ESPN has signed Levi’s as the presenting sponsor of its documentary series 30 for 30, a slate of films that will serve as the centerpiece of the network’s thirtieth anniversary celebration.
Per terms of the deal, Levi’s will lead off each film with a branded 45-second “Director’s Statement,” in which the creative force behind the camera reflects on his motivation for making the movie viewers are about to see. For example, in the run-up to his entry, Jordan Rides the Bus, director Ron Shelton says he hopes to dispel some of the lingering misconceptions that surround Michael Jordan’s Quixotic attempt to break into the Major Leagues in 1994.
Levi’s will close the bracket with a second Director’s Statement, which will run at the end of each 30 for 30 film. The brand also has the option to take over a 60-second commercial pod leading into the third act.
The sponsorship extends through the first 15 films, with Levi’s reserving the right of first refusal to continue on with the latter half of the series.
The Levi’s logo and tag line (“Go Forth”) will appear at the bottom right of the screen throughout the 45-second opening and closing clips. The deal also includes integration across several ESPN platforms, including presence on the 30 for 30 micro site.
(Wieden + Kennedy Portland launched Levi’s Go Forth effort in early summer, taking the wraps off a campaign that pays homage to the 136-year-old brand’s trailblazing past, while elevating its sex appeal. The company’s annual measured U.S. media spend is around $80 million, per Nielsen data.)
Contextually, Levi’s ongoing look down both ends of the timeline appears an apt fit for the 30 for 30 project, which also speaks in two different verb tenses. With contributions from the likes of Shelton (Bull Durham), Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights), Steve James (Hoop Dreams), Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens) and Barry Levinson (Diner), the series is at once a distillation of ESPN’s 30-year history and a mission statement for its future.
Omnicom’s OMD handles all media buying and planning for Levi’s.
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