How Nike Likes to Celebrate Anniversaries

Are anniversaries promotional? We’d like to think so. Nike’s shoe-inspired pop-ups have come a long way. Now, they’re extending into dynamic promotional territory with the brand’s “Sneakeasy” in promotion of its Nike Air Max. Air Max Day is a thing, and it’s been celebrated every year for the past four years. Highlighting the company’s past and present designs, Air Max Day is a much-celebrated event guaranteed to turn heads.

From East Coast to West Coast

In promotion of the Air Max’s 30 years of success, Nike’s Sneakeasy pop-up stand took an always-accessible approach. It traveled from New York City to Chicago, stopping in Toronto and Los Angeles on the way. Select locations featured the VaporMax model—which is one of the company’s newest, coveted, model.

Yeah, the event was based on R.S.V.P. interactions. That said, Nike’s interactive experiences don’t come cheap. Marketing real estate in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Chicago is top-tier, and the brand excelled in highlighting its strategy while throwing a rad party.

All About the Art

The Sneakeasy, while inherently a promotional stand, offered interactive art experiences. Hosting live music performances, curated exhibits and local influencers, the Sneakeasy was a one-stop culture shop for locals and travelers alike. The interactive Air Max display was, of course, the centerpiece. Alongside the Nike Air Max 1 Flyknit, the Nike Air VaporMax made quite an impact.

Nike pulled it off by showcasing its many innovations, remixes and re-releases. According to Matthew Kneller, Nike North America’s communications director, it was the brand’s first-ever stab at a speakeasy-inspired pop-up. Understandably, speakeasies and sports don’t always mix. By commodifying quality products, however, Nike succeeded in giving consumers full product access while retaining the classiness and intimacy of a true-blue speakeasy display.

An Unorthodox Event Space

The Sneakeasy’s event spaces are worth mentioning. At every destination, Nike planted its feet in urban locations to engage consumers. The Toronto Sneakeasy, for example, was established in an unoccupied Chinatown warehouse. While unorthodox, the location still garnered attention. Guests who procured golden tickets from Nike’s much-advertised Air Max Bus were given VIP access. At every location, interiors were inspired by the much-loved Air Mx 90 style. There were upside-down shoe portraits. There were benches. Yes, there were Nike-themed history displays. Nike relied on intelligent modern artists to pull off the look—and it worked.

The first Air Max shoe rolled out in 1987. This brand cornerstone was highlighted by Bryan Espiritu—an artist who created a “Tear down this wall” display in homage to President Ronald Reagan’s Berlin Wall speech. Nike is a brand of culture. Like all cultural displays, its anniversary paired class with a modern edge. It was memorable, serving as modern proof that anniversaries still have great marketing potential. 

The Knicks Melo walks on water in Nike kicks

Take advertising to the extreme with experiential marketing as done so by Nike in their recent water projections. Fans experienced a remarkable sight featuring the latest shoe, the Jordan Melo M8. NBA player for the New York Knicks, Carmelo Kyam Anthony aka Melo was granted a stunt that would take his brand to the next level. Eighty-five foot tall water projections exploded from the Hudson River of New York City.

Watch Video - Jordan Melo M8 - Explosive Water Projections

Eerie white images danced across the water's surface, creating a show stopping performance. The fortunate 2,500 viewers in the audience who had the full view of this from Pier 54 were awestruck according to PSFK. At the onset, a helicopter dropped a person performing as Anthony's stunt double. As the person splashes into the water, water projections of the ball player explode out of the river. Seeing three-story tall Anthony play ball on water was one of the more over the top debuts out there. In the water projections, Anthony shoots hoops in an exhilarating light show, followed by an enormous Jordan Melo M8 show seemingly sitting in midair.

This exhibit created quite a splash in an absolute slam dunk in advertising for Nike and the Jordan Melo M8. Marketing execs and program directors who are interested in creating their own version of this powerful display are in luck. Here in the Southeast, events in Miami consistently rank on the same scale as the Knick's player Anthony's advertisement. Venues in Miami, such as at Soho Studios, offer up the potential to create interactive, three dimensional displays that will have fans in awe. Our location showcases 65,000 sq. ft. of multifunctional venue space that is the perfect launching pad for your next product line.

In addition to advertising, the Soho Studios venue space is where it's at for generating buzz and drawing an audience in the region. As Florida's ultimate venue, some of the hottest events of the season regularly find their space at Soho Studios. Miami Fashion Week, the Winter Music Conference featuring Ultra, and Art Basel Miami all call this venue home. Additionally, some of the top names in advertising, such as Puma, American Apparel, Evian and Ford have showcased their product line with events in Florida at Soho Studios.