Jay-Z owns a portion of the Nets. Justin Timberlake goes to every Lakers game. Marvin Gaye arguably sang the greatest version of the national anthem -- at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game. And Shaq is known to rap...well, after a fashion. Most NBA players use music to pump themselves up or sharpen their focus before every game.
So, last year Goodby, Silverstein decided to embrace the synergy between music and professional basketball by creating a TV campaign consisting of tune-driven "mashups." Written and arranged by DJ Steve Porter, the spots use the NBA's exclusive library of video and audio content to create actual songs. Two have been released, but there will be an entire series of these spots. They're basically "songs" with celebrity singers. The vocals are actual soundbites of players and coaches recorded during games -- with back-beats added for maximum impact. For b-ball fans who know what they're watching, the players themselves reinforce the core principles of the league, like defense and determination. But they're also fun to watch and listen to for those without a clue. --Barbara Lippert