Ad of the Day: Nike and LeBron James Open the NBA Season With a Toast to Underdogs

A salute to the ones who 'weren't supposed to be here'

The Cleveland Cavaliers opened the 2016 NBA season with a victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night. 

LeBron James scored a triple double for the league's defending champions, but he was more focused on the underdogs in Nike's latest campaign from Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore., which debuted the same night. 

The Cavs came from behind to win the championship last year. And while James has been a household name for some time, his narration in this campaign celebrates those players who followed the same unlikely path. These are the aspiring stars who weren't "supposed" to escape their neighborhoods, beat the odds and go pro, no matter how many coaches told them they had potential. 

They all happen to be wearing James' number 23.

James' cameo at the end serves as both the conclusion of the narrative and a reminder that pro hoops will be just as unpredictably thrilling this year as it was last year. 

He's not the only NBA star who came "out of nowhere." In addition to the anthem spot, the campaign includes out-of-home executions celebrating the individual styles of other players who were never supposed to be big, like Kevin Durant, Paul George and the 5-foot-9 dynamo Isaiah Thomas. These OOH pieces will appear as posters and larger-than-life projections in each player's market. (Check out some of executions below.) 

The "Come Out of Nowhere" campaign will run through the first two weeks of the season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CREDITS

Client: Nike

Title: "Come Out of Nowhere"

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.

Global Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O'Rourke

Interactive Director: Dan Viens

Copywriter: Jordan Dinwiddie

Art Directors: Jacob Weinstein, Emma Barnett

Integrated Production Director: Matt Hunnicutt

Senior Integrated Producer: Molly Tait Tanen

Agency Production Assistant: Emily Knight

Digital Producer: Keith Rice

Art Production: Amy Berriochoa, Krystle Mortimore

Project Management: Emily Norman 

Studio Design Manager: Simone Takasaki

Studio Designer: Edgar Morales

Retoucher: Greg Radich, Frazer Goodbody

Motion Production, Design: Jeff Ackley

Strategic Planning: Andy Lindblade, Nathan Goldberg, Reid Schilperoort

Media, Communications Planning: Danny Sheniak, John Furnari, Brian Goldstein, Anthony Holton

Account Team: Chris Willingham, Katie Gurgainus, Eric Watkins, Simone Jackson

Senior Business Affairs Manager: Laura Caldwell

Broadcast Traffic: Stefanie Goodell, Andrea Sierra

Production Company: Anonymous Content

Director: Mark Romanek

Executive Producer: SueEllen Clair

Line Producers: Bridgette Pugh, Tom Martin

Director of Photography: Adam Arkapaw

Production Designer: Jeff Higinbotham

Edit Company: Spot Welders

Editor: Robert Duffy

Assistant Editor: Sophie Kornberg

Post Producer: Lisa English

Executive Post Producer: Carolina Sanborn

Visual Effects Company: The Mill

2-D Lead Artist: John Shirley

2-D Artists: James Allen, Adam Lambert, Kelsey Napier

Senior Visual Effects Producer: Enca Kaul

Visual Effects Producer: Anastasia von Raul

Visual Effects Supervisor: John Shirley

Color: Company 3

Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld

Color Producer: Ashley McKim

Producers: Rick Rubin, Jonathan Sanford

Composers: John Christopher Barnes, Jason Lader

Sound Designer: Matt Miller, Lime Studios

Song: "Here You Are"

Music, Sound, Mix: Licensed track from Human Worldwide

Producer: Rick Rubin

Audio Mixer: Matt Miller

Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

Out of Home Activations

Global Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O’Rourke

Interactive Director: Dan Viens

Copywriter: Josh Bogdan

Art Director: Pedro Izique

Motion Producer: Tori Herbst