Adidas Intros Global Push

LOS ANGELES A global campaign for Adidas out of Omnicom Group’s 180/LA launches this week, featuring a quintet of top pro hoop stars.

“We wanted to build off the momentum we created last year, with the theme of brotherhood,” explained 180 ecd William Gelner. “It’s not about hero worship, but bringing the pros down to the basketball-playing kid, to be there side by side and teach them what basketball is all about.”

The campaign includes four short Web-based movies starring National Basketball Association’s Kevin Garnett (Boston), Tracy McGrady (Houston), Tim Duncan (San Antonio), Dwight Howard (Orlando) and Gilbert Arenas (Washington), who adopt up-and-coming schoolboy players from America and China and treat them to pro experiences. View the clips at

The series starts with Arenas taking a kid out of a pickup game and treating him to a pro experience. It builds to a game at a professional venue, the Toyota Center in Houston, where the amateurs get to play an NBA-style game, under pro conditions, as the pros coach them. In the final episode (“A Brotherhood Shines”), the kids get a lesson in teamwork and brotherhood with a tour of Boston.

Ten 10-second teasers derived from the films will be broadcast as spots during NBA games, breaking in the next few days, to promote the Web enterprise. Aegis Group’s Carat in Los Angeles handled media.

The tag on a series of print ads featuring action shots — in publications such as Slam, Bounce and Dime — is  “NBA tested, brotherhood ready.” “We wanted to stick to the brotherhood theme,” Gelner said, “but elevate it to its highest level.”

According to sources, the agency is meeting with the NBA about the potential for broadcasting the material on NBA TV. Gelner declined comment.

“It was a lot of fun to be part of,” Gelner said. “It is starting to feel less like a basketball campaign and more like a movement.”

Adidas spent $40 million in measured media in 2007 and $15 million through August 2008, according the Nielsen Monitor-Plus.