Wall Street Journal).

- Kaepernick mentioned over 4MM times from September 3-7, compared to 4.1million times for the 8 months prior (Source: Wall Street Journal)

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