Who’s Who on Mavs, Not Visiting Superstars

Under the direction of a new marketing director with a Nike background, the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks are creating a new advertising approach this season: emphasizing who’s on the home roster rather than who’s coming to town.
In two television spots from the team’s new agency, Jackhammer, the Mavericks are presenting an edgier, youth-oriented image and highlighting new players many locals are hopeful will rescue the woeful club from its decade-long funk.
“From a brand marketing perspective, we felt like there was a need to reposition [the image],” said Greg Anderson, the Mavs new marketing director and ex-marketing and public relations manager of the Nike Sports Agency. “Secondly was to also start to educate the public about the players on our current roster.”
Long-range shooter Dennis Scott, high-flying forward Michael Finley and speedy guard Erick Strickland are the focus of Jackhammer’s initial TV work. Backed by an industrial techno soundtrack, the 30-second commercials identify each player with a certain motif, such as Scott and a B-52 bomber to accent his three-point prowess. A fly-swatter is a metaphor for shot-blocking, 7-foot-6-inch center Shawn Bradley in outdoor, print and radio executions.
“We don’t want to alienate who their audience has been so far,” said Jackhammer principal John Beitter of the ads featuring the Dallas shop’s signature rough texture and quick-pace editing. “But we want to give them a more progressive look and feel.”
Billings are estimated at nearly $1 million.
Anderson came to the Mavs prior to this season, taking over a department which frequently had to tout a visiting superstar or its “Mavs Man” mascot to draw fan interest. He said an industry referral led him to Jackhammer, which also counts Dr. Martens and Virgin Interactive as clients.