And 1 Has Fast-Breaking TV

Upstart basketball sneaker and apparel brand And 1 attempts to cement its in-your-face equity with the first television spot starring recently signed endorser Latrell Sprewell. The commercial, from Crispin Porter & Bogusky in Miami, breaks this week.
After signing Sprewell in early April, company officials said they had no plans to use him in TV ads. (In fact, the brand has not done any TV for a year). But once Sprewell’s New York Knicks qualified for the National Basketball Association playoffs amidst a barrage of negative publicity concerning the player, that plan changed.
CP&B shot the commercial in White Plains, N.Y., last Tuesday and was rush-editing it in New York late last week.
“So much of good marketing is timing, we just had to take advantage of that,” said Jay Gilbert, And 1 vice president of marketing.
What is undoubtedly the most controversial basketball sneaker spot since Charles Barkley (on behalf of Nike) admonished kids that he was “not a role model”‘ shows a tight shot of Sprewell getting his hair braided. “People say I’m what’s wrong with the sport,” says Sprewell. “I say I’m a three-time NBA All-Star. People say I’m what’s wrong with sports. I say I’m the American dream.”
Controversial, yes. But will it sell sneakers?
“It’ll bring our target closer to Latrell and our brand,” insisted Gilbert. “It will make a lot of people uncomfortable, but he represents ‘the dream’ to the ballplayers that are our core consumers.”
The spot breaks Monday on the Knicks-Miami Heat telecast on TBS. A two-week flight includes buys on CNN/SI, BET and MTV.
And 1 has also bought Sprewell outdoor ads in the Bronx and in Brooklyn with New York retailer Dr. Jay’s. That media should be up before the end of May.