"The sum of all the parts is what made this piece for me. The training videos, 3-D football games and player interviews, each presented within their own unique context of speed, are a good example of branded, immersive entertainment inside an effective e-commerce vehicle." —juror Melissa Haworth
"A strong online presence that backs up an effective television campaign and speaks intelligently and appropriately to its audience." —juror Robert Hodgin
Overview: Looking to create the ultimate online destination for high school football players, this site offers instruction and tips from top players, trainers and college coaches. Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick adds a behind-the-scenes touch with exclusive interviews and a unique 3-D game.
• 250 MB total file size
• Web-delivered 3-D video games
• User-initiated video content
Comments by Matt Howell, Winston Binch, Can Misirlioglu and David Hyung:
"Building on a strong 2003 re-entry into the football category, Nike looked to extend awareness of its relationship with the game of football and to generate demand for its specialized footwear and apparel.
"R/GA began its redesign of the Nike Gridiron site by developing a three-act storyline that connected to the core audience of high school athletes at each step of the year-long season—pre-season, training camp and game-day. This narrative structure provided flexibility for frequent content updates while maintaining relevancy throughout the season.
"The goal of the site was to capture the feeling of what it's like to play football. To get a firsthand look, the Nike and R/GA teams began traveling the country to attend Nike's elite off-season training camps, gathering backstage footage and interviews with premier NCAA football coaches.
"R/GA designers used full-screen photography and saturated images to create a visual language for the Gridiron site based on the excitement of football under Friday night lights. Ambient audio collected at the camps (pads crashing, whistles blowing, coaches yelling) was heard throughout the site to reinforce the authenticity of the message; and valuable video content, such as instructional drills and inspirational interviews, were seamlessly integrated into site content.
"With the last act of the storyline yielding the beginning of the football season, R/GA shifted the site's focus to Nike's marquee athlete Michael Vick. The Vick content, which included exclusive interviews and the development of a signature 3-D Web-delivered game, integrated with offline advertising and attracted a new audience of more mainstream football fans.
"Not only did all our hard work result in a deep, immersive experience that successfully educated and entertained the core consumer, but the redesigned NikeGridiron.com achieved record highs for single week traffic, site registration and average length of stay."