Ad of the Day: Nike and LeBron James Open the NBA Season With a Toast to Underdogs

A salute to the ones who 'weren't supposed to be here'

The Cleveland Cavaliers opened the 2016 NBA season with a victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night. 

LeBron James scored a triple double for the league's defending champions, but he was more focused on the underdogs in Nike's latest campaign from Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore., which debuted the same night. 

The Cavs came from behind to win the championship last year. And while James has been a household name for some time, his narration in this campaign celebrates those players who followed the same unlikely path. These are the aspiring stars who weren't "supposed" to escape their neighborhoods, beat the odds and go pro, no matter how many coaches told them they had potential. 

They all happen to be wearing James' number 23.

James' cameo at the end serves as both the conclusion of the narrative and a reminder that pro hoops will be just as unpredictably thrilling this year as it was last year. 

He's not the only NBA star who came "out of nowhere." In addition to the anthem spot, the campaign includes out-of-home executions celebrating the individual styles of other players who were never supposed to be big, like Kevin Durant, Paul George and the 5-foot-9 dynamo Isaiah Thomas. These OOH pieces will appear as posters and larger-than-life projections in each player's market. (Check out some of executions below.) 

The "Come Out of Nowhere" campaign will run through the first two weeks of the season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CREDITS

Client: Nike
Title: "Come Out of Nowhere"

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Global Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O'Rourke
Interactive Director: Dan Viens
Copywriter: Jordan Dinwiddie
Art Directors: Jacob Weinstein, Emma Barnett
Integrated Production Director: Matt Hunnicutt
Senior Integrated Producer: Molly Tait Tanen
Agency Production Assistant: Emily Knight
Digital Producer: Keith Rice
Art Production: Amy Berriochoa, Krystle Mortimore
Project Management: Emily Norman 
Studio Design Manager: Simone Takasaki
Studio Designer: Edgar Morales
Retoucher: Greg Radich, Frazer Goodbody
Motion Production, Design: Jeff Ackley
Strategic Planning: Andy Lindblade, Nathan Goldberg, Reid Schilperoort
Media, Communications Planning: Danny Sheniak, John Furnari, Brian Goldstein, Anthony Holton
Account Team: Chris Willingham, Katie Gurgainus, Eric Watkins, Simone Jackson
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Laura Caldwell
Broadcast Traffic: Stefanie Goodell, Andrea Sierra

Production Company: Anonymous Content
Director: Mark Romanek
Executive Producer: SueEllen Clair
Line Producers: Bridgette Pugh, Tom Martin
Director of Photography: Adam Arkapaw
Production Designer: Jeff Higinbotham

Edit Company: Spot Welders
Editor: Robert Duffy
Assistant Editor: Sophie Kornberg
Post Producer: Lisa English
Executive Post Producer: Carolina Sanborn

Visual Effects Company: The Mill
2-D Lead Artist: John Shirley
2-D Artists: James Allen, Adam Lambert, Kelsey Napier
Senior Visual Effects Producer: Enca Kaul
Visual Effects Producer: Anastasia von Raul
Visual Effects Supervisor: John Shirley

Color: Company 3
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld
Color Producer: Ashley McKim

Producers: Rick Rubin, Jonathan Sanford
Composers: John Christopher Barnes, Jason Lader
Sound Designer: Matt Miller, Lime Studios
Song: "Here You Are"

Music, Sound, Mix: Licensed track from Human Worldwide
Producer: Rick Rubin
Audio Mixer: Matt Miller
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

Out of Home Activations

Global Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O’Rourke
Interactive Director: Dan Viens
Copywriter: Josh Bogdan
Art Director: Pedro Izique
Motion Producer: Tori Herbst
Print Producers: Lindsay Haddy, Denise Hanggi, Kristen Holder, Stacie Balzar
Digital Producer: Keith Rice
Art Production: Amy Berriochoa, Krystle Mortimore
Project Management: Emily Norman 
Studio Design Manager: Simone Takasaki
Studio Designer: David Chathas
Retoucher: Kyle Pero
Motion Production/Design: Daniel Moreno, Alex Bernard
Strategic Planning: Andy Lindblade, Nathan Goldberg, Reid Schilperoort
Media/Comms Planning: Danny Sheniak, John Furnari, Brian Goldstein, Anthony Holton
Account Team: Chris Willingham, Katie Gurgainus, Eric Watkins, Simone Jackson, Carlyle Williamson
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Anna Beth Nagel