NIKE Ignites Culture Of Basketball In Joburg

Nike’s culture of basketball is the ultimate celebration of sport and lifestyle

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the iconic Nike Air Force 1 – the world’s most recognizable sneaker born on the hardwood floors of the basketball court. In honor of this, Nike is bringing an all new event to the concrete jungle of Johannesburg.

Battle Force Joburg kicks off this weekend with competition and creativity igniting on the court, the microphone and the dancefloor.

Nike is calling all basketballers, dance crews, rappers and DJs to join the fiercest battle to hit the streets of Joburg, and those who enter will unleash their passion to lead a generation to what comes next. Entries for the Battle Force tournament are now live on

Hosted at the newly refurbished Zoo Lake basketball courts, the teams will showcase their skills in a 3-on-3 challenge, commencing on 25 November with 32 teams on the first weekend, before the top 16 teams get game ready to battle it out for the prize of Battle Force champions on 2 December.

The finale of Battle Force will include a dance battle led by Tarryn Alberts looking for the freshest moves, a rap battle led by Riky Rick selecting the hottest bars, a DJ battle led by DJ Speedsta ruling on the decks, and a Camo battle led by Mkay Frash spotting the king and queen of camo on the day.

The refurbished courts are part of Nike’s commitment to develop sport in South Africa.  The sports brand partnered with two local artists – Faatimah Mohamed-Luke aka Mrs Luke and Karabo Moletsane – to rejuvenate the local Jozi landmark at Zoo Lake and collaborate in creating a never-before-seen court design that combines elements from their own signature styles.

Inspired by the local culture of Joburg, the creative plays on the concept of opposing forces. Designed by Karabo, the Cheetah represents the Zoo and symbolizes speed and prowess, while the Crocodile represents the lake and is a symbol of resilience and adaptation. The animals are overlaid by geometric shapes designed by Mrs Luke which are inspired by natural elements such as flowers and trees.

This labour of love promotes self-expression and celebrates the artistry, authenticity, and youthfulness that exists within the sport of basketball – on the very courts which are the original battle grounds of basketball, and which will help unearth the next-generation of basketball stars.

Where sport and fashion meet

In support of the court refurbishments, Nike has collaborated with two more designers to deconstruct and reconstruct a collection of triple-black and triple-white AF1’s. For the first time in South Africa, sneaker heads and fashionistas alike will have the chance to own a bespoke and exclusive pair of locally designed Nike AF1s.

Nokana “Dodo” Mojapelo, aka Docc Collect, and Danielle Clough, aka Fiance Knowles, have each created a collection of 12 one-of-a-kind sneakers. Each shoe in the collections will be identifiable by the designers’ unique touch and no two pairs are the same.

The limited edition collections will be auctioned via  “White Out” by Fiance Knowles on 27 November and “Black Out” by Docc Collect on 2 December. All proceeds from the auction will go towards the Zoolake court upkeep.

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