Ahead of the NBA playoffs, Idris Elba extols the virtues of the game of basketball in the above spot, part of a new global brand campaign that tipped off at the start of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on Saturday.
The NBA created the campaign in partnership with creative agency Translation and includes four spots. Elba’s narration is set to an original composition by Jon Batiste with Emmanuel Adjei directing. The spots will air globally in 15 languages with select markets featuring local celebrities as the voices of the campaign.
“‘That’s Game’ demonstrates more than just the culmination of play – it’s about the moments that have kept fans connected to the game throughout history and will continue to engage them long into the future,” said NBA Chief Marketing Officer Kate Jhaveri in a statement. “We are excited to celebrate the incredible plays that leave us in awe and the impactful community work from players and teams, and we look forward to continuing this storytelling into the 75th anniversary season.”
“We are thrilled to partner with the NBA to create ‘That’s Game’ and help tell the story of this game’s impact in culture and around the world both on and off the court” said Jason Campbell, executive creative director, Translation, also in a statement. “Every hand that contributed to this work understood that truth, and we are excited to continue unpacking its meaning long into the future.”
The spots highlights pivotal moments from recent NBA history, including:
—Washington Wizards’ Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, and Minnesota Timberwolves’ D’Angelo Russell showing off their inimitable style.
—Stephen Curry and The Golden State Warriors being crowned the 2018 NBA Champions.
—Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant, Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and New York Knicks’ Julius Randle showing off exciting slam dunks.
—Eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter’s legendary 360 windmill dunk in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest and the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell paying homage to Carter in the contest 18 years later.
—Boston Celtics’ NBA All-Star Jaylen Brown, who is on the front lines of the movement for racial equality, wearing “Liberation” on his jersey during the NBA Restart; and the Orlando Magic, who have prioritized supporting youth in the central Florida community, connecting arms together at center court as the league and players advocated for social change this past year.
The campaign will be supported across media and include such fan engagement activations as:
—“NBA House” – during the postseason, some of the most relevant social content creators and influencers will come together in a LA-based “NBA House” to create exciting social moments, inviting fans into the cultural epicenter of the NBA Playoffs with custom content and programming.
—“Catch the Game” watch-and-win promotion – The league will host a watch-and-win promotion encouraging fans to tune in to receive a chance to win NBA in-person experiences across the league’s marquee events during the final two rounds of the Playoffs, including a trip to NBA All-Star 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio and NBA Finals 2022.
—Fortnite partnership – In addition to NBA outfits for all 30 teams on sale in the Fortnight Item Shop, beginning on May 25, Fortnite players can head to the game’s “Creative Mode” for an opportunity to visit the NBA Welcome Hub for more NBA-related experiences and content. Additionally, the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell and the Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young will share their player “locker bundles,” revealing their personal favorite items to “wear” when they play Fortnite.
—- UnitedMasters – partnering with UnitedMasters’ talented roster of artists such as Tobe Nwigwe to craft unique content supporting and defining “That’s Game”
As part of the league’s ongoing social justice commitments, the “That’s Game” campaign will look to tell stories across league and team platforms around our recently announced Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion, investments in Black communities through the NBA Foundation and advocacy for policy change through the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition.