Conscious Minds Enlists Grammy Winner to Help Launch Nike’s Stirring Kobe Bryant Tribute

In conjunction with the launch of his new Nike Kobe XI line, retiring NBA superstar Kobe Bryant is getting an extensive, emotional and well-deserved salute courtesy of the shoe giant and LA/Portland creative agency, Conscious Minds (CM).

Working in tandem with Nike’s brand and entertainment marketing teams, CM enlisted the piano-driven flourishes of Grammy-winning R&B/jazz musician Robert Glasper to provide the score for a short tribute film called “Be Courageous,” which celebrates Bryant’s illustrious 20-year NBA career through an invigorating, carefully crafted montage of his greatest moments. Glasper, a longtime Kobe fan, leverages the deeper sentiment of “Be Courageous” by writing the soundtrack in 4/4 time signature with a 6/8 rhythm, echoing the meaning behind the Kobe XI BHM 4468 shoe, which signifies both the date that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and Black History Month. “Whether he’s loved or hated, the film parallels Kobe’s desire to honor MLK, in both his vision and his accomplishments he wanted to fulfill,” CM creative director Cameron DeArmond explains. “Without being pretentious or overwrought, it just reflects two men who had their ambitions despite adversity, with the message being that it takes courage to fulfill your dreams.”

“Be Courageous” serves as just one filmic component of a larger-scale digital campaign developed by Conscious Minds called “11 Lessons from the Master” in which Kobe turns teacher, dispensing 11 sage mantras that will unlock every few weeks on the web hub through the end of this, his final season. According to CM managing partner Blake Heal, “This campaign was created to live as a narrative on the official Nike Basketball/Kobe website. The website that we designed is really there to house the 11 lessons that will be part of the legacy Kobe is leaving behind this year to the game. The film is a relevant cultural moment that pays tribute to Kobe, and the site provides a rich experience with more insights into the lessons,.”

Along with Kobe’s lessons, Nike has opened its digital ecosystem further by partnering with SoundCloud for another entertaining element of the campaign, which lets users not only listen to Glasper’s theme song, but remix the original and share favorite Kobe moments in the process. “Nike allowing people to comment on SoundCloud is a brilliant digital add-on,” DeArmond says. “’It was great to have permission to treat Kobe as a real character with a real journey. The film is inspired by the Kobe XI shoe, but we never show the product. We focused instead on the story that made the legend, and we think fans will appreciate that.”

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Credits:

Client: Nike

Agency: Conscious Minds
Managing Partner: Blake Heal
Creative Director: Cameron DeArmond
Account Director: Travis Harper
Senior Producer: Daniel Kiedis
Creative Producer: Veronica Turner
Senior Writer: Michael Bishop
Art Director: Drew Shafer

Production Company: Conscious Minds
Executive Producer: Blake Heal
Head of Production: Jeff Keith
Director: Andy Hines
Director of Photography: Stefan Weinberger
Producer: Mat Lancaster
Production Design: Alison Hepler

Post Production: Conscious Minds
Post Producer: Peter Garriott
Editor: Dominic Laing
Sound Mix: Nick Michaud
Colorist: Michael Bosman

About Conscious Minds:

Conscious Minds is a passionate and nimble team of thinker/makers. We serve brands and agencies alike with our brains and our brawn.