By Barry Janoff
October 24, 2016: Russell Westbrook, who this season will lead the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder without Kevin Durant (now with the Golden State Warriors), has a new partner, Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Westbrook and Irving won’t be on the NBA court together, but they are together as part of a multi-platform effort from Mtn. Dew, with Westbrook signing an extension to his endorsement deal with the brand and Irving moving in as part of his alliance with PepsiCo.
Mtn. Dew said it that in addition to national ads with Westbrook and Irving, it has 17 other NBA players on its roster, who will be used in various national and regional components of marketing during the 2016-17 season. including TV, Internet, digital, social media, POP and fan activations.
An intro spot with Westbrook and Irving takes people behind the scenes of their new commercials.
In addition, Mtn. Dew said that throughout the season, it plans to get people "closer to the NBA lifestyle (with) everything that the NBA and its players touch and influence — from style and music to art and tech — all with a dash of humor."
Westbrook, who signed with the brand last year, extended his partnership through the 2018-19 NBA season.
Irving has been with PepsiCo since 2012, starring in a series of TV spots for Pepsi as “Uncle Drew.”
As part of its DEWxNBA roster, Mtn. Dew’s NBA endorsers also include Giannis Antetokuonmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Reggie Jackson (Detroit Pistons), Isaiah Thomas (Boston Celtics) and Justise Winslow. (Full list below.)
"The NBA is more than just a sport to basketball fans," Ryan Collis, senior director of marketing for Mtn. Dew, said in a statement. "It represents a source of inspiration, which lines up with the spirit of the Dew Nation—celebrating sports and culture while having a damn good time.
"Both Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving are the perfect embodiment of this message, as talented players with their fingers on the pulse of everything that’s cool, fun and relevant right now," said Collis.
Mtn. Dew began activation this past weekend with fan experiences that included 40 ft. tall inflated glowing basketballs in Los Angeles, and Miami with team partners the Lakers and Heat. The display is scheduled to hit Cleveland today as part of the team’s opening night.
According to Irving, who helped lead the Cavaliers to the NBA title last season, "I am excited to be a part of the Dew lineup. Mtn. Dew is a brand that celebrates being an individual and I continue to work to be the best version of me on and off the court. I can’t wait for what’s coming up next."
Added Westbrook, "Dew gets me as both a player and an individual and I’m proud of our collaborations over the past year and a half. I love that I can do me, while still doing the Dew."
• Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City Thunder
• Kyrie Irving Cleveland Cavaliers
• Justin Anderson Dallas Mavericks
• Giannis Antetokuonmpo Milwaukee Bucks
• Bradley Beal Washington Wizards
• Patrick Beverley Houston Rockets
• Devin Booker Phoenix Suns
• Mike Conley Memphis Grizzlies
• Danny Green San Antonio Spurs
• Elfrid Payton Orlando Magic
• Rodney Hood Utah Jazz
• Reggie Jackson Detroit Pistons
• CJ McCollum Portland Trail Blazers
• Emmanuel Mudiay Denver Nuggets
• Bobby Portis Chicago Bulls
• Julius Randle Los Angeles Lakers
• Isaiah Thomas Boston Celtics
• Myles Turner Indiana Pacers
• Justise Winslow Miami Heat
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