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McDonald's Casts LeBron James, Dwight Howard In Remake Of Jordan-Bird Classic Commercial

January 7, 2010: During Super Bowl XLIII last February, TV viewers watched an updated version of the classic Coca-Cola commercial in which "Mean" Joe Greene of the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers gets a Coke from a kid and gives the kid his jersey, with the remake being instead for Coke Zero and starring Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu, complete with a humorous twist ending.

During Super Bowl XLIV this February, TV viewers will get to watch an updated version of the classic McDonald's commercial, "Showdown," via Leo Burnett, Chicago, in which Michael Jordan and Larry Bird play an über game of H.O.R.S.E., with the prize a Big Mac and fries. The remake will star LeBron James and Dwight Howard, with a humorous twist ending being supplied by Larry Bird himself. Leo Burnett again handles.

Word out of Chicago is that the spot was filmed this week at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, where logistics worked to get James, Howard and Bird together. Bird is president of the NBA's Indianapolis Pacers, and Howard was in town with the Orlando Magic to play the Pacers. James flew in from Cleveland during an off-day with the Cavaliers.

Although creative was still being finalized, the theme of the new spot mirrors the original, which debuted during Super Bowl XXVII  in 1993, with Jordan and Bird going to extremes to outdo the other for the MacDonald's prize, including calling shots "off the scoreboard, off the backboard, no rim." And then "off the second rafter, off the floor, nothing but net. " The spot ends with the pair on top of a tall building still trying to determine a winner. In the new spot, Bird unexpectedly shows up to claim the Mac prize while James and Howard continue to out-hoop each other. What is also likely to change is Bird's declaration to Jordan in the original, "No dunking."

Howard already has done spots for McDonald's, but this would be James' first for the fast-feeder. Howard is represented by Aaron Goodwin of Goodwin Sports Management; James was handled by Goodwin until 2005 when he and three friends founded LRMR Marketing. There has been no official word as to when the spot will run on CBS during Super Bowl XLIV.

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