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.
“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
“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
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.