Nice Shoes Brings Creative Vision to the NHL

When the NHL challenged Y&R, New York to come up with three new striking :30s, Belief, Faith, and Hope, using only still imagery from the NHL’s archive, the agency immediately called up VFX studio Nice Shoes to figure out how to get it done.

The Nice Shoes creative team pored over thousands of archival player photos to find the most dynamic images. Working with the HD Flame and with multiple Adobe products including Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects, they created more than 20 unique looks for the three spots, which focus on the passion and emotions visible in players’ faces. When the first print-outs of stills made it to Andre Mika, NHL’s creative director, he was so impressed that he went to the studio himself to see the entire project in person.

“When he saw the work in motion, and in HD on a 60-inch monitor, he was blown away,” said Jay Sienkwicz, Nice Shoes Design Director. With feedback from the agency and the NHL, the Nice Shoes team continued to design and produce the rest of the campaign. Each spot uses four to five striking images of stand-out NHL players surfacing, then receding into a field of black, while stylish typography dips in and out. Nice Shoes also executed the campaign in French for Canadian television.

With the recent addition of the creative team from VFX company Guava, Nice Shoes is now becoming involved in projects – like this series of NHL spots – in the beginning stages, as a creative partner and collaborator with the agency. “They came to us with an idea and parameters, but nothing set in stone which is always a dream,” added Sienkwicz. “We’re proud of the work we collectively created and are fortunate to have been involved with such a talented, open-minded creative team.”

Nice Shoes continues to innovate as a high-end VFX, design, and color grading studio capable of taking on a multitude of creative challenges. “At Nice Shoes,” said Managing Director Mike Donovan, “we offer a unified vision through the creative gamut of design, visual effects, and Baselight color grading all in one studio.”

About Nice Shoes
NYC-based Nice Shoes is a full-service, artist-driven HD VFX, design and Telecine studio specializing in high-end commercials, web content, features, TV and music videos. Since its inception in 1996, the studio has prided itself on consistently reinvesting in its talent, technical backbone, and client experience to set the standard of excellence both creatively and technically.


Client: NHL
Spots Title: Faith, Hope, Belief
Air Date: November 2009

Agency: Y&R
Art Director: Cliff Skeete
Copywriter: Bruce Jacobson
Broadcast Consultant: Stacy Kay

Post/Effects: Nice Shoes
CD: Aron Baxter
Design Director: Jay Sienkwicz
Senior Producer: Haydee Cepin
Executive Producer: Pat Portela


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