Nike

100%

Tasty 100% Blue Agave Tequila? Check.

Taco truck fitted with a bumpin' sound system? Check.

Tequila infused menu created by a world-class chef? Check.

Delicious free Mexican food all summer long? Check and check.

Wait, wait...what???

We hope you didn't miss it. Yesterday was the last day of a summer-long promotion featuring free food courtesy of Famila Camarena Tequila. But we don't want the free food to distract you from what's really important… the tequila baby! Prominent Los Angeles food blogger Street Gourmet LA says "Its the best tequila at its price point!" and Rebel is delivering the samples.

Familia Camarena and Rebel enlisted chef to the stars and owner of Recess in Glendale, Chef Sevan Azarian to create an original tequila-infused menu that was served from the truck. Asada, carnitas, and pollo, all marinated in Camarena Tequila. What ever you want, we got it (well almost). Even a veggie option!

The truck was sent rolling around greater Los Angeles from June through August hitting shopping areas, nightclubs, and lifestyle events like: DTLA Art Walk, World Cup screenings at Nike Montalban Theatre, the LA Street Food Fest, and was even featured in Static Revenger's new video for Vega$. We also did a private house party with a performance by Bruno Mars.

Check out more pictures here: Camarena Taco Truckin'

As you might have guessed, the truck was extremely well received. I mean c'mon, who doesn't want free tacos? The free food is definitely an attraction in itself, but again we're here for the tequila. Just ask Elvis, he's down with Camarena.

The story doesn't stop here. The GPS on the truck let Angelenos find us anytime, anywhere. And we also broadcast our whereabouts on Twitter.com/CamarenaTequila & Facebook.com/TequilaCamarena

The truck is going on hiatus for fall, but something tells me you'll see it again somewhere.

Special thanks to Orion Car Audio for the crazy sound hookup.

Cheers!

Nike Space // China Trip 12/29

Most people go to the beach or skiing during the winter holidays. Not me. Always up for an adventure, my wife and I traveled to China where we visited friends and family, saw the sites, ate, shopped and got lost. As always, my eyes were open for insights on culture, consumers, branding and marketing - you'll find them in this set of posts - most starting with a bit of business, followed by some fun (and strange) trip stories. (8th in a series) Man, Beijing is huge. I mean, I live in a city that seems to sprawl forever, especially at certain times of day. But LA’s 498 square miles is like a puddle in the middle of Beijing’s 6,487. For my math majors out there, that means it’s over 13 times bigger.

Not only does it go on and on, everything in the city just seems bigger. For example, I wanted to see the Nike art space, so we visited the art gallery district 798 Dashanzi — approximately 20 square blocks of old Soviet weapons factory buildings that have been converted into hundreds of art galleries, shops, and restaurants. This place could be a city of its own.

The galleries covered many different genres of painting, photography, and sculpture, from traditional to contemporary. Nothing I would really call street art, but I may have missed that. We definitely didn’t get to everything, even with two separate visits.

The Nike space is hidden among the galleries and outdoor sculptures, and we would have missed it if there weren’t billboards and banners hanging across every street in the area to make sure we didn’t.

What we found inside was a beautiful full basketball court with bleachers, scoreboard and video screens, all themed around LeBron. On either end was a display of LeBron’s Nikes and some pictures of him.

This wasn’t a gallery exactly, which was a bit disappointing at first. I thought it would have been a great opportunity for Nike to show its support of the art community by highlighting some great emerging artists. On the other hand, the whole place was filled with emerging artists, so Nike’s gallery would surely have been just one among the crowd.

While I was struggling with the relevance of building a basketball court inside an art colony, it hit me that the place was full. Well, not full exactly, but considering we were there at 2:00 on a Monday afternoon, there was a really good crowd of players and spectators. About 20 guys were participating in drills and a mini game, with about another 20 watching. Nothing for sale, nobody collecting sign-ups, this was pure experience.

So Nike brought something it does really well — sport — to a place where it may not be immediately relevant, but is ultimately welcome. I think the idea is that when you’re really good at what you do, you can take a few liberties you wouldn’t get away with otherwise.

Visit the 798 and Nike Space photo album for more pictures.

We’re not just Rebels, we’re also Human // On the Run

Jihaad and I ran the Nike+Human Race a few weeks ago. If you don’t know, N+HR was held in 25 cities on the same day. Brilliant idea. But in LA, the execution was uneven. Picture over 12,000 runners at the Coliseum, with hiphop artists Kanye and Common at the finish line. If you don’t know, 12,000 is a big number for a 10k. As a lifelong hiphop fan with a medium interest in running, I’ve been hoping someone would find a way to get people like me into the sport. In fact, I presented a similar idea to Runners World magazine back in 2006.

About the race: It felt like the organizers had never been to a “normal” race before. There were tons of young runners, a lot of them unfamiliar with “race etiquette” which has to do with respect for other runners. This also meant that people were lined up wrong – race organizers typically group runners based on timing and experience to avoid bunching up in the race. Because they didn’t do this, the course was completely disorganized. So much so that my time was about 4 minutes slower than it should have been because I couldn’t break through the crowd. I couldn't have been the only person frustrated by this.

At most races, they give out free fruit and bread to make sure you have the proper fuel before taking off. It’s generally bananas, oranges, and bagels, in addition to water and sports drinks. N+HR was heavily sponsored by Gatorade, Powerbar, Starbucks, and Bear Naked granola. That was great, but the activation didn’t work. Before the race they gave out Powerbar gels, which frankly are nasty. Energy bars would’ve been a better idea. No Gatorade, and Starbucks only had the weird yogurt drink - let’s be honest, drinking yogurt before running is just unappealing. As is yogurt right after you’re done running, which was offered with granola on top from Bear Naked.

Gatorade was served at the water stops, but that’s it. J looked for a bottle after the race, with none to be found. This is actually where it should have been.

Rebelize It:

The commercialization of the foot race is a good thing, but keep the fundamentals intact. Run it like it’s supposed to run, and then get that corporate dollar to pay for some hip hop legends-in-the-making to play at the finish line. That’s hot! Hell, get Dole as a sponsor to “sample” bananas if that’s what it takes. Just do it right.

Oh yeah. Kanye was incredible. I read mixed reviews of his MTV performance, but who cares. He rocked South Central, which is really all that matters.