Five W+K runners headed out to Paris last weekend, to compete in Nike's 10km race.
The night prior to the race saw the sort of flawless professionalism you'd expect: a bottle of red per head and steak tartares all round. Classic pre-race fuel.
Cue 10am the next day and the W+K runners were fresh as Farah, so it came as no surprise to see personal bests rolling in, come the finish line. Hats off to Betty B, Loose Crook, Miller Time, Gigolo Jayr and P-Y-M-P.
Over the last 20 years, Nike has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Arsenal: 3 Premier League titles. 5 FA Cups. The Invincibles. Ian re-Wright-ing the record. Thierry's Va Va Voom. Need we go on?
And over the years, W+K has had the pleasure of marking some special occasions about this great club for Nike. Two of our favourites from times gone by:
'Arsena' to mark 2003-04's extraordinary unbeaten season:
And the outrageous 'The quickest route into Europe' to mark Sol Campbell's switch to the red half of North London in 2001:
This year, W+K has worked with Nike to produce a commemorative shirt, following the Club's 2014 FA Cup victory, celebrating the 20 year partnership between the club and the Swoosh.
The shirt, which uses the current 2013-14 home kit as its base, incorporates a glorious medley of iconic Arsenal kits from the past two decades.
Limited-edition, individually numbered artwork prints of the shirt will be created and sold, with a number available to purchase at Nike's Phenomenal House in London. Phenomenal House will open its doors to the public from 26th-31st May for a unique and action-packed celebration of fearless football.
The shirt itself will also be on display at Phenomenal House from 26th-30th May, then at Nike Town in London from 31st May, before moving to its permanent home in the Arsenal Football Club Museum from 30th June.
Group account director Rachel Parker, who has come to London from our Portland office for a while (we've got people working out how to clone her so we can keep her AND return her to the States), was one of the sporty W+K ladies who ran Nike's We Own The Night race last weekend. Here are a few words from Rachel about what went down:
Saturday night, while most Londoners were cozy on their sofas, hiding from the pouring rain and whipping wind, 10,000 women took to Victoria Park for Nike’s We Own the Night 10k run. This was the second year for Nike's event, and this year, a handful of women from W+K’s Run Club were there to represent and take part in what was, for some, their first 10k.
This wasn’t your typical organised run, but more akin to a park festival with thousands of women sporting the same turquoise Nike race shirt and setting off for a run together. Nike pulled out all the stops. There was music and even pre-race trainers who led a warm-up to keep up motivation on a chilly night.
There were Nike athletes, including Paula Radcliffe, fashion designers, and DJs. The race course was like none other, complete with a light forest, light tunnels, live music, and thousands of women encouraging one another along the way. Everyone who crossed the finish line received an exclusive Alex Monroe designed finisher necklace, and I, for one, haven’t taken mine off since.
Last night, Nike launched Attempt the Unthinkable, a new film starring Wayne Rooney, as part of the ‘Risk Everything’ football campaign for 2014. The animated film imagines Rooney’s explosive response to the opposition’s wild attempts to stop him during a high-stakes match against Brasil.
Attempt the Unthinkable is the first in a series of three 15-second films we created, following a street art installation last month on London’s South Bank.
Each film celebrates the risk in the players’ DNA as they prepare to play on the world's biggest stage, with the familiar sounds of commentator Clive Tyldesley ringing out as the action unfolds.
Over the next couple of days Nike will unveil two more films starring Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere, entitled Fear Nothing and Never Play it Safe and pitting the England stars in equally sensational scenarios.
Nike celebrated the launch of the new England shirt in spectacular style by showing what two of England’s star players are really made of, revealing the individual daring attributes and fearless mentality that makes up each of their games.
A huge street art installation has appeared on London’s Southbank, and features murals of Arsenal star Jack Wilshere and Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney proudly wearing the new England shirt. Viewed from one angle, the players can be seen wearing the new England home and away shirts. But viewed from another, passers-by are served up a dramatic representation of the risk-taking game that lives inside of them. The game that we see them deliver every week for their clubs, in the toughest league in the world.
Rooney is depicted as England’s heartbeat and Talisman. When he trusts his instincts and attempts the unthinkable, he is unstoppable. Jack Wilshere is famed for his creative, pinball passing game, always daring to play the final killer ball. Each player’s unique, daring style of play is brought to life using striking visual metaphors and bold illustration.
This is just the start of a campaign celebrating the risk that is in the England players’ DNA. Over the coming weeks, Nike’s goal is to inspire the players to unleash their fearless games in the new shirt, and to deliver the kind of daring, phenomenal football we all know they’re capable of in Brazil this summer. Daring is in their DNA. When they unleash it, anything can happen.
Nike launched the first part of its 2014 football #riskeverything campaign recently with a film created by W+K Portland, featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Wayne Rooney. The film shows the pressure felt by some of the world’s greatest players as they prepare to play on the world’s biggest stage.
It feels like spring might have finally sprung. Suddenly there's blossom on the trees, daffodils in the parks and on a positively balmy Sunday afternoon I spotted the first (perhaps premature) short and flip-flop combo of the season. Either way, it's good news folks. Warmer days and lighter nights are just around the corner. After a winter hibernating indoors, we thought it was about time to dust off the running gear and hit the pavement.
And so, brimming with the spring-like enthusiasm of new born lambs, the good ladies of W+K have decided to sign up to Nike's after dark 10k run, We Own the Night, which takes place in London on Saturday 10th May. For most of us, it's our first proper 10k, but we're assured by Nike+ that there's a program that will take us from zero to hero in 8 weeks.
Last Wednesday night we kicked things off with an inaugural W+K Run Club. We had marathon runners, park joggers, beginners and everything in between. We ran in packs through Aldgate, past the Tower of London, over the Thames and back, with Brick lane curry touts shouting words of encouragement as we came down the home stretch. It all felt quite epic for your average Wednesday evening.
We're all set for round two tonight, our numbers are growing and there's even rumour of an official W+K RC logo.
Thank you ladies. See you same time, same place, a little later on.
If anyone fancies joining us for We Own the Night, you can sign up here.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the best footballers on the planet right now. And Nike believes his secret is simple: he’s always prepared to take risks on the pitch.
That’s why Nike Football has launched Dare to Zlatan, a campaign celebrating the daring attitude of one of the world’s most iconic athletes. On the heels of last night’s FIFA Goal of the Year, Nike hopes to inspire the next generation of young footballers to take chances like Zlatan.
Visually, the social and experiential campaign draws on the impossible shapes Zlatan contorts his body into on the pitch. To mark yesterday’s award, Nike projected a silhouette of his bicycle kick on to one of the iconic Hötorgsskraporna buildings in central Stockholm.
This was accompanied by fly stickers on the metro and an ‘interactive’ OOH installation, allowing the public to see what it really takes to contort their bodies into the same shape as Zlatan.
In Paris, home to Zlatan’s club Paris Saint-Germain, a mural of his icon has been painted onto one of the biggest walls in the city, and spray painted ‘tags’ have begun popping up on street pitches where hungry young footballers fight every day to become the best player in their arrondissement.