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Nike: Believe a Beijinger

SportsShanghai

Nike launches Beijing99 to crown the city's best basketball players.

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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.

“It was important for this work to feel like something that could only exist in Beijing,” adds Creative Director Matt Skibiak. “The team even used elements inspired by the Forbidden City’s architecture to design the OOH. We wanted these jerseys to feel like Beijing trophies.”

A film and OOH promoted the jerseys and the Beijing99 event -- a four-weekend long tournament throughout April where thousands of players play to be among the best 99. The jerseys, tournament and OOH are a celebration of Beijing basketball drawing from both the city’s long, proud history and its love of basketball.

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