Spike/DDB Courts Lakers In Ads For Fox Sports West

Spike/DDB, the advertising partnership between actor/director Spike Lee and DDB Needham Chicago, has completed its second campaign for Fox Sports Net.
The campaign consists of 10 Los Angeles Lakers promotional spots that Lee directed for the cable channel’s owned and operated regional sports network, Fox Sports West. Set to break in mid-November and air through the 1997-98 National Basketball Association season, the 15- and 30-second spots feature Lee talking with coach Del Harris and several of his players.
“The team is more than just a bunch of basketball players; they’re a [group] of personalities,” said Peter Liguori, senior vice president of marketing for Fox Sports Net. “This campaign heightens that.”
In one spot, Lee asks Harris, “Wasn’t it tough having so many talented players on one team?” As the camera moves in, the silver-haired coach replies, “Put it this way: My hair wasn’t always this color.” The spots end with the Fox Sports West logo.
“[The spots] are tongue-in-cheek; the players are making fun of themselves,” Lee explained. “[Spike/DDB] is trying to draw out [their] personalities.”
Another spot shows Lee listing some of Shaquille O’Neal’s nicknames, including “Shaq Daddy,” followed by shots of the superstar dunking. Teammate Kobe Bryant responds with, “They call me Kobe Bryant,” and then he dunks as well. Shaq is impressed: “Hmm . . . catchy.”
“Spike/DDB has a real way of taking a fan’s look at the sport,” said Liguori. “They enjoyed the subject and played with it.”