Achieving greatness like Kobe

Achieving greatness like Kobe



I am an avid sports fan. Honestly any sport will do, rugby, baseball even draughts. I love it all.

It’s the intensity. The feeling of competition. I love the buzz that comes from playing or watching. You can feel it oozing from the TV, it’s a key part of the experience.


What is so special about winning. Is it even really about actually winning?

The desire to win, is not a localised reaction.

Rather it’s a global phenomenon from the biggest of countries like the USA to the smallest like Luxembourg.

Everybody wants to win, to be great. Nike China summed it up incredibly well this week in their 60 second tribute to Kobe Byrant ahead of his last season with the LA Lakers. Well respected and loved by his Chinese fan base, Kobe is the perfect example of what it means to be great. He chose to be more than a player. He chose to be more than simply ‘good’. Kobe will be forever remembered as one of the all-time greats. His legacy is legendary.

In the video Kobe states- “Greatness demands everything.”

Truer words may never have been spoken. You need to be 100% committed, never settling, always looking for more. It takes time and perseverance.

Greatness isn’t born. It is forged.

You could say then that true greatness is chosen. It is the same in advertising, in design,to be chosen, to stand out from the thousands of visual stimulants we are bombarded with daily we need to do something truly great. It won’t just happen, it needs to be earned, be tested, the great campaign is the one that has been considered from all angles. Breaking the desired outcome into its most simple goal and answering that question of why and how.

Then execute it. Creating something that doesn’t just grab our attention but forces us into taking action.

I recently saw a Kickstarter campaign that has done just that. So iLL is a climbing brand based out of Saint Louis, MO. Having operated for the last decade the brand, who desires to exist at the intersection of fashion, art and climbing, decided to do something different.

Founder Daniel Chancellor’s idea was to totally change the face of the industry. To do what doubters said couldn’t be done, to create something totally different, bringing a new edge to the industry.

He succeeded.

With his new climbing shoes drawing their inspiration from retro footwear, and incorporating a unique rubber compound called ‘Dark Matter’ used by the Navy Seals, So iLL created the first coloured sole for the climbing shoe.

A first for the industry. With a 1500% funded kickstarter campaign that was fully funded within 5 hours of launching.

In my books that fits the mould for greatness. This is what every company and every individual should be doing.

Challenging the status quo. Pushing further. Trying harder.

Don’t simply be ‘good’, be like Kobe, be like Daniel.

Be great.


(Video by So iLL)




Jonny Agnew

Jonny is an Account Executive, brand planner, content creator and insight researcher.

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