The youngest generation of kids is expected to be the least active ever, feeding the narrative that we are facing a physical inactivity crisis in Europe. Kids who don't naturally excel at sports often feel excluded, intimidated by the strict rules and lack of freedom. Intersport asked us to help them spark the joy of sport in their younger audience.
We were briefed to deliver a multi-channel campaign to inspire the kids to 'play new' by putting play ahead of sport and introduce Nike (Kids) as a brand for all kids.
Taking our cue from kids themselves, we realised that we needed to put play at the centre of sport, and encourage as much freedom and experimentation within it as possible. Our aim was to show kids the joy of sport, and encourage them to make sport a daily habit for a lifetime.
The campaign kicked off with a conceptual, product-focused shoot with imagination and freedom of expression at its core. Oversized hockey sticks, netball players in goggles, neon pool noodles, and a tonne of balls of all sizes made for a colouful, chaotic set, and one which the kids would enjoy playing in and experimenting with.
We showed kids ‘playing their way’, where their imaginative reinterpretation of sporting equipment was brought to life through play. Kids were shown playing their newly created games across all of our campaign touch points – from our launch campaign content, through to our social activation and in retail.
Following the success of the shoot, Intersport asked us how we could further grow the Play Your Way campaign. The outcome was the creation of a playful, visually striking 170m2 installation which turned the traditional idea of what a sports arena should look like on its head.
By incorporating a circular table tennis table, triangular and rectangular basketball nets, and a target practice wall, we created a space in which children wanted to play and interact with each other. They were encouraged to use the space in whatever way they wanted to.
No direction, no rules, just fun.
As an added challenge, and to allow us to reach as many children as possible, we decided to make the arena entirely modular. In this way, we were able to dismantle it, load it onto an articulated lorry, drive to a new city and set it up there, in locations varying from gym halls to town squares. The arena ended up going to five cities in three different countries in just three weeks.
And the Play Your Way story doesn't end there. We are currently finalising the details of a permanent new home for the play arena, which will be set up in a new local community in the New Year.