When the Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night to win the NBA championship, it put the team and its distinct Irish green uniforms back in the title spotlight.
It also provided such marketers as Spalding, adidas and Reebok the opportunity to break Boston Celtics-themed campaigns.
Spalding will break a print ad in the Sports Illustrated NBA championship commemorative issue next week honoring company spokesman and NBA finals MVP Paul Pierce. Referencing Pierce's nickname, "The Truth," text offers, "The Truth now has a nice ring to it. Congratulations to the Boston Celtics, the 2008 NBA champions. And a special Spalding congrats to our teammate, Paul Pierce, the 2008 NBA finals MVP." The ad also touts a limited edition Spalding basketball that comes in gold with the words "The Champions" on it. Support includes a homepage takeover at Spalding.com and Celtics' championship items NBAstore.com. Lead agency for Spalding is Winstanley Associates, Lenox, Mass.
"Paul has been a great Spalding ambassador over the years and we're pleased to have him on our team as he reaches the pinnacle of his career," Dan Touhey, vp-marketing at Spalding, Springfield, Mass., said in a statement.
Adidas came though with its pre-finals promise to produce a limited edition Team Signature KG Commander shoe for Kevin Garnett (Brandweek, June 9). Adidas produced only eight pairs for each of the six games played in the finals (SRP $1,017), plus a special autographed pair that adidas is auctioning.
Reebok, a division of adidas, produced two NBA finals spots, one to congratulate the Celtics and another featuring company spokesman Rajon Rondo, "L.A., You Just Got Rondo'd." The spots were filmed near Boston's Faneuil Hall at the statue honoring the late Red Auerbach, who had been a coach and executive with the Celtics from 1950 until his death in 2006. The spots feature a number of Boston locals and celebrities, including members of the Red Sox and former Celtics, saying, "It's amazing . . . how a man named Red . . . can turn a whole city Green. Thanks Red. Congrats to the 2008 Boston Celtics. This one's for you, Red." The spots end with a CGI version of the statue coming to life. Lead agency for Reebok, Canton, Mass., is Mcgarrybowen, New York.