By Barry Janoff, Executive Editor
May 24, 2011: NBA MVP Derrick Rose walks the streets of the Englewood neighborhood in his hometown Chicago, taking viewers on a past, present and future journey of his life in a new commercial for adidas' adiZero Crazy Light basketball shoes.
The spot, "What's in a Number?" broke on ESPN on May 23 during Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder. It will air again on TNT on May 24 during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals between Rose's Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat.
The spot will continue to air throughout the Conference and NBA Finals on TNT, ESPN and ABC, as well as streaming on NBA.com and at Derrick Rose's Web site. Support will include print, Internet and POP. Lead agency is 180 Los Angeles.
In "What's in a Number?" we see shots of Rose during the playoffs making lay-ups and jump shots wearing what adidas is calling "the lightest shoe in basketball." Those images are interspersed with landmarks from the Englewood section of Chicago where he grew up, including the El Train, the Chicago Park District's Murray Playground and the It's Yours barber shop.
"Remember this number: 9.8," Rose says in voiceover. That number appears in several locations, such as a bank sign displaying interest rates and on barber shop window.
But Rose explains, "That's not the time on the shot clock. Or the seconds left in the game. It's not the number of times I will light you up. 9.8 isn't any of that."
As we get a product shot of the new adiZero Crazy Light, Rose relates, "It's ounces. And that makes this the lightest shoe ever." (See full spot here.)
The spot is reminiscent of a Reebok commercial from 2003 in which Allen Iverson, then with the Philadelphia 76ers, runs through the city's streets past people and landmarks. He ends up recreating the scene from Rocky in which Sylvester Stallone runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, looks back at the city and raises his arms in victory. (See Iverson spot here.) Reebok is a division of adidas.
Adidas said it partnered exclusively with rapper Big Sean to feature his new track, "I Do It" in the adiZero Crazy Light campaign. Big Sean's new release, Finally Famous: The Album from Island Def Jam, is set to drop this summer.
The adiZero Crazy Light will be available June 3 nationwide. MSRP is $130.