via Streeter Lecka
by Brandon Richard
The clock wound down in Beijing, as a very sound team from Spain pushed a star-studded Team USA to its limit. But behind a clutch performance by Kobe Bryant, the Americans triumphantly reclaimed their spot atop basketball’s hierarchy. They were officially the “Redeem Team.”
The 2008 Olympic Games put the USA Basketball Team in an unfamiliar position. Once invincible, the group found themselves hungry to recapture the gold medal it had failed to win four years earlier. The unfortunate set of circumstances, however, played a key role in rebranding USA Basketball, regaining the attention of the best players, and creating a new avenue for product introduction.
Beijing wasn’t only a showcase of the world's greatest competitors— it was a platform for marketing sportswear in the new social age. This was particularly so forNike, which used the global stageto redefine product placement. Among its myriad of unveilings was the Hyperdunk, an innovative basketball sneaker that embraced the category’s evolving “lightweight” landscape.
Not just for show, the Hyperdunk was a true performance innovation, most notably marking the debut of Flywire. As the brand continued to adapt to the ligh...