Kobe infusion

They may not have been lucky enough to be stranded on a desert island with Tom Hanks, but Spalding marketers are making a splash with a new basketball, the infusion, supported by a $5 million national advertising campaign.

Crafted by Winstanley Associates of Lenox, Mass., the effort features Spalding pitchman and L.A. Lakers all-star Kobe Bryant. The “Secret Laboratory” spot stars Bryant in a send up to 007 movies. In the ad, Bryant, known as “No. 8,” his Lakers jersey number, walks into a high-tech laboratory complaining of problems with his basketball. A character called “The Professor” shows Bryant how to get an edge on his competition.

The spot will debut Feb. 10 during NBA All-Star Saturday programming on TNT and air on NBC during the All-Star Game the following day. Spalding will return during the playoffs in April, when the spot will resurface to coincide with the launch of the ball at retail outlets. A consumer print effort in sports publications is in the works.

Anthony Dixon / LFI