Nike and Google Are Transforming Basketball Courts Across Metro Manila
Two years ago, in 2015, Nike launched the “Rise” global campaign. It was an effort, in several countries, to find the next big thing in local basketball. For us, it meant gathering 24 young players from barangays across the Philippines to compete in a basketball training camp for six weeks under Chot Reyes and Jimmy Alapag. The entire competition was covered in a documentary series, which is actually pretty awesome:
The message, of course, was that great basketball players can come from anywhere. Some of the best ballers may be obscured from the sport, or may not have access to the kind of training that can help them fulfill their potential. So Nike made it their mission (or for the cynics, their “brand effort”) to search for those untapped talents and give them the thrust they need.
The Rise docu-series and campaign ended in 2015, but lives on in Nike’s new project in the Philippines: the Hypercourt.
The Hypercourt is not a new court per se, but rather, an evolution of several neighborhood basketball courts. With the help of Google, Nike has equipped five existing basketball courts in Metro Manila with technology that gives players free access to Nike basketball training content.
The content that you can access while on these courts includes drills and how-to videos designed by Filipino pro-league coaches, based on the play styles of Nike Basketball’s signature athletes. At the Hypercourt launch, Google Philippines Country Head Kenneth Lingan noted that how-to videos are the second-most popular YouTube genre in the country. One can only imagine how many young and aspirant basketball players rely on online videos to train, and how many would benefit from the Hypercourts providing those for free.
The Ususan Court in Taguig, the Comembo Covered Court in Makati, the Scarlet Homes Covered Court in Parañaque, the YCL Covered Court in Quezon City, and the Titan Love Court in BGC—all are now Nike Hypercourts.
The Hypercourt app also features an unlockable trading card system, but that’s just an auxiliary feature. Its real groundbreaking value is that it can essentially provide professional coaching to anyone with a phone. The Hypercourt is a way of democratizing basketball education.
The courts have also been painted over with comic book-inspired artwork by New York-based designer Arturo Torres. Each court is based on a corresponding Nike Basketball signature athlete: The Titan Love Court is now the LeBron James Hypercourt, the YCL Court is now the Kyrie Irving Hypercourt, the Scarlet Homes Court is now the Russell Westbrook Hypercourt, the Comembo Court is now the Kevin Durant Hypercourt, and the Ususan Court is now the Kobe Bryant Hypercourt.
YCL Court, Quezon City
Scarlet Homes Covered Court, Paranaque
Comembo Covered Court, Makati
Ususan Court, Taguig
Titan Love Court, BGC
If even one of the players on these courts goes on to become a great athlete because of the professional training that they’d receive from the app, Nike will have been successful.