What’s up with Zion?

Zion Williamson dribbling basketball underwater in swimming pool

Jordan Brand

Locked In

Approach

Hoops fans love Zion. A few seasons into the league with his explosive style and megawatt smile means he’s already on a one name basis with the public, like Lebron, Kobe and Cher. He’s also historically great for such a young player—so when he missed a full season due to injury he left a huge hole in the NBA landscape. People wanted to know, ‘What’s up with Zion?’ We decided to serve up that answer in a way only appropriate for a player who does things on the court that are impossible to believe. Meet us where magic and realism collide with every NBA fan’s heart.

Challenge

Due to injuries and rotten luck, Pelicans superstar Zion Williamson hadn’t played basketball in the public eye for more than a full year. How do you build hype for his next shoe when he’s been out of sight and out of mind in cold storage?

Solution

Alongside a more traditional tease clip, we created three short films that answer the question, ‘What’s up with Zion?’ in the run up to the Zion 2 launch. But these aren’t your average back-to-the-lab-grit-and-grind gym videos. For a player who does impossible things on the court, we created a comeback story of impossible magnitude. Zion plays so fantastically, that you would believe he trains blindfolded. Or underwater? Sure. How about in a void where he controls basketballs with his mind? Absolutely. We captured three fantasy worlds where Zion’s comeback trail leaves the laws of physics. Using a mix of practical effects and CGI, these make you believe Zion can do just about anything on the court because of how he trains off it. And who knows, maybe the Zion 2 will help you play more like him too.

Close up of side view of Zion's face and shoulder as he is working out.
Zion working out in gym with medicine ball over his head
Close up of Zion's face as he sets up to shoot basketball
Zion Williamson mid air about to dunk basketball
Behind the scenes shot of Zion dribbling basketball in front of screen with lighting equipment surrounding
Zion going up to dunk basketball while blind folded and sets of punching bags set up as obstacles
Behind the scenes of photoshoot with creative directors standing with Zion who is wearing blindfold amidst punching bags
Side view of Zion Williamson dribbling basketball with blindfold on. He is wearing Nike Zion 2 sneakers
Close up side view of Zion blindfolded
Zion spinning basketball on his finger while blindfolded
Over the shoulder shot of Zion Williamson
behind the scenes shot showing platform Zion is sitting on before post production to make him look like is floating. There are lights surrounding him
Behind the scenes for photoshoot of Zion floating where he is sitting on circular platform and cre surrounds him. There are hultiple cameras, backdrops and lighting
Zion Williamson sitting crosslegged holding to floating basketballs. He is surrounded by an orange and red glow with purple background
Close up of Zion 2 sneaker underwater in pool
Zion's face and arms outstretched face up, underwater in a pool
close up of Nike Zion 2 sneakers in blue being worn floating underwater in swimming pool
Zion dribbling basketball on bottom of swimming pool wearing blue Nike Zion 2 sneakers
Zion Williamson underwater in swimming pool. There is a mirror like reflection on surface of water with ripples
wide shot from above basketball court shoot showing large crew and multiple cameras and lighting