Nike Unveils Stirring 'Mamba Forever' Ad Honoring Kobe Bryant

Video drops on the day of Staples Center memorial

Nike was quick to honor Kobe Bryant in the wake of his sudden and tragic death, posting an image and a brief written tribute to the 41-year-old retired NBA superstar on Jan. 26, the day of the helicopter crash that killed him.

On Monday, as thousands gathered at the Staples Center to pay their respects to the Laker legend, Nike unveiled a new video ad honoring Bryant. Spare in the extreme, the two-minute piece features no images whatsoever—just audio and onscreen text that combine to tell Bryant's story, from his early days through the Laker dynasty to his time as a husband, father, Oscar winner and more.

Wieden + Kennedy Portland created the spot. See it here:

Mamba Forever | Nike

The craft of the piece—the lack of visuals in particular—feels entirely fitting to recognize a man who is gone but will never be forgotten. And of course, the ability to stir great emotion with such a minimalist approach is classic Nike. At W+K, Guilherme Souza and Emma Barnett are credited as the copywriter and art director on the piece.

" 'Mamba Forever' pays tribute to beloved member of the Nike family, Kobe Bryant. One of the greatest athletes of his generation, Bryant had an immeasurable impact on the world of sport and the community of basketball," the brand said in a statement.


Client: Nike

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Executive Creative Directors Jason Bagley & Eric Baldwin
Creative Directors Alberto Ponte & Ryan O’Rourke
Copywriter / Art Director Guilherme Souza & Emma Barnett
Integrated Production
Head of Production Matt Hunnicutt
Executive Producer Jake Grand
Producer Antonio Burnett
Director of Business Affairs Amber Lavender
Business Affairs Manager Laura Caldwell & Maggie Harasyn
Account Team
Group Brand Director Andre Gustavo
Brand Director Erik Wade
Brand Executive Jon Vaughan
Media Director Reme DeBisschop
Communications Planning Supervisor Ryan Craven | Kallie Tenzeldam
Design Studio
Design Ops Manager/Design Producer Alicia Kuna
Studio Designer Mitch Wilson

Company Joint Editorial
Editor Steve Sprinkel
Assistant Editor Kevin Alfoldy
Post Executive Producer Jen Milano

Company Joint
Flame Kevin Alfoldy
VFX Executive Producers Bugs Russell
VFX Producer Annie Rosick

Artists Hammock
Song Mysterium

Sound Design Company Joint
Sound Designer Noah Woodburn

Mix Company Joint
Audio Mixer Noah Woodburn

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

Advertise With Us

Featured Clio Award Winner



The best in creativity delivered to your inbox every morning.