London 2012 set the stage for the biggest Olympics in IOC history, and Nike had big ambitions: to be the most shared and talked about brand around the world. Our approach was to disrupt the Olympic landscape by challenging the conventions of greatness on the biggest sporting stage—and in doing so, inspire and enable the next generation of athletes. In China, true greatness is reserved for the chosen, elite few. And for 5,000 years it’s been a title bestowed only on those who bring pride and honor to the nation—like Olympic athletes who win gold and break records. Anything less is considered failure. The problem is that this impossible standard discourages most Chinese kids from even trying sports, because the pressure to not fail is too intense. Nike wanted to use the energy of the London 2012 Games and inspire kids to play sports by crushing the myth that greatness only comes with gold medals and perfection. To do all that, Nike launched a 17-day multimedia counterstrike on traditional greatness, with China's 700-million-user-strong social media networks as the stage. When the opening torch was lit and the Games began, the state media focused only on what China traditionally celebrated—gold medals and national heroes. To counteract the official headlines, Nike delivered a stream of powerful social media statements that celebrated the journey of all athletes: the winners; the silvers; the bronzes, and even the athletes who came in sixth. Over the course of the Games we delivered 49 counterstrikes, constantly building momentum, to help redefine greatness with every message. The first counterstrikes only saw a few hundred retweets, since our initial followers for @JustDoIt barely topped 30,000. But soon each of our counterstrikes was getting 1000+ retweets, and even topping 10,000+, swelling our community to over 86,000 followers in just a few days. The crescendo of the Olympics for China came when its most famous athlete, Liu Xiang, took the stage. As soon as the starting gun sounded, the nation watched in shock as their top star fell in the 110-meter hurdles. Nike broke the silence with a quick reaction to re-affirm Liu Xiang's greatness. Within just a few hours our message reached 125,000 retweets. (To put this in context, if this would have happened on Twitter at the time, this would have been the most retweeted post ever. It since has been topped by a post from Justin Bieber and the “4 More Years" post from Barack Obama, both of whom have considerably more followers than we did at the time.) By this point, Nike’s message about “Greatness" had became one of the hottest topics across Chinese social media, and the buzz started spilling over. It started to affect Chinese culture and become a phenomenon. The news talked about it. Sports commentators quoted it. The media wrote about it. Celebr
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