Challenge: Cut through a saturated market with limited budget
NBA superstar Kevin Durant was coming to China for the launch of his new Nike shoe, the KD9.
Nike’s ambition for the tour was huge – to meet the sales target, the KD9 needed to become China’s fastest selling basketball shoe.
However, while Kevin Durant is massively popular in China, the market was already saturated with celebrity supported product launches.
Moreover, while athlete tours are very important for Nike, the majority of the budget usually goes to PR team and what’s left for media is often limited.
We would have to create an entirely new athlete tour format to succeed.
Insight: KD happens to be one of the best players in the biggest basketball video game too!
First, Kevin Durant (or KD as his fans call him) is crazy good at NBA2K Online, which happened to be massively popular among basketball fans in China.
Strategy and execution: creating the biggest basketball tournament in the world
We invited NBA2K online players to compete for the honour of representing the best of the best in China against Kevin Durant.
Thus was born the ‘Play KD Show’ – a once in a lifetime chance for a fan to play KD one-on-one.
Virtually and in the real world.
KD issued his challenge to play against China's top NBA2K Online player in the game and on the court, creating the world's largest basketball tournament.
463,000 players answered the challenge. Gao Yang, the final winner, represented China in a live broadcast match up against KD.
The entire event was live streamed on China’s largest online sports channel, Tencent NBA, as well as broadcast directly to pinnacle digital out-of-home locations across Guangzhou.
Result: Athlete tour reinvented
The opportunity to directly engage with NBA superstar like Kevin Durant on their favourite platform drove unprecedented excitement among Chinese basketball fans and completely reinvented the athlete tour, breaking records on viewership, fans engagement and sales.