SBD/October 31, 2012/NBA Season Preview

NBA Marketing Notes: CDW Unveils New Charles Barkley Spots

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REEL CHICAGO’s Lewis Lazare reported Illinois-based CDW’s new campaign breaking this month from Ogilvy/Chicago stars Basketball HOFer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley. In the spot, the “milieu and Barkley’s focus have changed to the golf links, where he has been dubbed the client golfer -- the guy who makes a point of losing so the client can look good.” Several of the spots “have been carefully constructed to make it appear Barkley barely knows how to hit a golf ball, let alone make shots and win rounds of golf.” But “unfortunately, the CDW spots built around him to demonstrate his staged incompetence allow the likable Barkley little opportunity to do much else except deliver his line or two of ad copy in deadpan fashion” (REELCHICAGO.com, 10/30).

SAY UNCLE: ESPN.com’s Lynn Hoppes noted Cavaliers G Kyrie Irving is “back once again” as “Uncle Drew” for a new Pepsi Max ad after his first spot in June “garnered more than 15 million views” on YouTube. In the latest commercial, Basketball HOFer Bill Russell “is making an appearance as Irving returns as an old basketball player fooling people on the court.” Irving said, “Working with Bill was an unbelievable experience” (ESPN.com, 10/29).

TOON TOWN: MEDIA POST’s Karl Greenberg reported the NBA is “launching a new chapter in its two-year-old program, ‘Hoop Troop,’ designed to entice kids to get into basketball.” The new effort features “five animated basketball-themed characters who will appear online starting on Monday and later at events and on TV.” The NBA said that the characters are aimed at “growing the game of basketball among boys and girls ages 6-12.” The characters will debut on NBAHoopTroop.com, a "joint venture site” for the NBA and Cartoon Network. They also will appear in “other digital elements as well as in print and television advertising campaigns throughout the season” (MEDIAPOST.com, 10/30).

ICE, ICE, BABY: USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham notes Clippers F Blake Griffin and U.S. women’s national soccer team G Hope Solo “have invested” in a new company called Hyperice that “makes a new gadget for dealing with sports injuries.” Griffin appears with the Hyperice device, which he has been “showing off in online videos.” Griffin said, “Instead of a plastic bag of ice, you fill the Hyperice with ice, push the nozzle, and get ice across the joint, not just one area. The valve allows air to be released” (USA TODAY, 10/31).
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