Over the past two decades, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, known collectively as The Neptunes, have crafted an indelible mark on the music industry with their innovative production style. However, their influence extends beyond the realm of music into the world of advertising, most notably through their extensive work with Nike. From 2001 to 2008, The Neptunes produced a series of memorable tracks for Nike commercials that seamlessly blended their signature sound with the brand’s dynamic, energetic image. This article delves into the fascinating partnership between The Neptunes and Nike, exploring the beats that defined an era and the creative synergy that brought them to life

2001: The Beginning of a Musical Journey with Nike

The Neptunes‘ collaboration with Nike began in 2001, a pivotal year that saw the release of several groundbreaking tracks. These early works were characterized by their distinctive blend of hip-hop beats, funky rhythms, and futuristic sounds. Among the standout tracks were:

  • Boom (2001): This track set the tone for The Neptunes’ collaboration with Nike, featuring their signature percussive elements and infectious energy.
  • Elevation (2001): A track that encapsulated the spirit of athleticism, driving forward with its uplifting melodies and powerful beats.
  • Power (2001): Another energizing composition that highlighted The Neptunes‘ ability to create motivational music perfect for sports advertising.
  • Speed (2001): This track exuded a relentless drive and focus, embodying the determination that athletes require to excel. It was yet another example of The Neptunes‘ ability to fuse emotion with rhythm, creating an inspiring soundscape for Nike’s campaigns.
  • “Determination” (2001): This beat showcased The Neptunes‘ versatility and knack for crafting catchy, fast-paced tunes.

2002: Expanding Horizons


In 2002, The Neptunes continued their collaboration with Nike, producing a series of tracks that further solidified their partnership. One notable project was the song “Make It Funky,” originally created for a Sprite Commercial but also utilized by Ol’ Dirty Bastard for the song “Operator,” which had two versions and released in 2004 and that year also saw The Neptunes branching out into commercials for various sports:

  • Make It Funky (2002): Initially created for a Sprite Commercial but later adapted by Ol’ Dirty Bastard for the song “Operator,” in 2004.
  • Easy (Basketball) (2002): A track that captured the essence of basketball with its rhythmic beats and high-energy vibe.
  • Easy (Remix) (Frisbee) (2002): This remix took the original basketball track and infused it with a playful twist suitable for a Frisbee commercial.
  • You (Football) (2002): Collaborating with football legend Ronaldinho, this track brought a global appeal and dynamic sound to Nike’s football campaign.

2005: A Focus on Women


The year 2005 marked a special chapter in The Neptunes‘ collaboration with Nike, as they produced a series of tracks specifically for Nike Women. These tracks were designed to empower and energize female athletes, featuring strong, vibrant beats and uplifting melodie

  • Booty Shake (2005): A lively and rhythmic track that encouraged movement and dance.
  • Keep Up (2005): This track’s fast-paced beats and motivational vibe were perfect for high-intensity workouts and features Sofia Boutella.
  • Kimberlee (2005): A melodic and inspiring composition that resonated with athletes striving to reach their personal best.
  • Spot & Spin (2005): With its dynamic beats and catchy hooks, this track was designed to keep listeners engaged and motivated during their training sessions.

2008: A Tribute to a Legend


The Neptunes‘ collaboration with Nike culminated in 2008 with a special track dedicated to basketball legend Kobe Bryant. “Zoom” featured Bryant himself and embodied the relentless drive and passion that defined his career. I’ve also recreated that beat; you can check it out below as well:

  • Zoom feat. Kobe Bryant (2008): This track blended The Neptunes’ signature sound with Bryant’s iconic presence, creating a powerful and memorable anthem for Nike’s campaign.

Final words

The Neptunes‘ work with Nike stands as a testament to their unparalleled ability to blend music with culture, sports, and branding. Over the course of their collaboration from 2001 to 2008, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo produced a series of iconic tracks that not only enhanced Nike’s advertising campaigns but also left an enduring impact on the music and sports industries. Their innovative beats and infectious rhythms continue to inspire athletes and music lovers alike, cementing The Neptunes‘ legacy as pioneers of sound and vision.