Best Of 2020

Best Local Nike Collaboration: Ray Ball

Best Local Nike Collaboration

For the past five-plus-years, Bond Hill native and entrepreneurial boss lady Ray Ball has been navigating her way through the regional marketing landscape — and did it on her own. The self-described “creative brandpreneur” singlehandedly championed her own brand marketing operation BallR Media and has more than a few notable bullet points on her resume. According to her website, she’s managed an Ohio state representative’s campaign, helped a Cincinnati clothing company sell out a widely hyped product online in a single day, and boosted an e-commerce client’s online sales by nearly 521 percent within two months. Last year, she teamed up with Nike and designed custom Air Max 1 kicks that are an ode to Ball and her Bond Hill roots that she named the Neighborhood Rose. The sneakers also brought about a nationwide campaign launched by Ball that she coined “#myhoodtaughtme.” The goal was to encourage others to celebrate their neighborhood roots and to provide inspiration to become more active in their communities. Unfortunately, those clamoring for a pair of the $130 pink low-tops are out of luck. The shoes sold out at the beginning of November. And they ran out fast — Ball said sales ended just a week after the product’s national release. Ray Ball: Creative Marketing, iamrayball.com.