Now, the Nike partnership is alive and strong enough that Drizzy was at the company’s Beaverton, Oregon campus for a special occasion.
Drake played host to Nike’s annual Maxim Awards while celebrating the brand’s 50th anniversary, a role he’s seasoned in since hosting SNL in 2016 and the 2014 ESPYs.
He took the stage while donning a jacket with a light-up swoosh emblazoned across the back and got straight to the jokes.
“I’ve obviously grown up with this check on me. It’s really truly an honor when you put things into perspective. You know adidas has Kanye… I think,” poking fun at the fairweather relationship the Chicago creative has with the German company. “At Nike, we have LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Giannis, Michael Jordan.”
Drake then praises creative genius Virgil Abloh, who died after a private battle with cancer in 2021.
“The greatest creative mind of all time Virgil Abloh, rest in peace. We have Cristiano Ronaldo. We have Serena Williams,” he says before poking fun at an old beef he had with fellow Young Money labelmate, Tyga. “We have Tiger [Woods], and I’m pretty sure Reebok has Tyga, so we’re good.”
The company being around for 50 years and a valuation of billions of dollars is no small feat, but Drizzy had to poke some fun at the brand now being middle-aged.
“Nike is 50. Nike is so old it’s wearing New Balance,” Drake said, which fell flat with the audience. “Nike turning 50 means LeBron is gonna try to come and get you to play for the Lakers this year. This is the year where you’re going to walk in a restaurant and see Nike having red wine with Jared Dudley and Carmelo Anthony.”
He even made a joke about someone asking how he got seeded a pair of white Louis Vuitton Air Force 1s, saying they were from the son of former Nike VP Ann Hebert, who stepped down after a sneaker reselling controversy.
Despite the jokes, Drake’s a Nike boy for life and even sported the signature swoosh in his braids and rocked a pair of unreleased Nocta sneakers that are giving Nike Air Zoom Flight 95 vibes.
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