Nike has partnered with New Orleans artist Brandan “B-Mike” Odums at NBA All-Star Weekend to bring its “Equality” campaign to life by transforming his studio into an interactive, basketball-themed space focused on the importance of community and bringing people together.
The warehouse studio, named “Studio Be for Equality,” features artwork from Odums that highlights local community influencers and organizations. It will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday.
“I was beyond elated to get an email from Nike saying that they were interested in working with me,” Odums told USA TODAY Sports. “The first thing I thought about is, ‘How can I honor individuals from my community that embody the ideas of this campaign?’ ”
Nike tipped off the campaign last week with the release of a powerful ad featuring NBA stars LeBron James and Kevin Durant, as well as Serena Williams, Gabby Douglas, Megan Rapinoe and Victor Cruz.
“We believe that sport has the power to change the world and our athletes were ready as part of the conversation,” Rami Jabaji Sr., central territory brand director at Nike, said. “We wanted to make sure that, as Nike, we entered into the conversation as well.
NBA stars scheduled to make appearances in the studio over the weekend include James and Durant, as well as Anthony Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Karl-Anthony Towns and Paul George.
“Everyone was really thankful that we were gonna make this statement and have this message,” Jabaji Sr. said. “We’re working directly with the community, making it about the city of New Orleans and the community here, and having athletes interact with them on a one-to-one basis all around the idea of equality.”
By AJ Neuharth-Keusch
Courtesy of USAToday