Jason Stein’s Laundry List

Jason Stein sends me a direct Instagram video of himself. In it, he’s running in his Nikes while talking about how pumped he is for our interview.

Nike has been a client since 2014. “Given that I was obsessed with social media and I’ve spent my whole life playing basketball and wearing Nike, if we didn’t win that pitch, I said, ‘We’re shutting it down,'” recalls the college athlete-turned-entrepreneur. “All I did was prepare for that for two weeks and I literally had photos in the deck of me in Jordan and Nike gear playing basketball in high school on the cover of [Gannett’s] The Journal News. I was like, ‘I’ve been an ad for you guys forever.'”

The story is vintage Stein. (No relation to this reporter.) He’s fiercely competitive, a straight shooter and sometimes intense to the point of discomfort. So it was without fear that he pitted his shop Laundry Serviceat the time a 4-year-old “internet video company” run by a 30-year-old unknownagainst Nike partner powerhouses Wieden & Kennedy and AKQA. And won.

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