How Lil Nas X Turned a Legal Battle With Nike Into an Ad Strategy for 'Industry Baby'

His teaser clip shows once again how backlash fuels his content rather than stifles it

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The shoe is officially on the other foot.

Nike, once known for its rule-bending ambush marketing tactics such as its unofficial invasion of the 1996 Olympics, is now the establishment player whose weight is being used against it by an emerging icon.

In promoting his new single dropping Friday, “Industry Baby,” rap star Lil Nas X has turned his recent legal and PR scuffle with Nike into a full-blown marketing strategy—making any legal fees he might have helped pay seem paltry in comparison to the publicity value he’s gotten out of it.

This week, Lil Nas X released a teaser video directed by Smuggler’s Tony Yacenda and directly referencing Nike’s legal challenge to block the musician’s limited-run Satan Shoes collection—666 pairs of Nike Air Max 97 sneakers customized by MSCHF Product Studio to include references to Satan.



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