Last night, Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers brought home the first professional championship to Cleveland since the 1964 Cleveland Browns shut out the Baltimore Colts in that year’s NFL championship game. To celebrate the event (and Nike athlete James bringing Cleveland the championship he promised upon arrival in 2014), W+K Portland and Nike launched a spot denoting the accomplishment as “Worth the Wait.”
The spot depicts Cavs fans young and old, as well as stars James, Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith and Kevin Love reacting to the victory. It’s not exactly new territory for a major brand in the wake of an important championship, but Cleveland’s long wait adds emotional weight to the formula.
Reactions of the older, lifelong fans of the team are particularly convincing, illustrating the tagline well, as does a moment when a young boy asks his speechless father “What happened daddy?” before the ad quickly cuts to another stunned fan. The pacing and production of “Worth the Wait” are spot on as well, so while this theme has been rehashed many times before in similar spots, the execution fires on all cylinders. It’s sure to stoke the emotions of exuberant Cavs fans everywhere (and perhaps lead to sales for James’ branded Nike gear, of course).