ASICS - 'Play the Unplayable' creative platform with Novak Djokovic

The background

The Court FF2 project was borne out of 6 months of product development involving Djokovic himself. The result, a pinnacle tennis shoe whose design is based on the hallmarks of his unique and dynamic game. The bespoke limited-edition Court FF Novak was developed alongside the commercially available Court FF2, both offering unparalleled comfort, support and durability, whilst optimising player speed and stability; traits commonly associated with Djokovic’s signature style of play.

Humanising our creative approach

Novak Djokovic’s own personal journey has been one of overcoming; overcoming rivalries, overcoming challenges, overcoming injuries, overcoming limits and overcoming expectation. His extroverted personality and willingness to live life to the fullest on and off court allows him play where others think life is unplayable. Using this as our inspiration, it was crucial to create a storytelling moment that not only heroed Djokovic’s own rise against adversity, but also motivated players of all ages and levels to re-frame and raise their game to take on the ‘unplayable’.

The unplayable court

On the court Djokovic is rapid and frenetic, sprinting and reaching with unthinkable stability and control. By placing him on a ‘court’ that is as unfamiliar as it is unforgiving, we dramatise the traditional game of tennis by challenging Novak to play under extreme circumstances. Here the beautiful asymmetry that allows him to constantly outsmart his opponents is severely compromised, making the game difficult even for him, bringing the star closer to mere mortal players. Will he overcome the unplayable court?

The hero campaign forms part of a three-year strategic platform crafted by Green Room for ASICS. ‘Play the Unplayable’ is the latest highlight within a rolling strategic calendar involving ‘always-on’ content across numerous channels, multiple product activations at retail and the leveraging of brand equity at major tournaments through ASICS sponsored players.

 

 

Campaign extension and amplification

The core concept of our creative platform – ‘Play the Unplayable’ was central to the creative direction of this three-tiered campaign. Firstly, a bold, global hero product campaign visually narrating the story of a pinnacle tennis shoe was created to enable players to confidently challenge boundaries and raise their own game.

This was then bolstered by diverse social content including a film featuring Djokovic, a social Challenger Series featuring top tennis talent Alex De Minaur and Gael Monfils. Finally insights, tips, tricks and coaching from other ASICS ambassadors were designed to live as ‘always-on’ content for the brand, to be dialled up at key events in the tennis tour calendar like Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

 

The campaign kicked off in January 2019, at the Australian Open, and continued to the hero product launch in May 2019 at Roland Garros. The concept and story will continue through the tennis Grand Slam calendar and into the following year.

Green Room have designed and delivered content to initiate a compelling conversation with all tennis players, bringing them into the world of ASICS and it’s tennis stars; we’re thrilled to be continuing our partnership with them.

We can’t tell you how satisfying it was to see Djokovic win his 7th Australia Open Grand Slam in the shoes; we’re feeling confident his winning streak continues for upcoming Grand Slams – making it game, set and Novak’s perfect match.

Sarah Mundy, Global CPS Category Manager for ASICS Japan

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