Kith x Nike

Long Live the King

The Story of the Man Behind the Throne

After working with KITH on video projects with adidas), MATTE collaborated with KITH founder Ronnie Fieg and his content team to re-imagine a brand film opportunity with LeBron James.  KITH and Nike we’re creating a special edition capsule collection for the LBJ XV sneaker under the moniker of Long Live The King. Instead of another brand film or a commercial, we helped push the opportunity to make a documentary – a story told by important figures in LeBron’s life about the roots and habits that formed the greatest player and one of the biggest leaders of a generation.



A legacy starts at homeA legacy starts at home

To tell LeBron’s story,
we started in Akron.


Spending days running around neighborhoods, playgrounds, high school courts, we street cast dozens of local kids to stand in as memories of LeBron’s youth. Shooting on film to bring a nostalgic, dreamy feel to those shots.  (INSERT DY QUOTE ON PROCESS HERE)

To serve as the conduit for these stories, we casted a young actor to stand in as a child from Akron. The stand-in for the audience of the future – to hear the story of a king.


“LET ME TELL YOU A STORY” was our way in to each piece of the story


Substantial figures in LeBron’s life came in to tell each part of the King’s life – his best friend Maverick Carter told about childhood.
His high school coach Keith Dambrot spoke to the habits he formed playing with a team; Lynn Merritt Nike scout and mentor unveiled the King’s moment of breakout;  Ronnie Fieg explained the impact on the NBA for fans around the world; and finally LeBron himself brought it home with the idea of sacrifice and the stories of those who helped him get to his throne.


“No matter how high he ascends…he always wants them to go on the journey with him”



“Unbelievable awareness of where people were at all times”

Keith Dambrot, High School Coach


“Hey kid, this is the time to shine, show us something”

Lynn Merritt, Nike Scout


“Nobody talks about how he got to that dunk…off a steal”

Ronnie Fieg, KITH Founder


“Nobody’s ever gotten to the top of the mountain on their own”




The film launched on Uninterrupted and garnered over 1MM views along with the sold out capsule collection that got debuted on Christmas Day game 2017.

The praise from Lebron’s NIKE manager, Melanie Auguste was our favorite testimonial from the project, and maybe ever:

“I want to thank you everyone for being one of the most buttoned up, creative, flexible crews I have ever worked with or ever seen. Watching you all work was eye opening. The positivity and solution based mindset is so deeply appreciated words don’t do it justice. To me that is a true testament to the passion and talent behind this project. I know this was definitely a highlight in a long stretch.”

Long Live The King.



Director: DA Yirgou
Executive Producer: Max Pollack, Ronnie Fieg
Producer: River Myers
Assistant Producer: Austin Scotti
Director of Photography: Ryan Marie Helfant
Featuring: Jalen Parker, Maverick Carter, Ronnie Fieg, Keith Dambrot, Lynn Merritt, LeBron James
Art Director: Maxime Quoilin
Designer: Patrick Dierker, Kimberly Ho 
Creative Producer: Ariel Panigel
Line Producer: Tyler Ben-Amotz
Unit Production Manager: Jeff Broadway
Assistant Director: Danielle Alston
Editor: Chiao Chen
Colorist: Kath Raisch
Post Producer: Manny Munoz
Post Supervisor: Essy Prescott


1st AC: Tevin Teixeira
2nd AC: Ajiri Akpolo, Darrell Nash Jr.
2nd Camera Operator: Chiao Chen
Gaffer: Adam Unruh
Dolly Grip: Dillon Novak
Electrician: Bob Low
Grip: Greg Lazcano
Swing: Jesus Trevino, Pat Sarnacki
Sound Operator: John Bowers
Los Angeles Production Assistants: Joseph Barbieri, Xavier Mozejewski, Jake Seawick
HMU: Jaime Diaz, Ady Sanchez
Sound Design & Mix: Will Patterson
Composer: Bobby Wooten, Scott Standley


Akron Production:
Production Coordinator: Blue Green
Steadicam Operator: Brenton Ayers 
1st AC: Donald Moore
2nd AC: Josh Ruffiner
Film Loader: Eartha Goodwin
Akron Production Assistants: Vince Reed, Dylan Rogers, Dylan Newell, Chris McKnight