Nike Promo, Case study THE BLACK MAMBA by R/GA New York

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Industry Clothing, Sportswear, Athletic Footwear & Accessories
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency R/GA New York
Creative Director Sammi Needham, Tim Thornton Allen At Marshall Street
Art Director Kenji Shimomura
Producer Nigel Goodman
Released January 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Other Consumer Products (including Durable Goods)
Advertiser: NIKE
Product/Service: APPAREL
Agency: R/GA
Date of First Appearance: Jan 24 2011
Entrant Company: R/GA, New York, USA
Entry URL:
Interaction Designer: Xavier Gallego (R/GA)
Visual Designer: Seth Cheeks (R/GA)
Art Director: Kenji Shimomura (R/GA)
Writer / Associate Creative Director: Jason Hoff (R/GA)
Art Director / Associate Creative Director: Colin Kim (R/GA)
Creative Director: Sammi Needham (R/GA)
Creative Director: Tim Allen (R/GA)
Senior Presentation Code Developer / Solutions Architecture: Peter Knif (R/GA)
Senior Flash Developer: Duncan Davidson (R/GA)
Senior Open Standards Developer: Max Goldberg (R/GA)
Flash Developer: David Hitchings (R/GA)
Technical Director: Vincent Dibartolo (R/GA)
Senior Producer: John Mullin (R/GA)
Producer: Nigel Goodman (R/GA)
Junior Copywriter: Lincoln Boehm (R/GA)
Senior Interaction Designer: Ryan Romero (R/GA)
Quality Assurance Engineer: Jane Yang (R/GA)
Executive Creative Director / Copywrter: Taras Wayner (R/GA)
Executive Creative Director / Visual Design: Chuck Tso (R/GA)
Media placement: Website - - Jan 24, 2011
Media placement: Tweets - - Jan 24, 2011
Media placement: Facebook Integration - Facebook - Jan 24, 2011

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
When Kobe Bryant steps on the court, he transforms into his alter ego—The Black Mamba—a force that can take over a game at will. Millions of fans watch Kobe transform into Black Mamba throughout the season, and millions talk about his performance, game in—game out. This mass appeal sparked Nike to give fans the power to unleash the Black Mamba online, through chatter on global social media networks.

Creative Execution
We set out to mimic Kobe’s transformation at, so when he changes, the site changes with him. We developed a custom algorithm based on keywords about Kobe. When enough fans tweet about Kobe, the site transforms to its Black Mamba state, where fans can access exclusive content—like Kobe interviews, Black Mamba wallpaper, and the chance to win Zoom Kobe VI kicks— for the next six hours. For every Mamba Moment, fans were alerted via social networks around the globe, like Twitter, Facebook, Ren Ren, and Weibo, driving more traffic to Nike Basketball. As Kobe clinched his fourth All Star MVP, the site had seen over 2 million visitors since launch. During All Star weekend, a short film starring The Black Mamba himself, alongside Danny Trejo, Bruce Willis, and Kanye West dropped, driving even more fans to the site.

Results and Effectiveness has logged over 2 million visitors since launch. During the 2011 NBA All-Star game the site drew in 91,000 fans and unlocked the Black Mamba in the first quarter. Fans have since unlocked the Black Mamba dozens of times and continue to do so today.