SBD/September 20, 2017/Marketing and Sponsorship

NBA's Latest Ads Look To Tell Deeper Stories Of League's Place In People's Lives

The NBA is debuting a "new advertising effort for the upcoming season called 'I’m Why' that includes three new spots and, eventually, new commercials from all 30 NBA teams," according to John Lombardo of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The effort, via Translation, N.Y., is the "latest iteration of the NBA’s 'This Is Why We Play' global advertising campaign" that was created in '15. The campaign "begins this week with spots to appear on NBA TV and the league’s digital and social media outlets." The ads include 30- and 60-second spots called “Tipping Off 2017” featuring "highlights from last season." A 60-second ad called “Golden State’s Homecourt Advantage” focuses on a "member of the Warriors’ game-night staff responsible for covering Oracle Arena’s 19,596 seats with gold shirts before playoff games." It will "air locally in the Bay Area on Sept. 30 and is the first of the 30 original team spots to be unveiled throughout the season" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/18 issue). ADWEEK's David Gianatasio noted the ads "showcase confidence and swagger but also strive to transcend game action to tell deeper stories of the league’s place in people’s lives." The campaign does a "fine job of personalizing the league and reflecting its increasingly elevated role across the contemporary landscape." The emphasis in the spots is "more intimate and intense, encompassing the full emotional range" of the '16-17 season, "from elation (LeBron James greeting a fan courtside) to heartbreak (the sad farewell of broadcaster Craig Sager, who lost his long battle with leukemia)" (, 9/19).
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