Capital One Brings Back Jackson, Barkley and Lee for March Madness

By Kyle O'Brien 

Samuel L. Jackson, Charles Barkley and Spike Lee have been featured in March Madness ads for Capital One since 2015, and the trio is back again for this year’s tourney, with a few guest stars.

The current campaign, in partnership with GSD&M and DDB, features a series of spots with Lee, Jackson and Barkley, with plenty of humorous ribbing and appearances by some famous friends. In “Midnight Train to Georgia,” singer Gladys Knight performs with the trio in a dream sequence that also features the Jackson 5’s “Goin’ Back to Indiana” with the trio in 70s outfits.


That spot, created by Capital One’s previous agency, DDB, was set to be a total loss when March Madness was abruptly cancelled due to the pandemic last year, and the spot never aired. But it was revived and updated for this year’s tournament.

Other spots star commentator Jim Nantz, basketball legend Larry Bird (who is the butt of a bunch of bird puns), and fellow NBA legend Magic Johnson performing some magic.

“We know we aren’t the only ones excited to have March Madness games back in action this season,” said Capital One’s chief brand officer, Marc Mentry. “As official sponsors for the past ten years, this one feels extra special. We are welcoming back our lineup of fan favorites along with some new faces for our biggest Capital One March Madness campaign yet.”