Category E05. Influencer / Talent
Entrant NIKE Portland, USA
Idea Creation AKQA London, UNITED KINGDOM
Media Placement MINDSHARE Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Name Company Position
Alex Aidan AKQA Group Account Director
Michael Sinnerton AKQA Senior Account Director
Stuart Davis AKQA Community Manager
Jonny Erazo AKQA Senior Community Manager
Toby Burnett AKQA Creative Director
Rob James AKQA Copywriter
Adrian Stannard AKQA Associate Creative Director
Barry Slater AKQA Senior Designer
Albert Pukies AKQA Art Director
Nicole Chen AKQA Creative
Harjeet Mander Creative Copywriter
Simon Spender AKQA Producer
Jawwad Sheikh AKQA Senior Production Manager
Andrew Dobbie AKQA Creative
Mathieu Garnier AKQA Creative
Joe Koprowski AKQA Creative
Haley Ma AKQA Editor


The World Cup is the biggest stage both for athletes and brands. Just as much as it is a contest on pitch, it is a competition for the eyes of all that watch. For athletes, to reach the pinnacle of sport, you need irrational self belief. Nike’s goal was to uncover their athletes' unique stories and use them to inspire the millions following the World Cup with cogent, disruptive stories. The content had to also drive business goals by connecting athlete inspiration to product innovation, creating a seamless journey to commerce. While capturing football audience’s attention, Nike set out to convert new members to create long term relationships. We set out to deliver value at every interaction and land Nike's distinctive POV amidst all the noise during the tournament.

Describe the strategy

Our target audience are 14-20 year olds that see football as more than a sport - it defines part of who they are. They live on mobile and are constantly seeking the "new". They move fast, consuming at the pace of the sport happening on pitch. The strategy implemented was the culmination of a 3 year journey observing our consumer, adapting to their behaviours, their platforms and testing what resonated with them. At its core was embracing the fluidity of the game with how we programmed and planned Nike’s content. Instead of sticking to a linear narrative, we lead conversation with a distinctly Nike POV pre-game, then capitalizing on athlete/team success post match. Every piece of content had a complete user journey in mind – driving to either deeper story telling editorials or to relevant commerce pages. Athletes were given bespoke versions for their channels, embracing their tone of voice.

Describe the execution

We capitalized on Nike’s exceptional group of athletes and teams by creating insightful, inspirational stories that struck audiences at just the right moment. We leaned on our strongest assets – our athletes – for both inspiration and to fuel our reach by leveraging their massive following. Every piece of content was rooted in authentic athlete stories, telling the audience what their unique perspective was on belief based on intimate interviews we captured pre-tournament. We translated that belief insight into disruptive creative designed specifically for the platform our audience engages – Instagram. Ephemeral content was created for our core athletes and created at scale so it was adaptable to any of the possible on pitch performance scenarios. This gave us the flexibility to react quickly, lead the conversation, and ensure we had hyper-relevant destinations for every consumer interaction. Athletes owned the pre-game message and we reacted on Nike brand channels.

List the results

While Nike's dominance on pitch was helpful, we capitalized on every success by having bespoke and engaging stories for every moment of brilliance. Over 52 pieces of unique content were created across Instagram, Instagram Stories, IGTV, Twitter and By leveraging athlete, club and media partner channels, we were able to reach far beyond Brand audience creating over 470 million views and unlocked a massive new audience - a single post by Ronaldo drove 224K traffic to with 2% converting to new members. The stories created 3 times the engagement and 2 times the Google searches versus our competitors. The seamless journeys to nike commerce channels through swipe ups links increased football product sales 3 times versus last year. Most importantly, the outcome for the consumer was a hyper relevant stream of authentic, insightful and inspirational stories that had a clear Nike POV.