Kobe is a big deal in China. In an effort to reach out to this Chinese fans prior to his imminent retirement, Black Mamba worked with Nike China and advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy on this very moving commercial. In it, Kobe tells his Chinese fans that they shouldn’t love him — in fact, they should hate him. “Kobe has an intimate relationship with the Chinese ballers, so he knows exactly how to teach and motivate them,” says Terence Leong, creative director of W+K Shanghai. “Together with Nike China and Kobe, our team crafted the script and made sure the film was just as provocative as the man himself. It was an intense and uncompromising process because Kobe was just as demanding on the creative team as he was on the Lakers.”
W+K creative director Azsa West added, “[Kobe] chose to focus on becoming a legend rather than being a hero. When it comes to winning, Kobe is willing to push himself to risk everything. Because standing back and doing nothing, that’s real failure. This philosophy is very Nike ‘Just do it,’ and Kobe is the perfect person to deliver this spirit of Nike.”
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