At first glance, you might dismiss this as just another viral video, and you wouldn't be completely off the mark. The Nike Pool video has been making the rounds on the Internet for the past few days and is turning more than a few heads. However, the real story here isn't a viral video; it's the actual story.
On the people side, this is the story about of Nike doing something that really excited a group of people. In just two weeks, they transformed a pool that was slated for demolition into a gnarly BMX complex and created a pro-am style team competition the likes of which England had not seen. And as if that wasn't enough, when the competition ended Nike left the complex open for free public use through the end of their 30-day lease. Talk about awesome!
On the brand side, this is the story of Nike creating an event to reposition themselves in the minds of extreme sports athletes. Over the years, Nike has expanded its brand associations from running to basketball, football, golf, soccer, and more, and it's a relatively safe bet that this event is part of a strategy to expand Nike into the world of extreme sports. As a relative newcomer to BMX (and the culture that surrounds it), Nike was smart to pursue a strategy of grassroots empowerment through this event. They respected the subculture and didn't try to pose as an authority before the subculture identified them as such.
Ultimately, this wasn't about creating a viral video. The video was simply the most effective way to capture the story and extend its reach. This was about Nike gaining some street cred. They simply made it possible for the people who love BMX to have fun and, in doing so, endeared themselves to an entire community of people.
Well done, Nike. Thanks, Bill.