Kyrie Irving and Questlove Play an Unstoppable Duet for Nike

R/GA blends basketball and drums

When Kyrie Irving improvs on the court, it's like Questlove shredding a drum solo.

The two stars duet in a new ad from Nike and R/GA Los Angeles promoting the Kyrie 3 sneaker. The Cleveland Cavalier point guard dribbles, crossing over and changing tempo with dizzying precision, while the Roots drummer and frontman, nee Ahmir Khalib Thompson, throws off rapid-fire syncopations.

It's an impressive, brooding performance, a departure from the agency's goofier but plenty entertaining promos for previous versions of Irving's namesake footwear—like the Ky-rispy Kreme donut edition of the Kyrie 2. But the new ad still plays on a similar theme as previous campaigns, which emphasized the baller's "unexpected moves."

It's also a refreshing testament to the power of a simple idea, well executed. The thud of the ball bouncing on the floor blends with the thump of the kick drum, tightening the metaphor. These are two players at the top of their game, and even if it's hard to believe buying Nike's shoe will make you anywhere near as good as them, it's impossible not to stop and take note.


Client: Nike

Agency: R/GA Los Angeles

Executive Creative Director: Brandon Mugar

VP, Executive Creative Director: Sammi Needham

Creative Director: Jack Jensen

Creative Director: Frank Dattalo

Senior Art Director: Josh Kopeika

Senior Copywriter: Newton Stern

VP, Strategy: Jessica Greenwood

Executive Producer: Warren Kinney

Senior Producer: Chris Lockett

Production Company: Hoffman Bros. 

Directors: Hoffman Bros.

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