A new short film from Nike which features Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James will come equipped with a multi-platform rollout including a full-page newspaper spread video, and interactive social media engagement. Titled “Equality,” Nike combines the power of spoken word with music from Alicia Keys, infusing James, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, and more.
Here’s the press release:
Nike has a long history of speaking up for causes that reflect its values. That continues today with the launch of EQUALITY, in which Nike encourages people to take the fairness and respect they see in sport and translate them off the field.
EQUALITY is centered on using Nike’s voice and the power of sport to inspire people to take action in their communities, with Nike leading by example with its recently announced partnerships with world-class organizations dedicated to advancing this work.
A new film, simply titled “Equality,” anchors these values in the power of sport. The film, directed by Melina Matsoukas, features LeBron James, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, Megan Rapinoe, Dalilah Muhammad, Gabby Douglas, and Victor Cruz, amplifying their voices in an effort to uplift, open eyes and bring the positive values that sport can represent into wider focus. “Equality” also features actor Michael B. Jordan, who voices the film, and a new performance by Alicia Keys, singing Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
The EQUALITY initiative will live at nike.com/equality, in social media and on billboards and posters in cities around the U.S. and Canada, with imagery that features portraits of athletes and cultural icons. In addition, Nike will enable people to create their own EQUALITY avatar or social media filters to express their support.
Lastly, EQUALITY T-shirts, and shoes from Nike’s annual Black History Month collection, which has historically supported organizations serving youth and their communities, will be available for purchase via nike.com and select retail. The 2017 Black History Month collection will be worn by many Nike-sponsored players throughout NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans in February. The EQUALITY tee is a symbol of Nike’s unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“We all have a purpose in life and for us to be as great as we can be as a nation and as a world, we have to feel empowered,” James said in a behind-the-scenes video where the athletes discussed the film. “At the end of the day, we’re just trying to find a way where we can all feel equal, be equal, have the same rights and be in the same place no matter the color. It’s always a sensitive subject, but at the same time it needs to be talked about. For me to use my influence in a manner like this, it means a lot.”
Astute observers of James’ portion of the film will recognize the city of Cleveland. The four-time MVP had his spot filmed at the intersection of E. 6th and Superior, just north of the Leeder Building right outside of The Federal Reserve. Equally astute observers will notice that the film, despite having been in the works for some time, is released just days after Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank received loads of backlash after he praised President Donald Trump, including critical comments from several of the brand’s top athletes.
A full-page ad for the initiative is set to run in newspapers across the country on February 12.
As mentioned in the press release, Nike is also encouraging fans of the brand to create unique avatars to run alongside the campaign for the month of February.
Both James and teammate Kyrie Irving will have Black History Month (or “BHM”) colorways of their signature sneakers releasing on Thursday in advance of the NBA’s All-Star Weekend.
James’ LeBron 14 will feature a blend of black and white (harmony) with gold accents (aspiration), and will retail for $175. In similar ilk, the Kyrie 3 will have a black base with black and white marbling on the outsole and gold accents on the tongue and insole. It will retail for $120.