Nike Plays Brand Hardball
Nike has never been a shrinking violet brand. They are marketers of the highest order, transforming their business over the years from a manufacturing/product model to a marketing/brand model – and they have few peers in their space. testament to their market leading mindset is this latest bold brand experience – the redesign of a community basketball court in London.
The newly refurbished Regal has become a point of pride for the community, attracting players from an elite level through to new-comers at local schools and community clubs. As part of the world basketball festival celebrations in Brixton, Nike wanted to create a lasting legacy for the sport with a distinctively inspiring twist.
Basketball Branding Bling
Designed in a collaboration with Hotel The Regal has to be one of the most high-spec courts in the UK. In a result that looks like something from ‘Pimp my Court’, the distinctive high gloss floor is finished in black oil and ultra gloss lacquer with The Regal brand mark emblazoned in gold. Gold plated hoops and smoked glass backboards adorn both ends of the court. The court features red LED lights that are linked to the scoreboard and shot clocks – ala pro US basketball games. The surrounding walls feature flock effect wallpaper with a custom Nike basketball motif, and a motivational quote from Britain’s most successful basketball export; Luol Deng. There’s also a display of ten unique basketball jerseys celebrating British and international heroes of the game as well as four practice backboards around the court.
Most importantly, Nike has invested in the appointment of a lead basketball coach to develop a program of free-to-access clinics, events and training sessions for schools, clubs and the community. British international basketballer Junior Williams will shape the agenda and manage the facility.
Simon Charlesworth, head of brand for basketball Nike UK & Ireland said; ‘We want to grow the game and what better way to do so than with an inspirational facility that is centrally located, undercover and most importantly that provides free access to London ballers.’
Whether you are building a challenger brand, or you’re the market leader looking to maintain your dominance, the key for all brands when developing a strategy of brand experiences is to apply the 80:20 rule. Not all experiences will provide equal leverage for the brand – the challenge is to identify those with the potential to make a big splash, align with the spirit of the brand and provide critical longevity. The Regal by Nike is a well considered and bold brand experience that ticks all those boxes.
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