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Chinese Mythical Beasts Inspire 99 Unique Jerseys for Beijing’s Best Basketballers

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Nike and W+K Shanghai took inspiration from traditional Chinese emblems to create unique prizes for the Beijing99 tournament
Chinese Mythical Beasts Inspire 99 Unique Jerseys for Beijing’s Best Basketballers
Beijingers are proud and like to boast. And while outsiders might dismiss their talk as hot air, Nike and W+K launched a multi-sport campaign telling everyone to “Believe a Beijinger.” This April, Beijing athletes were encouraged to back up their talk in film, OOH and a four-week basketball tournament: The Beijing99. 
In ancient China, military and civilian rank were distinguished by emblems of mythical beasts embroidered on robes. Nike and W+K took inspiration from this system by centring the city-wide Beijing99 tournament around 99 originally-designed jerseys that are up for grabs. 
Beijing, China’s basketball capital, is home to many proud and confident basketball players. Nike and W+K challenged those players to put their pride on the line and battle for the title of best in Beijing. 

“Beijing players have a reputation for talking a big game, so giving them a platform to back up their talk with performance was important to our approach,” says Chris Kirkup, planner at W+K Shanghai.
The rankings and colours of the traditional system inspired the one-of-a-kind jersey designs. Five illustrators were invited to help design the jerseys. 
The number 1 jersey in the Beijing99 is a golden dragon jersey, similar to the original highest rank. Jerseys 2 through 9 are the Kirin. The 10s are a Lion. 20s are a Leopard. 30s are a Tiger. 40s are a Bear. 50s are a TigerCat. 60s are a Rhino. 70s are a Horse. 80s are a Crane, and 90s are a Xiezhi. 

“We wanted to inspire pride and ambition in Beijing’s younger athletes. So we combined elements from China’s rich visual history with modern art direction to celebrate the attitude and intensity of Beijing basketball players,” says W+K Shanghai ECD Ian Toombs. 
“It was important for this work to feel like something that could only exist in Beijing,” adds Creative Director Matt Skibiak. “The team even used elements inspired by the Forbidden City’s architecture to design the OOH. We wanted these jerseys to feel like Beijing trophies.”
A film and OOH promoted the jerseys and the Beijing99 event - a four-weekend long tournament throughout April where thousands of players play to be among the best 99. 
The jerseys, tournament and OOH are a celebration of Beijing basketball drawing from both the city’s long, proud history and its love of basketball. Nike and W+K partnered with Mindshare and Kinect for the projections. 



Executive Creative Director: Ian Toombs, Vivian Yong
Creative Directors: Dong Hao, Matt Skibiak
Art Director: Wei Zhong How
Copywriter: Aier Xu, Gem Xu
Senior Copywriter: Matt Meszaros  
Creative: Josh King
Executive Producer: Bernice Wong
Film Producer: Raymond Lau
Production Assistant: Lexie Hsieh
Producer: Angela Liu
Art Buyer: Juni Zhu
Senior Planner: Leon Lin
Planner: Chris Kirkup
Business Director: Dino Xu
Associate Account Director: Chuck Xu
Sr. Account Executive: Xueer Ren
Sr. Account Executive: Yuting Zhang
Head of Design: Fish Ho
Designer: John Yao, He Fan
3D Motion Designer: Vicki Dang
Business Affairs: Jessica Deng, Kathy Zhan
Senior Studio Production Manager: Vic Zhang
Senior Studio Print Producer: Stone Xue
Retoucher: Lee Chang Qing, Linda Zhang
FA Artist: Austin Hu, Vic Zhang, Stone Xue

JB Photo
Photographer: Qiao Yong
Still-Life Photographer: Li Jing
Photographer Assistants: Liu Fei, Yu Zhou, Chen Zibin
Producer: Zhang Weibin 
Production Assistant: Wang Junyi, Zhou Li
Stylist: Chen Yanjun
Make-Up Artist: Qin Jiawei 
Hair Stylist: Mars Luo

Amanacliq Shanghai
Production Director: Jaslyn Loh
Sr. Artist Agent & Marketing Producer: Edie Zhang
Associate Marketing Producer: Iris Yue
Illustrator: Shan Jiang, ILOVEDUST, ShaneHello, Ivan Belikov, Brian Yap

CG Artists: Ewelina Aleksandrowicz, Andrzej Wojtas

Jersey Manufacturer: ChangZhou YiJia Clothing
Throne Manufacturer: DongYang YuQianTang GongTing HongMu Ltd.
Print Color Set: ChengLin Printing House 

Editor: Gu Maiyun
3D Motion Designer: Vicki Dang 
Post Production: Bottles Post Production 
Music: Big Knows Music
Music Producer: Arthur Monnet
Composer, Sound design and mix: Charles Monnet

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Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai, Thu, 02 May 2019 14:43:58 GMT