Nike
KDXI

  • Broadcast
  • Film
  • Video

The Challenge

Kevin Durant is unquestionably one of the most dominant players in the game today. Yet for many basketball fans, his recent transfer to the best team in the league left a huge stain on his reputation. Words like “cupcake,” “coward,” and “snake” began to dominate the conversation surrounding #35. This posed a serious threat for Nike Basketball, whose competitive counterparts, Adidas and Under Armour, were rapidly driving sales based on the success of their premier athletes James Harden and Steph Curry. For the launch of the KDXI, Nike needed their basketball fans to get behind KD again, or risk putting one of their top basketball lines in jeopardy.

The Idea

Play

While all eyes were fixated on the NBA, we seized an opportunity to completely alter Kevin Durant’s public narrative. Immediately following the last game of the 2018 NBA Finals, Translation and Nike Basketball launched “Rise. Grind. Shine. Again.”, a 60-second film that depicted the tireless work that KD put in, day in and day out, throughout his lifetime to become an NBA champion.

The Work

We worked tirelessly to unearth footage of Kevin Durant training, playing, and working out throughout his high school, college, and NBA careers – the most poignant of which was footage of him as a kid running up a hill in front of his grandmother's house, which would also serve as a central through-line of the unmatched hard work that he’s put in throughout his life. The film culminates in a victorious superman pose by the future NBA champion, foreshadowing his now-realized triumph and his willingness to do it all again.
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The Impact

Negative sentiment surrounding KD began to significantly drop. In the four months prior to launch, one out of every 4 mentions surrounding Kevin Durant was negative. Post-launch, this dropped to one out of every 10 mentions (25% vs. 10% negative posts). The conversation began to shift from statements such as “KD is ruining the NBA” to “KD is the definition of Ball is Life.” This shift in sentiment contributed to Nike’s 9% quarter-over-quarter increase in apparel and footwear sales.

2.2 MM

Views on Nike's YouTube Channel

2018 Winner

Bronze Clio - Film Editing

more
work

NFL —
Inside These Lines

NFL —
Inside These Lines

With Translation’s help, the NFL made a brand statement built on the values of the game and spread a message of unity on football’s biggest stage, Super Bowl LI.

NBA —
From Hype to Heart

NBA —
From Hype to Heart

The NBA is one of the most popular sports leagues in the world, but the league was trying to find a way to deepen the connection that fans want to feel – to both their favorite team and the game itself. That's where Translation came in.

Beats by Dre —
The Shop

Beats by Dre —
The Shop

We helped Beats steal the spotlight by creating “The Shop” – an online series that featured hot takes and uncensored debates between some of today's greatest players and performers.

State Farm —
Chris and Cliff

State Farm —
Chris and Cliff

With the birth of NBA superstar Chris Paul’s alter ego and twin brother Cliff Paul, we transformed the cultural narrative around insurance and the value of an assist.

HBO —
The Defiant Ones

HBO —
The Defiant Ones

HBO tapped Translation to lead the launch of one of their most anticipated documentary films. Through our innovative, integrated approach, we delivered the largest documentary audience in the history of the network.

Apple Music —
Chapters

Apple Music —
Chapters

Translation told a story of how Apple Music makes streaming music more human. And in doing so, we sparked a cultural shift in the way Black women are portrayed in advertising. The response was electric.

Brooklyn Nets —
Hello Brooklyn

Brooklyn Nets —
Hello Brooklyn

Translation tapped into Brooklyn pride to introduce the borough to its new hometown basketball team.

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