The Brand Is In Your Court

Through Nike’s latest campaign, New York Made, the brand is revealing its deep roots in New York City. The campaign is made possible through a partnership with the New York City Parks and Recreation Department, combined with Nike’s commitment to the city and community. Their campaign was kicked-off this month through the opening of the New York Made: Stanton Street Courts.

Designed by Brooklyn-based artist Brian Donnelly – aka Kaws – this public art installation features the artist’s signature mofits artwork across two basketball courts. Using bold lines and shapes to colour the courts, the Elmo and Cookie Monster BFF design is featured in an abstract way. This brightly coloured, cartoon-like artwork allows the game lines and artwork to flow together.

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For Donnelly this project was somewhat personal; growing up on the corner of Clinton and Stanton Street in the 90s, he would often walk past these courts. Nike’s New York Made campaign will include a series of community collaborations and interventions across the city in the coming months. For now, this installment can be enjoyed by all at the Sara D. Roosevelt Park in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Branding Basketball Courts

Other unusually painted courts can be seen popping-up across the Atlantic. Last year, Ill-Studio collaborated with French fashion brand Pigalle to create a multicoloured basketball court. Tucked away between two buildings in the 9th arrondissment of Paris, the artwork takes inspiration from the 1930s Sportsmen by Russian artist Kasimir Malevich – a boldly coloured oil painting. Pigalle Duperré is the latest addition to a longstanding collaboration between the two brands.

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The court was originally renovated by Pigalle founder Stephane Ashpool and Nike in 2009. Last year, Pigalle got together with Ill-Studio to update the court and create a backdrop for the Pigalle Basketball Spring Summer 2015 presentation. Panels of blue, white, red, and yellow ethylene propylene diene monome (EPDM) rubber — a synthetic material commonly used on playgrounds and sports areas — was applied to the floor.

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Update July 2017

Last month this basketball court on Rue Duperré in Paris got a spectacular make-over. The original primary colors have made way for saturated gradients and smooth shades of the sunset. The transformation is coinciding with the release of Pigalle’s latest clothing collection created in collaboration with NIKElab. Art in public space is often very fresh at first, but is prone to fading and deterioration quite soon, losing its impact. For this particular example in Paris, being a showcase for the Pigalle brand, there is attention for the maintenance of the court and making sure it’s ‘fresh’. One of the benefits of ‘brand urbanism’?

Public art allows artists to reach out to people in a causal way, when they aren’t necessarily looking for it. At the same time, brands are increasingly seen working with cities to solve urban issues while creating brand exposure. Pop-Up City refers to this trends as ‘Brand Urbanism’ and we have been following it up close. These basketball court instalments are perfect examples of brand urbanism; the creation of vibrant public space combined with brand exposure. Throughout Nike’s New York Made campaign, it is likely that New York will see an influx of brand urbanism in the new year.