Sony Music 4th Floor Creative's Precious Omoregie on the brand power of Central Cee

Sony Music 4th Floor Creative's Precious Omoregie on the brand power of Central Cee

Sony Music UK’s 4th Floor Creative brand partnerships team were triumphant at Music Week Awards earlier this month. 

JD Sports Forever Forward – Christmas 2023 (Central Cee x Joy Crookes) won in the Music & Brand Partnership category. It marks the third win for the 4th Floor Creative team in the last four years, following awards for Wizkid x Tommy Hilfiger in 2022 and Koffee x H&M in 2021.

The Bag For Life campaign for the sportswear retailer, which featured Sony Music stars Central Cee and Joy Crookes, focused on a ubiquitous product from the last 25 years – the plastic JD duffle bag. 

There was further recognition for Central Cee’s success with his manager Bello collecting the trophy for Manager Of The Year.

Although it was a festive campaign, there were no obvious Christimas connotations. Instead, there’s a timeless and authentic feel to the film along with some bold touches (UK rapper AntsLive on a horse at Vauxhall City Farm). 

The brief for the JD Sports brand film, titled Forever Forward, was to empower and inspire the next generation. According to The Drum, the Uncommon Creative Media agency wanted to make something that was “built on the streets” and “understood what Britain was like” in 2023, when it aired. 

The campaign was shot by director Amara Abbas in London and Manchester, with stills photography by Ewen Spencer. It is currently on eight million YouTube views.

As well as Central Cee and Joy Crookes, the film features rising talent such as UK rapper Kirbs in a cameo appearance, along with Kano (with his real family), Davido, Nia Archives, Ronisia and footballer Ella Toone. 

Both Central Cee and Joy Crookes supported the brand film with stills on social media, while Central Cee also featured a billboard for the JD Sports campaign on his home turf of Shepherd’s Bush in the video for Entrapreneur.

Brands featured in the film included Nike, Adidas, The North Face, Puma, New Balance, Hoodrich, and more.

Here, Precious Omoregie, 4th Floor Creative head of brand partnerships, discusses their winning campaign with JD Sports…

JD Sports is a big part of youth culture, was this a key partnership for the 4th Floor Creative brands team last year?

“100%. For both Central Cee and Joy Crookes, who are both born and bred in London, I think JD has been part of their childhood, so it was a dream campaign to work on. Also, it was celebrating such an iconic product from JD Sports, which is their duffle bag. So in terms of synergies and experiences, it all aligned perfectly.”

What would you say about Central Cee’s appeal for brands?

“He’s really big in that space, but I also think he’s really conscious of who he does align with. I think people expect such a big name to have a slew of partnerships behind him, but actually it’s [brands] that he really does engage with. JD Sports was synonymous with his childhood, so it just made sense. It was great to work with Nike as a part of that as well, which is a brand that he is very affiliated to. He’s just a very exciting talent for us.”

Is it key to these partnerships that there are strong results on both sides, for both the brand and the artist?

“Always, definitely, there’s an array of different benefits in terms of that kind of collaboration. There’s the awareness across different audiences, and equally the cultural capital you can get from both fashion and streetwear – and also into music [for brands] on that side of things. All of these verticals are forever inteconnecting. Entertainment encompasses music, it encompasses fashion, and it encompasses sport as well, so it’s really important. 

“I think this campaign, in particular, was great because we also had sports personalities involved in it who Central Cee is a massive fan of. So it just felt like it all perfectly came together. Similarly with Joy, she’s been an Adidas ambassador for many years, and so for her to be involved in this has been great too.”

For the campaign, in addition to JD Sports, 4th Floor Creative also worked with Exposure Agency, Iconoclast, Uncommon Creative Studio, Factory Studios and music supervisor Paul Brown. The film was soundtracked by ’90s dance classic Sweet Harmony by Liquid.

Click here to read our interview with Sony Music’s sales team, who also triumphed at the Music Week Awards.


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