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My Favorite NBA Campaigns

In my opinion, the NBA has always had the best ad campaigns, at least in comparison to other American sports. The campaigns almost always use a dramatic buildup and have a cinematic quality to them which I just love.

“BIG” is the word of the NBA’s latest commercial campaign. Since the playoffs began it has replaced the famous “Where Amazing Happens” campaign. The funky, minimalist commercials have featured the different teams playing and discontinued them once the team was eliminated.

The Finals commercials include two 30-second commercials featuring the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat and a 60-second commercial that features both teams as well as great players throughout the history of the sport.

With the instrumental from User’s single “Climax” in the background, the commercial reads:
“It’s not a game or a sport or a series. It’s a shot at immortality, but it’s not just one team against another. It’s two teams against all who have come before.

The legends, the giants but history won’t give – you must take, because the past is present and it’s setting the tone.

Breaking you down, making you think and if that’s a burden your team can’t carry. You can’t win, because for champions the chance to live forever is way too BIG.”

I will admit that “Big” is not my favorite NBA campaign. Trying to follow lots of words flashing quickly across the screen is a bit exhausting, and while some of the commercials were good, overall the campaign just didn’t excite me as much some of the others in the past. Here, in my opinion, are some of the best NBA campaigns and commercials:

“Where Amazing Happens”

The famous five-year campaign presented the NBA the way its most enthusiastic fans see it- as a place where the greatest athletes in the world do things that none of us can even approach. It was created in 2007 as a branding effort to improve the image of the NBA after numerous fights and drama involving players and a referee gambling scandal.

“There Can Only Be One”

The NBA promoted the 2008 Playoffs and Finals with this highly integrated ad campaign that involved interactive, print and film components. The campaign was such a cultural hit that it resulted in knockoff spots on “Saturday Night Live” and on the cover of Time magazine with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

“Love The Game”

My all-time favorite commercial came at a time when there was no basketball, and nobody was sure when it would be back. Jordan Brand’s “Love the Game” shows Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony jumping around leagues playing the game they love, despite a lockout. I can recall watching this commercial for the first time during the World Series, and screaming with happiness from seeing basketball for the first time in six months. Major League Baseball’s got nothing on the NBA!

LET’S GO HEAT!  Only one more win until the parade on Biscayne!

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