By 2002, millennium fever had run its course. After years of relentless hype about Y2K and the future, a lot of people were ready to seriously embrace retro style again. Of course, when you’re talking about performance technology, going 25 or 30 years back in time is, well, inadvisable, so Nike came up with an ingenious solution that allowed them to meld a funky, 1970s aesthetic with state-of-the-art tech: The Roswell Rayguns ad campaign.
This three-part commercial series presented an alternate reality, in which a struggling ABA franchise, the Roswell Rayguns, makes some “key trades” for present day stars like Vince Carter, Jerry Stackhouse, Paul Pierce, Baron Davis, and Jermaine O’Neal, who proceed to dominate their 1970s opposition with shoes and skills that lived up to the out of this world atmosphere of the Roswell name. The ads were a hit at the time, a cult favorite ever since, and even generated a very limited edition Rayguns SB Dunk all the way back in 2005.
The new Nike Rayguns collection makes like a declassified UFO video, and releases the extraterrestrial goodness directly to the public, with a new range of sportswear essentials and footwear featuring the livery of the Roswell Rayguns. The truth isn’t just out there, it’s available now.