Mid-May saw Michael B Jordan return for one last drive down ‘NBA Lane’ to leverage the league’s 75th anniversary Playoffs and promote the Finals through a star-studded, fantastical basketball celebration.
Continuing the campaign which first launched in Autumn 2021, Jordan gets back behind the wheel of a motorized cart (instead of a bus) to deliver the redesigned Larry O’Brien Trophy and along the way chats with hoops legends Dirk Nowitzki, Jerry West and James Worthy in a 30-spot building buzz ahead of the NBA Finals (which tip off on 2 June).
Titled ‘NBA Lane: Welcome to the NBA Finals’ and linked with the initiative’s #NBA75 hashtag, the commercial dropped digitally on 17 May on YouTube (the presenting partner of the NBA Finals) before rolling out on-air and across the NBA’s digital and social universe.
The ad urges viewers to stay up-to-date on news, live scores & stats by downloading the NBA App: https://app.link.nba.com/-App22
The spot was created and developed by agency Translation and was helmed by directors Brendan and Emmett Malloy
This work marks the start of the closing phase of the league’s ‘NBA Lane’ anniversary marketing campaign which has generated millions of worldwide views and plenty of advertising copy and coverage since it launched back in October 2021 with the opening ‘NBA Lane’ spot. The debut burst of work was followed by December’s ‘Family Dinner’ festive season celebration commercial and then April 2022’s ‘Playoffs Platform work alongside a ‘Meta Quest 2 Horizon Worlds’ VR campaign strand.
The ‘NBA Lane’ work, based around a residential neighbourhood of basketball greats, has been a warm bath of basketball nostalgia, peppered with celebrity cameos and an upbeat celebration of the sport and its cultural impact while also glimpsing a bright future that shines just as bright.
To be honest, at Activative we’d be surprised if the campaign doesn’t re-appear in one form or another at some point in the NBA’s bright future.