Nike Air Atmos Animal Pack

Go wild.

The Air Max 1 is one of Nike’s original footwear icons – marking the first time visible Air had been featured in a shoe’s sole. This iconic heritage, driven by the quest for athletic advantage, is now thriving in sportswear and lifestyle circles. For years, Nike has been launching a pinnacle, custom version of the Air Max 1 – often the most anticipated shoe launch of the year. With the atmos Animal Pack, Nike was bringing back a collaboration with Japanese sneaker boutique atmos to unleash two of the most recognizable icons of Nike Air: the Air Max 1 and Air Max 95, with the unveiling as the crown jewel of Air Max Month.

Nike needed to build a launch that was based off of pure storytelling around the materials, prints, patterns, and bold style. The original collaboration with atmos was primarily released in Japan, yet achieved almost mythical status among sneakerheads worldwide. We were challenged to translate that hype for an entirely new environment – the streets of New York City.

Cinco partnered with Nike NYC to help craft, pitch, and present the story of the Beasts coming back to reclaim their territory. We had to drive excitement around the release yet balance the contrasting style and visual elements of New York & Tokyo, building an experience that would highlight the clean aesthetic of atmos yet be flexible enough to expand across other branded storefronts.

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Concrete jungle.

To create a powerful story that would drive excitement around the release and transform it into a physical experience, we looked to Tokyo and New York; both home to atmos retail storefonts. Two of the worlds largest concrete jungles (and centers of streetwear culture) became our muse. “The beasts are back” drove our creative partnership to create a world where the animals, with their iconic patterns - giraffe, leopard, zebra and tiger - return to the city but in new and unexpected ways. New patterns, evolved forms, bigger and better than before.

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Design Execution

Natural selection.

The return of the Animal Pack was driven by evolution, drawing inspiration the mashup of colors and patterns and updating the flavor for a new generation of fans. We embodied the spirit by evolving the natural patterns into a single animal, as if natural selection had forged new ways for the creatures to thrive in the urban environment. The resulting tiger that greeted fans upon their entrance was meticulously hand-sculpted and painted to maximize dramatic effect and drive sharing across social media.

To ground the concept, we collaborated with Nike to create a futuristic concrete jungle, based on a hybrid of Tokyo and NYC, in decay and overrun by the beasts. Authentic, iconic urban elements from the two cities were placed throughout the space, including a NYC sidewalk with manhole covers, concrete Jersey barriers, fire hydrants, newspaper vending machines, and custom street signs that carried the campaign messaging and graphics. Overgrown foliage, spray paint tags, and branded stickers were added to complete the story while contributing tone and texture.

“The concept for the two beast creations came from juxtaposing the known with the unexpected, just as atmos had done a decade earlier by applying luxe animal prints to performance footwear.”

— Aaron Carlsson / Senior Creative Director - Environments

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Design Execution

East meet west.

Quickstrike releases (only 240 total pairs were released at atmos NYC) often fly off the shelves in mere hours, if not minutes. To extend the consumer experience beyond just point of purchase, we were challenged with creating custom collateral elements to amplify brand visibility and elevate consumer engagement. We created a comprehensive kit of parts - custom shoe boxes and tissue paper for both Air Max 1 & 95 models, a series of Animal Pack stickers based on vintage Nike and atmos graphics, all packaged in collectible atmos tote bags. The kit was featured prominently across traditional press and social media, connecting sneakerheads to the launch in all corners of the globe.

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Design Extension

Topping it off.

Extra Butter, an iconic New York streetwear boutique, has roots and a following similar to that of atmos. We developed an extension of the concrete jungle with a site-specific version for Extra Butter's Lower East Side location, driven by the same evolutionary-inspired elements of the Animal Pack. Starting with their Orchard St. address, a ‘LOISAIDA’ retro sign was then added as a nod to Lower East Side's rich multi-cultural past. In addition, we played off of Extra Butter's movie theater concessions concept, adding custom coffee sleeves on all orders during the release.

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“The street sign became an opportunity for Extra Butter to highlight their NYC roots, extending the concrete jungle concept across multiple storefronts.”

— Kari Rowell / Sr. Designer

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We partnered with Nike to craft a deeper connection around the release and the story behind it, creating a lasting impression that would live beyond this single product launch, ultimately driving brand loyalty and fan engagement.

Deep storytelling and immersive, shareable consumer experiences are keys to successful brand building – they extend a product launch through social engagement and in-person experiences with like-minded members of the community. Our approach focused on building excitement and driving conversation both before and after the launch.

Congrats to our team, our fantastic partners at Nike NYC, Nike Sportswear, atmos and Extra Butter. We'd also like to extend a shoutout to our partners at Bednark Studios, Mirror NYC, and Premier Press for going above and beyond and getting wild with us.

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