Nike marks Kobe Bryant’s memorial service with a perfect tribute

By Jeff Beer

Today in Los Angeles, thousands of fans, friends, and family gathered at the Staples Center for the memorial service for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who were killed last month in a helicopter crash along with seven others. As the tributes poured forward, in the arena and online, Bryant’s long-time sponsor Nike posted a simple, yet stunning remembrance of the hoops legend.

No flashy dunks, no adrenaline-pumping highlight reels, the only visual is words. A somber tone for the eyes; however, the highlights of Bryant’s career are recalled here through the audio—the airball game of his rookie season, his five championship rings, his 81-point game, Olympic gold, painful Achilles injury, his final 60-point game, his Oscar win—in the way fans would’ve lived them, through the sports commentators and other media through which Bryant was a part of their lives.

The sounds bring back the memories, but the lack of video highlights forces us to use our own memories to go along with it. In that way, the brand is able to be present, but self-aware enough to make this moment about Bryant and the fans, not an opportunity for a shoe ad.

A note-perfect tribute.


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