A global campaign for adidas launches this week, via agency 180/LA, featuring a quintet of top probasketball stars.
"We wanted to build off the momentum we created last year, with the theme of brotherhood," said 180 ecd William Gelner. "It's not about hero worship, but bringing the pros down to the basketball-playing kid, to be there side by side and teach them what basketball is all about."
The campaign includes four short Web-based movies starring National Basketball Assn. players Kevin Garnett (Boston), Tracy McGrady (Houston), Tim Duncan (San Antonio), Dwight Howard (Orlando) and Gilbert Arenas (Washington), who adopt up-and-coming schoolboy players from America and China and treat them to pro experiences. Clips are viewable at Adidasbasketball.com.
The series starts with Arenas taking a kid out of a pickup game and treating him to a pro experience. It builds to a game at a professional venue, the Toyota Center in Houston, where the amateurs get to play an NBA-style contest, under pro conditions, as the pros coach them. In the final episode, called A Brotherhood Shines, the kids get a lesson in teamwork and brotherhood with a tour of Boston.
Ten 10-second teasers derived from the films will be broadcast as spots during NBA games, breaking in the next few days, to promote the Web enterprise. Carat in Los Angeles handled media buying.
The tag on a series of print ads featuring action shots--in publications such as Slam, Bounce and Dime--is "NBA tested, brotherhood ready." "We wanted to stick to the brotherhood theme," Gelner said, "but elevate it to its highest level."
According to sources, the agency is meeting with the NBA about the potential for broadcasting the material on NBA TV. Gelner declined comment.
"It was a lot of fun to be part of," Gelner said. "It is starting to feel less like a basketball campaign and more like a movement."
Adidas spent $40 million in U.S. measured media in 2007 (not including online initiatves) and $15 million January-August 2008, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.