Creative agency Accept & Proceed has designed a new basketball court for Nike using 20,000 recycled sneakers in New Belgrade, Serbia. Inspired by the ‘Move to Zero’ ethos, the design features the court, children’s playground, bleacher benches, chain link fence, outdoor gym, collection bins, in-store campaign presence and restoration of existing elements. The renewal aims to re-energize the local neighborhood while providing a space for play and for sport among kids and adults alike.
As the team notes, within the playground area, the existing fitness equipment and park furniture provided by the Municipality are fully restored and given the same palette as the court. The graphic elements on the surface of the ground are marked with bright hazard stripes to delineate the various play and gym activities. At the same time, a network of communal zones are formed for kids and adults of all ages to engage with sport and one another.
Matthew Jones, Creative Director, Accept & Proceed, explained that, "It’s no understatement that helping the world’s best sports brand with its sustainability initiative makes me feel immensely proud of the work we’re doing at Accept & Proceed. Our visual identity for Nike’s Move to Zero brand came to life within our court and playground design in New Belgrade and I feel incredibly inspired to know that design, community and responsibility towards our planet were all integral elements in this project. Moreover, to witness and be part of the meaningful connections between Nike and local communities shows a new way forward, especially for the role of designers—a sowing of the seeds for an active future and better tomorrow."
Located in New Belgrade, Block 70 was chosen for the neighborhood’s deep history with basketball. Nigel Cottier, Principal Designer of Accept & Proceed, noted that, "With Nike Belgrade, we evolved the visual language we had developed for Nike’s Move to Zero identity by incorporating bespoke Serbian lettering in the court markings to celebrate New Belgrade’s local community. We had an interesting exercise that challenged our thinking of spaces for sport: what if we break down the essential ingredients of a basketball court and reimagine the traditional court layout? How can we create a fun and unexpected space, whilst retaining legibility and playability? It was fascinating to come up with the different elements of lettering that can inform another function, like a free-throw or half court line, and even more exciting to think that the design will not only inform the players’ movements, but influence the community spirit and energy of Block 70.”
Block 70 was partially created from up to 20,000 old sneakers donated by the local community. By repurposing shoes headed for landfills, Nike’s sustainability initiative aims to transform manufacturing scrap and end-of-life shoes into recycled materials. A&P developed the graphic elements and messaging for the six-month campaign.