It is very well-known at this point that the NBA has turned to Nike to be its’ main apparel partner for the 2017-2018 season and beyond. To celebrate, Nike has been popping up a number of different activations around Toronto.
It all started with a massive coming-out party at the House of Hoops located on Yonge Street. Nike Toronto took over the entire store, and invited Torontonians to come out and officially welcome Nike back to the NBA. There was a photo booth, an open bar, and of course they had the opening night games streaming on the big screen. An extremely special guest, Gary Payton, even showed up to take-in the festivities!
The party also served as an introduction of Nike’s pop-up customization space located at the back of the store, entitled Nike By You. Nike is allowing consumers to customize tees and hoodies with Toronto-centric graphics. The customization is free with purchase!
A few days later, we were invited to take part in a one-on-one Bespoke jersey customization session in a private space behind the Nike By You lab. The customization took place in a quiet, intimate space, complete with photographs from Nike Toronto’s NBA campaign, along with art pieces from local Toronto artists. The customization itself was done on an iPad, with an application not unlike the NikeID website.
The colour inspiration I went with for my jersey was taken from the retro purple dinosaur Raptors jerseys that I grew up with. The number, 9, was done in a purple tumbled leather, with a black stitch. The name plate, reading ‘LDoggy’, is black snakeskin with purple stitching. The jersey itself is an authentic Raptor jersey in their home red. The jersey is also outfitted with Nike’s brand new experience, Nike Connect. Connect is an interactive experience that allows NBA fans to connect with their favourite players through their jersey! By downloading the app, and tapping on the Nike Connect tag on the jersey, you are redirected to game-day information, player stats, and even prizes and other goodies exclusively offered through the app.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, following the customization session I was gifted a pair of the NBA Air Force 1 Lows in the black colourway. The sneaker’s glory comes in the form of an oversized “fat belly” Swoosh down the medial and lateral sides of the shoe. The NBA’s Jerry West logo graces the heel of both shoes, and a special AF-1 tag finds its’ place on the tongue. The overall make-up of the sneaker is phenomenal; featuring a supple, premium, tumbled leather. These are available on Nike.ca, as well as select Champs Sports and Foot Locker locations.
This whole experience was one of the most unique and surreal times I’ve ever had. I have been a basketball fan for a large portion of my life, so to have the opportunity to be involved in a new era of NBA basketball was extremely special to me. Thank you once again to Nike Toronto, Foot Locker Canada, and NBA Canada for everything.