Blog Entry

LeBron James, Kevin Durant star in new Nike ad

Posted on: October 29, 2011 11:57 am
Posted by Ben Golliver

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are up to their old tricks again, giving up on negotiations on Friday and cancelling two more weeks of the regular season.

Those developments only help reinforce the recurring message coming from the sneaker industry. It's not a particularly complicated message or an especially confrontational one, at least not yet. It basically boils down to "Professional basketball players enjoy playing professional basketball, no matter what," and here's the latest ad pushing that theme. 

The ad opens with the lights being turned off in an NBA stadium and then quickly transitions to a spotlight following Miami Heat forward LeBron James, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, New York Knicks forward Dirk Nowitzki and other basketball players of all ages as they work on their games individually, play in late-night pick-up games, engage in pre-game celebrations, play three-on-three in the drive way, see which players made the cut list and play some pop-a-shot.

The symbolism isn't complicated: basketball and its players shine wherever the sport goes, even if the NBA is locked out and the stadiums are dark. The ad's tagline -- "Basketball Never Stops" -- has been used as a slogan throughout the lockout when James, Durant and others have played on the exhibition game circuit and it works in tandem with Jordan Brand's recent "Love The Game" spot which features Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony playing in pick-up and intramural games throughout the country.

Nike's ad winds up being a bit more serious than Jordan's, which had a few humorous touches, but it fits the athletes depicted and it's dealing with a serious and touchy subject. James is, theoretically, focused on a quest for redemption. Durant is a stone-faced killer whenever he takes the court. Nowitzki has a goofy side, but he takes preparation and execution as seriously as anybody. Stoudemire feels a bit like a toss-in, but he's getting old and taking on new burdens as one of the faces of the improved Knicks, so it's not a total stretch.  

Video via YouTube user NikeBasketball 
Since: Oct 30, 2011
Posted on: October 30, 2011 12:54 pm
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Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: October 29, 2011 11:02 pm

LeBron James, Kevin Durant star in new Nike ad

New York forward Dirk Nowitzki
You might want to edit this in the blog post to say Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki. I am sure New York would love to have him but he is under contract. The whine coming from the players is not believable. Refusing to work for an offered $4.2 million average is really showing that the players value one-up-man-ship more than they do just playing for what they can get.

The ad itself is actually more jumbled and in-cohesive than on target. Nike can call out its horses and gain good will with players by airing such a commercial. But it really means nothing. Reneging on a commitment and walking away from the table at crunch time says more than any ad could. The players are not willing to play. The owners have their backs to the wall with breakeven @ 49-50%. They are not going another six years losing money.

Since: Feb 5, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2011 4:40 pm

LeBron James, Kevin Durant star in new Nike ad

worst nike commercial in a while dont waste your time

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