Santa Joins NBA as Free Agent

By Erik Oster 

W+K New York launched its “Christmas Day” campaign promoting ESPN and ABC’s airing of five star-studded NBA games on Christmas with an ad featuring Santa announcing he’s joining the NBA as a free agent.

“Santa Joining the NBA?” opens with a press conference in which Santa announces that it “just wouldn’t be right if the MVP of Christmas sat on the sidelines” during the five big games this Christmas. So, for one game, Santa will join the league on one of the ten teams playing. The spot goes on to show players’ reaction to the news, as well as Santa coming up with nicknames for himself and selling out for a cereal endorsement deal. It’s the kind of goofy humor W+K New York cranks out for ESPN with regularity, tailored for the holiday season, and while it may stretch past its welcome the spot certainly has its entertaining moments. Viewers can expect a lot more Santa in the weeks leading up to the five big games, as this is just the introductory video and additional spots, supported by digital and social elements will be released and run through December 25.


Executive Creative Directors: Karl Lieberman, Colleen Decourcy
Creative Directors: Brandon Henderson, Erwin Federizo
Art Director: Nj Placentra
Copywriter: Alex Ledford
Junior Producer: Lisa Delonay
Head Of Content Production: Nick Setounski
Executive Producer: Temma Shoaf
Account Team: Mike Welch, Matt Angrisani, Liz Lindberg, Joe Morelli
Project Management: Kristin Daly


Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker
Director: Stacy Wall
Director “Anthony Davis, Kevin Love”: Taylor Twist
Executive Producer: Charlie Cocuzza
Managing Partner: Doug Halbert
Producer: Terri Shafirov
Producer: Candace Tomarken

Editorial Company: Mackcut
Editor: Ryan Steele
Assistant Editor: Zoe Newman
Post Executive Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld

VFX Company: Schmigital
Lead Flame Artist: Jim Hayhow
Assist: Joseph Miller

Mix Company: Mackcut
Mixer: Sam Shaffer

Animation / GFX Cards
Company: Roger
Creative Director: Dane Macbeth
Executive Producer: Josh Libitsky
Producer: Brandon Stevenson
Designers: Ming Wang, Dane Macbeth, Hugo Codinach
2D Animators: Ming Wang, Hugo Codinach
3D Animators: Justin Wilcott

Music Company: Associated Production Music Inc (APM)