W+K New York and Russell Westbrook Create Runways in New Jordan Spot

By Erik Oster 

W+K New York recently launched a new spot for Nike’s Jordan brand starring Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook¬†entitled “Runway.”

The spot sees Westbrook taking the ball down an unusual court on an airplane runway to the sound of a jet engine. As he jumps into the air, the camera pans out to reval a “23” on the runway and the voiceover chimes in “Some run, some make runways.” The ad is an homage to the original spot introducing the Air Jordan brand, “Not Meant to Fly,” with a similar aeronautical premise. It even makes use of the same jet engine sound audio¬†as that effort, the agency told Creativity.

The spot made its debut on social media last week and its broadcast debut during MTV’s VMAs, with support from social media and experiential efforts. It has since led some to speculate whether the tagline is subtle jab at Westbrook’s former teammate Kevin Durant, who left the Thunder for the Golden State Warriors after last season.

As CBS Sports points out, though, it’s pretty unlikely that W+K and Nike would be openly critical of Durant, a a fellow Nike athlete. The more obvious interpretation, that it’s just ad copy playing with words, is a lot more probable. A feuding Westbrook and Durant in Jordan and Nike spots would be kind of interesting, though.

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy New York
Client: Jordan Brand
Executive Creative Director: Karl Leiberman
Creative Director: Caleb Jensen
Creative Director: Jimm Lasser
Copywriter: Pepe Hernandez
Art Director: Blair Warren
Senior Producer: Orlee Tatarka
Head of Content Production: Nick Setounski
Account Team: Jordan Muse
Account Team: Liz Lindberg
Account Team: Jacque Parrish
Art Producer: Ali Berk
Head of Art Buying: Deb Rosen
Social Director: Jessica Abercrombie
Media Team: Karlo Cordova
Media Team: Branden Bouvia
Media Team: Chad Muratev
Project Manager: Kristen Daly
Business Affairs: Sara Jagielski
Business Affairs: Tana Prosper
Business Affairs: Lindsey Timko
Broadcast Traffic Manager: Sonia Bisono
Traffic Coordinator: Andy Hume
Client: Desmond Marzette

Prod Co: Good Company,
Dir: Dikayl Rimmasch,
Producer: Brian Welsh,
Executive Producer: Jonathan Lia & Ryan Heiferman,
Post Producer: Ralph Miccio
DP: Santiago Gonzales