By Barry Janoff
October 28, 2014: To help celebrate the opening of the 2014-15 NBA season, adidas is putting its top hoops endorsers on stage and letting them play around.
Adidas, the league's official uniform and apparel supplier, this week unveils "NBA Swingman," an homage campaign to support the brand's revamped NBA jersey design. The multi-platform effort is anchored by five humorous TV spots starring, respectively, Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets), Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota Timberwolves), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets) and Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls).
Howard's "Swingman" spots breaks this week, with the others to follow in the coming weeks. The spots were created in-house.
The five players are each seen in a variety of situations in which their “Swingman” body-doubles take over for the NBA superstars in challenging situations. According to adidas, the new Swingman jerseys were "created with a similar concept in mind — bring fans closer to the game than ever before with an updated design featuring premium materials and an improved fit."
"Each season we look for new ways to entertain fans and showcase our latest gear,” Chris Grancio, adidas global basketball general manager, said in a statement. “The new Swingman jerseys are more similar to on-court authentic jerseys than ever before, and the TV spots celebrate that in a fun way.”
In addition to TV, the “NBA Swingman” campaign includes Internet, digital, POP and such social media destinations as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The spots will air across the league’s national broadcast partners — ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV — as well as its regional sports networks. The NBA will also air international versions of the spots in "key regions."
In the Howard spot, we see the 6' 11", 265-lb. center for the Rockets next to his "body double," a guy built like 5' 4" actor Kevin Hart. The stand-in is wearing Howard's Swingman jersey and, with "a little magic here and there," as Howard explains, the smaller guy gets to dunk, dribble and put on NBA-type moves. A voiceover explains,"Get the new NBA Swingman jerseys, because there is a little Swingman in all of us." (See the full spot here.)
According to Salvatore LaRocca, president, global operations and merchandising for the NBA, “We continue to work closely with adidas to enhance the NBA experience for our fans around the world, The new Swingman jersey is an updated version of our most successful apparel product and we’re excited to introduce this new product with a unique marketing campaign.”
The adidas NBA Swingman jerseys are available at NBAStore.com, the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in New York and via team retailers (MSRP $110 adult, $75 youth).
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