W+K Portland, NBA Stars Bring Their Game for Nike

By Erik Oster 

W+K Portland launched a lengthy new spot for Nike featuring basketball stars Kevin DurantPaul George, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis and Elena Delle Donne.

The spot, which was directed by Rick Famuyiwa, opens with a group of friends trying to decide who their favorite player is. But with so many greats currently playing the game, it’s a tough decision. So the kids run off, hatching a plan to spend time with a series of candidates until they’ve arrived at a decision. They arrive at Durant’s house first, explaining, “there’s a lot of great players right now, and that makes it kind of hard for us to pick a favorite. So we’re gonna live with you a while to help us decide.” 

While Durant finds the proposition a little strange he ultimately lets them stay, but not without dunking on them. From there, they spend time with the “loud and quiet” George, a philosophical Bryant, an always-dribbing Irving, a healthy-eating James, and have a “girl’s night”out with Donne. It’s a cute, appealing spot that makes its star athletes seem likable through the eyes of their young fans. That so many basketball stars appear in the ad, plus cameos from Future and Serena Williams does a lot to excuse the lengthy runtime, as there’s plenty of ground to cover. The online spot made its debut on Christmas Day, following a broadcast version which launched December 18, and has already racked up over 3.5 million views on YouTube.

“Basketball is undergoing a renaissance, a return to distinct personalities and vibrant style that mixes skill with originality,” Nike explains in a blog post supporting the efofort. “Each member of Nike Basketball’s family of athletes embraces this singular creative and competitive spirit, pushing the game to new places and proving that, when it comes to game-time dominance, there is no prescription.”


Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O’Rourke
Copywriter Edward Harrison
Art Directors Sara Phillips
Producers Erin Goodsell, Julie Gursha, Matt Hunnicutt
Interactive Director Dan Viens
Interactive Strategy: Reid Schilperoort
Strategic Planning: Brandon Thornton
Media/Comms Planning: John Furnari, Brian Goldstein
Account Team: Alyssa Ramsey, Katie Gurgainus, Ramiro Del-Cid
Business Affairs Karen Crossley
Project Management Emily Norman
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Mark Fitzloff

Production Company: Superprime
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Executive Producers: Rebecca Skinner, Michelle Ross
Line Producer: Julia Roberson
Director of Photography: Adam Kimmel

Editorial Company: Rock, Paper, Scissors
Editor: Lauren Dellara
Post Producer: Ashley Bartell

VFX Company: The Mill
Colorist: Adam Scott
Color Assists: Chris Obal, Asa Fox, Sam Ziaie
EP Color: Thatcher Peterson
Color Producer: Diane Valera
Senior Executive Producer: Sue Troyan
Senior Producer: Dan Roberts
Producer: Antonio Hardy
Production Coordinator: Pat DeVaney, Chris Lewis
2D Lead Artist: Tim Rudgard, Glyn Tebbutt
2D Artist: Don Kim, Lisa Ryan, Rob Winfield, Jeff Langlois, Chris Hunsberger, Remedy
Huynh, Kelsey Napier

Music+Sound Company: Barking Owl
Sound Designer: Michael Anastasi
Creative Director/Partner: Kelly Bayett
Music Supervisors: Barry Cole, Agoraphone, Walker

“It’s Caper Time” – Quincy Jones

“Dodgeball Theme Song” – Theodore Shapiro

“Rebirth of Slick” – Digable Planets

“Yamaji” – Yamato Ensemble

“Rootbeer” – Under Control

“Chopsticks” – Walker

“Like a Boss” – Versy

“Cut It Loose” – Chris Carthage

Mix Company: Lime
Mixer: Rohan Young
Producer: Susie Boyajan