Translation Debuts ‘Barrier Breakers’ for the NBA

By Erik Oster 

Translation has just debuted its first work for the NBA, following being awarded the account in December.

In the new spot, entitled “Barrier Breakers,” Translation celebrates the NBA’s history of inclusiveness: from the league’s color barrier being broken in 1950; to Violet Palmer, the league’s first female ref; to Jason Collins, the first openly-gay player in the NBA. Images of these “Barrier Breakers” are set to excerpts from Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech. The ad made its debut online today and will extend to broadcast during NBA games this coming Monday, Martin Luther King Day, and continue to air for five weeks.

“Barrier Breakers” seems to be Translation and the NBA’s effort to put last year’s Donald Sterling incident behind them as a dark moment in the history of a league that otherwise has many moments to celebrate. How tasteful viewers find the ad will depend largely on how they view the commercial use of the words of Martin Luther King, and whether they interpret the ad as simply designed to sell more seats or as having higher intentions.



Title: Breaking Barriers
Client: NBA
Agency: Translation
CEO: Steve Stoute
Chief Creative Officer: John Norman
Executive Creative Director: Betsy Decker
Art Director: Matt Comer
Copywriters: Andy Ferguson, Betsy Decker
Director of Content Production/EP: Miriam Franklin
Associate Producer: Philinese Kirkwood
Account team: Tim Van Hoof, Chris Martin
Chief Strategy Officer: John Greene
Head of Brand Strategy: Tim Flood
Strategist: Lindsey Neeld
Project Manager: Matt DeSimone
Editorial Company: Cut & Run
Editor: Dayn Williams
Assistant Editor: Adam Bazadona
Post Executive Producer: Rana Martin
Post Producer: Jean Lane
Visual Effects: Sibling Rivalry
Creative Director: Matt Tragesser
Animator/Compositor: Gabe Darling
Executive Producer: Maggie Meade
Head of Production: Joanna Fillie
Post Producer: Tracey McDonough
Telecine/Conform: Company Three/Method
Colorist: Rob Sciarratta
Flame Artist: Carmen Maxcy
Audio Post: Heard City
Mixers: Phil Loeb, Evan Mangiameli
Executive Producer: Gloria Pitagorsky
Music: Trackmasters