Friday, April 13, 2012

30HG Destination Spotlight: Wieden + Kennedy, Nike Kitchen (Portland, Oregon)

The Pacific Northwest has been an incubator of progress and cool for years. Seattle birthed Grunge and hosted the infamous G8 protests, conversely founding behemoths Starbucks and Microsoft. Its gotten a rep as a haven for hipsters of late but as a trendsetter it comes with the territory.

Seattle is also where Comedy and Indie started dating, unlocking a sizeable crossover audience. The Bumbershoot and Sasquatch Festivals were amongst the first to host comedians alongside their lineup of indie bands. Seattle's Sub Pop Records released comedy records for the likes of David Cross and Flight of the Conchords. Eugene Mirman recently exported his New York based 'EM Comedy Festival' to Seattle in March 2012.

While I geek out to Seattle for being innovators in comedy and music. Its neighbors to the south, Portland are the trailblazers in Sports and marketing being home to Wieden + Kennedy and the Nike Kitchen.

wk seeking, portland, wieden kennedy
Snapshot of my entry to 'WK Seeking'
My love for hoops and Graphic Design stemmed from my fascination with Signature Basketball kicks, Nike and the creatives behind W+K being the undisputed masters. In 2007 the folks at W+K invited creatives into their hallowed studios with the cryptic 'WK Seeking' initiative. My submission didn't make the cut so I didn't join the 40 lucky people (which included Biz Stone, founder of then fledgling Twitter) who networked, drank and got merry together.

There's definitely been a theme to the 30HG Destinations I've listed so far from Pixar, to TroubleMaker and Wieden + Kennedy - they're all creative environments that cross the "Haimish Line" with its sense of community.

wk, portlandia, wieden kennedy
Wieden + Kennedy on 'Portlandia'
Portlandia's Carrie Brownstein in conversation with comedian Marc Maron said this of her time in W+K:
WTF podcast with Marc Maron. Episode 267 - Carrie Brownstein (54m 30s)
MARC MARON: (feigning righteous voice) But you're punk maaan, its f*cking advertising! When did you snap?
CARRIE BROWNSTEIN: It was actually great. For one if you're involved in any singular community (comedy, music) it can start to feel small. Even if you live in a big city you think "I know everyone here". And I show up at Wieden + Kennedy, "Oh my God I have 400 new friends" you know. It felt like switching High schools or something. There's also a lot of creative people there.
NIKE Tales from the Kitchen: Hyperfuse

Find a more in-depth look of the process outlined above and the team that made it possible - HYPERFUSE Tech by NIKE Innovation Kitchen

It would take a miracle for me to be granted access into the famed Innovation Kitchen or standing by the likes Jason Petrie (AKA Alphaproject) but it would be nice to peek behind the curtain of Sport's most innovative brand.


wieden kennedy, nike kitchenWieden + Kennedy and the Nike Kitchen appear on my Northwest Division wishlist of the 30 Home Games mission.

Explore my to-do lists for the Western Conference States
1) Southwest Division
Louisiana | Tennessee | Texas
2) Pacific Division
Arizona | California

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