By: Chris Nomad
Resist no further, Nike has taken the alternative sports scene by storm. First by sponsoring the biggest surfing, skate and bmx events, upping the prize purses to sickening levels, and now involving the true core culture with a contest like no other.
Nike Chosen threw the gauntlet down with a worldwide challenge and pitted any local crew to create a video showcasing their teams talents against the world for a chance at each member winning $10,000 a piece (up to $40,000), all kinds of free gear/swag, VIP status at the US Open (or Dew Tour for BMX), and to essentially live the life of a rock star pro by getting an all expenses paid surf trip anywhere in the world (or 7 day skate trip in Europe). Nike also plans to send a film crew to tag along to create a video of the crew celebrating their win and giving them even more worldwide exposure. Not bad at all!
Similar contests have been run in individual sports like skating however nothing on this magnitude. Nike also set a new standard for contests by demanding that each crew utilize social media (Facebook) to create “buzz” about their crews and video. It isn’t enough just to have a great video, it also has to garner attention, no room for the elitists in this contest, it’s not called anti-social media!
As video submissions were added every day, Nike created weekly video blogs of the top submissions and posted them to both YouTube and Facebook. Each week went by and the creative imagination, sound and video editing and overall quality went through the roof! IMHO some of these videos blow away even the most professional videos being done, some really top notch production work by many talented amateurs.
In the end over 1800 crews from an astounding 12 countries submitted videos, wow. Can you imagine the amount of work Nike put in reviewing and previewing all of these works, but I have to admit, that would be a job I would be more then happy to do!
In second place was an outstanding set of videos from The Wild Lyfe Crew by way of the East Coast’s, Virginia Beach. When Nike announced the top 9 and then the 3 finalists, many people, including TransWorld SURF Editor in Chief Chris Cote who made his favorite clear during live broadcast of the US Open of Surfing, picked The Wild Lyfe to take the entire contest. Rocking music, deep East Coast pits, big airs, water shots, go pro POV and bails to boot, they seem to encompass everything you would look for in a rad video. With a whopping 13,000+ “Likes” and nearly 4200 comments, most considered the Virginia Beach crew to be a lock for the win. It seemed like The Wild Lyfe had the backing of the entire East Coast community and many professionals in the surfing industry as well. However, the crew would have to accept a well respected second (and a pleasant $10,000 from Nike). Third place was another crew of rippers representing their home country of Brazil, A Justando Itinerario who received $10,000 for their placing as well. It seemed as though all of Brazil was rooting for A Justando Itinerario.
Incredibly, the final winner of the inaugural Nike Chosen contest (yes Nike is planning on doing more of these since they are obviously a huge a success) was not from one of the countries one would expect, but rather the team named “Fus” from Germany. When announced I had flashbacks to the Billabong XXL awards with Christian Fletcher but we will stay on point. Truth be told, I personally liked several other teams videos better. When I first started watching Fus’ video submission my expectations were rather low. However, I have to admit, the video is incredibly slick (looks to be edited like a professional) and although I have my own feelings about river surfing, these guys really do rip it up.
Locally, the crews from Santa Cruz were represented and even featured in the Santa Cruz Sentinel…
Congratulations to all the winners and to all the entrants who took their time to create some incredible artistic footage for the world to enjoy.
Whether you approve or disapprove of Nike’s full frontal assault on branding in the world surf, skate and bmx you cannot ignore that Nike has gone huge and with the power of big corporate money being thrown at pros and enthusiasts alike, Nike is here in our community to stay.
Nike Chosen is planning to run the contest again for the winter starting in October with possibly bigger and better prizes, you know all the surf, skate, bmx and possibly snowboard? crews are thinking about how to up their creative juices and take their games to a whole new level.
For updates, check out Nike online at:
on Facebook at:
And twitter at:
For hours of viewing fun, check out all the Nike Chosen video updates here:
Contact the writer of this blog here:
or on twitter “NorCalSurfNomad” and Facebook “Chris Nomad”
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