Nike Rise: World’s 1st Tech-Enhanced, Interactive LED Court

Nike has created the world’s first tech-enhanced, interactive LED basketball court to enable NBA star Kobe Bryant teach his moves to young players in Shanghai as part of the Nike RISE project.


The full-sized, responsive court, which is equipped with motion-tracking sensors and reactive LED visualisation technology built into the floor, is named the House of Mamba (after Bryant’s nickname).


Thus the court can lay out moves for players to follow: creating drills based on Bryant’s training programme that are adapted for the court and which can then respond to mistakes as well as display performance stats in real-time.


The floor also shows the classic court markings and customised overlays including Nike’s RISE branding.


Furthermore, when not in use for this particular training programme (or for a competitive game), this LED surface can display pretty much any kind of moving image, graphics and colour combination.


Working with agency AKQA, in collaboration with other outfits such as Rhizomatiks and WiSpark, this session saw Bryant challenge and inspire the 30 participants to up their game



Nike RISE is a multifaceted basketball project, running through the summer, built on a competition for young Chinese players to win a chance to participate in September’s Nike World Basketball Festival in Barcelona.


Bryant is just one of a set of NBA players taking part in the RISE training and selection.


The initial entry funnel saw basketball-loving kids submit their own 30-second basketball-themed video.


Nike will invite a professional panel consisting of Wang Fei, Yi Jianlian and Chang Chun-Ning, to select the first 30 shortlisted players.


Then the programme kicked off with a set of training sessions by LeBron James (in Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Taipei and Kaohsiung) after which he selected 30 players to move on to the next stage with Bryant.


As well as his RISE master class, Bryant used the trip to visit the Nike Basketball Park in Shanghai where a court is dedicated in his name and to judge a trainer design battle between young designers, as well as teaching kids and parents about the importance of being active.


At the end of the week-long training course, Bryant cut the 30 RISE players down to 10 – this group then competed in the RISE Final held at Wukesong Basketball Park in Beijing.


Three Final winners went on to participate in the Nike World Basketball Festival.


The multi-phased RISE campaign is also being broadcast, as individual episodes, on the web as the first social basketball documentary drama in China.


It will stream on QQ (nikerise.qq.com), Yahoo (Taiwan) and Fanpiece (Hong Kong) – with one episode running each week and six episodes in total.



The initiative is further supported via the Nike Basketball Wechat channel – through which young players can enter the original draft and stay updated with the programme’s latest news, as well as watch RISE video episodes (and be served information about Nike Basketball gear).



Tech-enhanced playing services are becoming something of a trend in 2014.


Whether for enhancing skills-training like this Nike RISE project, or as part of a CSR programme like Shell’s recent player-powered soccer pitch (see previous case study).




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