Spalding Links To Pros

30-Second Spots Highlight Endorsements From Basketball and Tennis Associations
BOSTON–Which company makes the official ball of the National Basketball Association and developed a line of rackets approved by the men’s professional tennis tour? The answer: Spalding Sports Worldwide.
Winstanley Associates has crafted a pair of television commercials that emphasize the link between the client’s products and the professional sports associations that endorse them. Both spots carry the tagline, “What are you playing?”
“We were trying to give the [products] value they may not normally have,” explained creative director Ralph Frisina. The campaign seeks to stress the company’s professional ties strongly enough to give the products an added selling point among serious players, Frisina said.
In “Kobe Story,” Los Angeles Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant explains that the reason he went pro directly from high school was to play with Spalding basketballs. The 30-second spot features Bryant speaking from a darkened practice court and shows NBA game footage of some of his best plays.
“We wanted to send home the message that this is the official ball of the NBA. Ask people on the street what the official ball is, you’ll get different answers,” said Frisina.
Another 30-second commercial called “Up Close” introduces Spalding’s ATP Tour Racket line, developed after a year of testing by some of the game’s top professionals. The spot features a series of quick cuts of the new products, while a voiceover describes how they were developed.
The Bryant ad is airing through the summer on NBA and Women’s National Basketball Association broadcasts. The tennis spot will run on ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts of men’s tour events, including the Peugeot ATP Tour World Team Championship scheduled for later this year in D†sseldorf, Germany.
Frisina served as creative director and art director on the ads; Nathan Winstanley wrote the copy.
Winstanley in Lenox, Mass., handled both creative development and media chores. The 15-person agency began working for Spalding seven years ago and currently handles all advertising for the Chicopee, Mass., client’s professionally licensed offerings and leisure products division.