In July 2019, Nike leveraged its NBA supplier partnership and its endorser deal with Giannis Antetokounmpo to celebrate the player’s MVP award and promote the launch of his first signature shoe.
The sportswear behemoth’s shoe launch for the star – nicknamed the ‘Greek Freak’ – was the first time that Nike created a signature sneaker for a European player.
Agency: W+K Amsterdam
Nike’s campaign aim was simple: celebrate Antetokounmpo’s 2018-19 season MVP award and promote the new shoe, while leaning on the player’s Greek origins to create an inspirational essage that kids worldwide can reach the top no matter where they start.
Long-time Nike agency W+K Amsterdam placed a basketball hoop on Mount Olympus – Greece’s highest peak and the legendary home of the gods – to reflect the Antetokounmpo’s journey from the poor suburbs of Athens to the peak of the NBA through a mix of hard work, desire and talent.
The copy line of the mountaintop backboard reads: “Fate can start you at the bottom. Dreams can take you to the top.”
The marketing team created a special hoop to avoid any environmental damage from drilling into the mountain. And Nike rolled out a making-of video to prove the stunt’s authenticity.
The hero film was also followed up by a five-part ‘I am Giannis’ online video bio series charting his life story.
The hero Mount Olympus spot has notched up more than 525,000 views since the video was first posted on 27 June 2019, whilst the five-part supporting ‘I Am Giannis’ social series has been viewed more than eight million times (including 4.48m on YouTube, 3.5m on Instagram and 125,000 on Twitter) across Nike’s own channels.