Beijing, China’s basketball capital, is home to many proud and confident basketball players. Nike and W+K challenged those players to put their pride on the line and battle for the title of best in Beijing. “Beijing players have a reputation for talking a big game, so giving them a platform to back up their talk with performance was important to our approach,” says Chris Kirkup, planner at W+K Shanghai.
The rankings and colors of the traditional system inspired the one-of-a-kind jersey designs. Five illustrators were invited to help design the jerseys. The number 1 jersey in the Beijing99 is a golden dragon jersey, similar to the original highest rank. Jerseys 2 through 9 are the Kirin. The 10s are a Lion. 20s are a Leopard. 30s are a Tiger. 40s are a Bear. 50s are a TigerCat. 60s are a Rhino. 70s are a Horse. 80s are a Crane, and 90s are a Xiezhi.