NIKE’s “Better Than I’ve Ever Been” Featuring Kanye West, Nominated for Grammy

The much talked about collaboration for the NIKE commissioned hip hop track, “Better Than I’ve Ever Been,” which was executive produced by Cornerstone, has been nominated for the 2008 Grammy Awards for “Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.” Featuring Kanye West, Nas, KRS-One and produced by Rick Rubin, the song was created to celebrate the 25th year anniversary of Nike’s iconic shoe, the Air Force 1. In addition, a remix version of the track featuring hip hop veteran Rakim which was produced by DJ Premier was recorded as part of the campaign. “Better Than I’ve Ever Been” marks the first time Nike has ever commissioned a Grammy–nominated song in the company’s 35-year history. Spearheaded by Cornerstone, the music collaboration included everything from concept to execution, such as securing the talent, overseeing production of the track and music video, releasing the song, and securing digital placements and radio airplay. The partnership was led by Cornerstone’s music supervision and lifestyle departments which were also responsible for coordinating previous music projects for Nike on iTunes, including securing exclusive workout tracks from some of today’s most well respected artists for the Nike + initiative. “From the great talent to Nike’s commitment to the idea, everything aligned perfectly for us,” said Rob Stone, Co-President and Founder of Cornerstone. “To top it off with a Grammy nomination is an incredible honor. This campaign exemplifies how a creative idea successfully executed can have a much greater impact on the culture as compared to a traditional advertising campaign. This is a pure example of organic marketing — growing a brand through channels in a way that truly connects with the consumer.” Twenty-five years ago Nike introduced the Air Force 1 performance shoe to satisfy the demands of the most uncompromising and forceful players in the game of basketball. In 1982, the Air Force 1 became the first basketball shoe to feature Nike Air technology. The comfort and protective qualities of the Air Force 1 changed the game forever and created a platform that launched Nike’s long-running legacy in performance basketball. During the past 25 years the Air Force 1 evolved from a performance breakthrough on the court to an icon of the street. All Nike and artists’ proceeds from the sale of the original Air Force 1 song “Better Than I’ve Ever Been” will go to the Nike Youth Sport for Change Fund to support two chapters of Baltimore’s Boys & Girls Club of America — Jackson Unit Boys & Girls Club of America and The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of America.

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