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Carmelo Anthony Makes a Big Splash in His Jordan Brand M8's

Posted by Michael Waltzer on October 26, 2011 06:01 PM

You may not be able to walk on water, but Carmelo Anthony can.

Last Thursday (Oct. 20) marked the date of a spectacular launch event for his new M8 Jordan Brand sneaker. Inviting guests to NYC's Pier 54 to the Hudson River, an 85-foot 3D projector was used to project a truly one-of-a-kind light show on the water.

It began with a helicopter dropping someone dressed in white into the water — before a giant vision of the New York Knick was visible, running up and down the water dribbling a basketball. Nike's Jordan Brand marketers also used the entire front of a building for another projector which showed Carmelo running across it to shoot a basket.

The launch party was hosted by Hot 97 radio personalities Angie Martinez and DJ Enuff and included multiple food carts, pop-a-shot games, musical performances by rapper Nas, and a VIP area where Chris Paul and Maya Moore mingled with Melo and Lala Anthony, assorted teammates and other guests.

The shoe's kick-off marketing campaign doesn't just end with a launch event. There is an interactive website so fans can experience the event for themselves. If features a "Melo Express" interactive map showing where to buy the shoe, as well as different ways to experience the new brand, including videos of Anthony talking about his journey to NYC and where this shoe is taking him and his brand.

On top of that, the Jordan Brand set up a pop-up installation on Bleecker Street in the heart of Greenwich Village (and NYU territory) called "Flight Lab 159." It's set up so people can experience the Carmelo Anthony brand with a theme of "explosive." The inside is designed to emulate an exploding basketball court, with floorboards flying all over the place. There are 2 screens inside with projectors, and sneakers hanging from their laces off of the floorboards.

Jordan Brand is also offering a mobile app called "Jordan Post-Up." The app allows you to customize your own ad putting pictures of basketball players on any building in their city.

The NBA star says he's already working on the M9 show design. "I started working on the M9 last night (laughs). I'm trying to stay ahead of the game," he commented in an interview with ESPN.

Clearly, Anthony cares deeply about the design of the shoe. "With me, I'm there from Day 1. We already started on the next shoe (laughs). I'm there giving him my inspiration, I'm there giving him the materials that I like, the materials that I don't like. I might come in with a sketch here, a sketch there and then have them do what they do to it. But I'm there from day one. We're on the phone, we're in meetings — I treat it just like it is; a business. "

The public response to the M8 has been great, and the shoe couldn't drop at a better time. There is a lock out happening with the NBA right now, so all eyes are on its players. Also, it follows the release of the Nike Air MAG and the announcement of the LeBron 9 — and helps build out the Jordan Brand franchise, which Forbes estimates (in a nod to namesake Michael Jordan) earns more than $1 billion annually for Nike.

And speaking of Jordan, W+K New York just released this NBA Lockout-themed TV commercial for Nike's Air Jordan called "Love the Game":

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