This year for Air Max Day, we commissioned The Kickback to share their interpretation of what it means to Give Fresh Air. We challenged them to develop a conceptual campaign for Nike’s latest reductive Pre-Day model — a breakthrough design made with a 100% recycled polyester upper, exposed Max Air cushioning and a retro-futuristic aesthetic.


Given that this shoe was originally created for Air Max Day, we could think of no better way to continue our Livestock x Give Fresh Air collaboration than to hand this photoshoot over to our friends at The Kickback. They offered a few free pairs of the Nike Air Max Pre-Day to some of their young creative affiliates, to have some Air-related fun while creating a marketing campaign. With the help of Shadae, Joy and Kiara, The Kickback shows us how to Give Fresh Air by giving it to those who matter most: the next generation.

 

In case you didn’t know already, The Kickback is a youth-led organization founded by Jamal Burger in Toronto, Ontario. Through their ongoing understanding of day-to-day social barriers, The Kickback provides under-resourced communities access to opportunities they might otherwise never encounter. Their high-level sport, art, and media workshops are designed with the sole purpose of supporting and empowering underserved youth’s dreams, to change the(ir) world. They put in work to uplift youth in their communities; so naturally, they are the perfect candidate for this Give Fresh Air initiative.

Mirroring the significance of the Pre-Day’s upcoming release, Jamal stresses the importance of how impactful moments like these can shape a young person’s trajectory. The Kickback, in this case, gives the kids all the credit they deserve: “The same way we provided them with an opportunity, the breath of fresh air they provided came in the form of enthusiasm, talent, and style. We're so lucky to have worked with them, and we're grateful for Livestock trusting in us continually.” All in all, it’s pretty crazy — the kids involved with The Kickback are building their resumes up one campaign at a time — and the Nike Air Max Pre-Day helped make it an actual possibility.

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“Every year we learn more about our capacity and capabilities,” Jamal explains, emphasizing that the success of their ideas relies on the youth who participate in the program. “As we see them grow and come into their own, they believe in themselves and The Kickback that much more.”

The Kickback has raised over 6000 pairs of shoes through various events like this Air Max Month’s Livestock x Give Fresh Air initiative, where customers were encouraged to bring in their lightly worn or band new shoes for donation. Today, this Nike Air Max Pre-Day campaign is provided by The Kickback, in celebration of yet another successful event.

As a day one member of The Kickback, they’ve seen Shadae grow as a person, as a creative and as a leader. She cares about her surroundings, and she’s a loving big sister to her siblings. Shadae is on this quest to find herself and make her family proud — and she’s well beyond her years. She stays true to her roots and upbringing, while displaying herself with confidence around the clock. With Shadae, it's easy for The Kickback to say that the relationship has been mutually beneficial, because as she gets better, it motivates them to keep going.

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Not only did they let their young team members participate in the creative photoshoot, but as Jamal puts it, they got to “carry the concept and follow along.” In theory, it’s a metaphorical passing of the torch — allowing the kids involved to gain invaluable skills to use during their future endeavours. In practice, though, it’s a fun idea that immediately grants youth the opportunity to experience a revolutionary shoe before it is actually available. Suffice it to say, we tossed them some pairs, and they alley-ooped over our expectations

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The Kickback says Joy exemplifies the best kind of energy at all times. She’s a burst of optimism and love. Since meeting her last year, they’ve been blown away by her ability to shine and her enthusiasm to learn. With this campaign, The Kickback describes Joy as the breath of fresh air we all need sometimes. She reminds us all to smile, to be kind and to have fun. They love that about her, and she's already growing. These upward leaps in the imagery represent the truest sense of her trajectory.

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Though they’ve only just met, Kiara has shined on every occasion she’s interacted with The Kickback. She's an intellectual student poised for great things. She's into various forms of expression and she displays it honestly. On top of that, Kiara is extremely talented and humble. The Kickback has seen her excel in dance, in writing and as an advocate for the community. Kiara was the perfect fit for this campaign because of her charisma, confidence and care for equality in all spaces.

The Kickback’s Pre-Day shoot accentuates the spirit of Air, focusing on togetherness while teaching the youth that anything they can think of is possible. It’s also a great chance for kids to gain experience working on a concept-driven set. The opportunity was special because it allowed Shadae, Joy and Kiara to be included in the photos — dancing, playing, jumping and having fun — and it let them learn about behind-the-scenes creative direction, lighting, communication and more.

The Pre-Day’s attention-grabbing aesthetic arrives with a blend of the late ‘70s and the 2020s, merging Nike’s golden era of jogging-infused designs with modern, yet retro sensibilities. Its construction is made with at least 20% recycled content by weight, using a 100% recycled upper with an outsole crafted with 13% Grind Rubber. Underfoot, a fully exposed Max Air bubble delivers a more pronounced bounce in every step for comfort all day long. The Nike Air Max Pre-Day achieves this by decreasing the layers between foot and Air, and by placing the unit between a hardened encapsulation.

Without being too on the nose, it’s a futuristic silhouette that honours the Air Max’s lineage and Nike’s decades-long history of innovation and experimentation in cushioning. And like The Kickback, the upcoming Pre-Day release is a revolutionary concept that reminds us — with a little bit of help — every generation can be better than the last.

Along with sneaker donations, The Kickback also accepts monetary donations at kickbackconnect.com/donate. For more info on how your donations are helping, follow The Kickback at @kickbackconnect on Instagram.

 

The Nike Air Max Pre-Day is coming soon.
Please stay tuned to our Instagram, Twitter and email newsletter for the latest updates.

 

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