Nike Backetball Commercial with LeBron James: Rise

Nike Backetball Commercial with LeBron James: Rise

Nike Basketball and and its longtime advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy bring us LeBron’s first full feature commercial as a Miami Heat member in advance of the start of the NBA season and the launch of the new LeBron James signature shoe.

Seems Nike thinks that LeBron James really needs to rehabilitate his image after his move from Cleveland to Miami, which was announced in the hourlong broadcast on ESPN “The Decision”.

The Decision

The new Nike commercial, titled “Rise”, firstly take us back to “The Decision,” where James sitting pensively on a studio set that mimics where he made his infamous announcement.

“What should I do?” he asks, turning to face the camera. “Should I admit that I’ve made mistakes?”

Throughout the spot James rhetorically asks everyone for their opinion and each scene reflects opinions that have been expressed. He wonders if he should believe that he’s ruined his legacy as he speaks before an empty banquet hall during a mock Hall of Fame induction ceremony. A notable scene includes LeBron saying, “I am not a role model,” borrowing a famous line from fellow Nike athlete Charles Barkley. James then winks and says “Hi Chuck.” (Charles Barkley during the off-season criticized LeBron’s decision).

Charles Barkley “I am not a role model”

LeBron also asks, “Should I try acting?” and gets advice from Don Johnson (Detective Sonny Crockett on the iconic 80’s TV series Miami Vice), who advises him that things will get better with time. LeBron also reads part of a soulful poem written by world-renowned poet, Dr. Maya Angelou. The commercial ends with one final question: “Should I be who YOU want me to be?”.

Davide Grasso, Vice President of Global Brand Marketing said that they’re celebrating James courage to forge his own journey even when others may have disagreed with his decisions. It’s this Just Do It spirit that defines LeBron and Nike as we strive to inspire all young athletes.

The spot debuted on October 25th with a 90-second film on and on TV on October 26 during the game between Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, which Boston win 88-80.

Lebron James: Hall of fame

Lebron James and Don Johnson

Lebron James

LeBron James Villain

LeBron James Poetry

LeBron James tatto

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland
Client: Nike
Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O’Rourke
Copywriter: Caleb Jensen
Art Director: Taylor Twist
Producer: Erika Madison
Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff, Susan Hoffman
Agency Executive Producer: Ben Grylewicz
Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker
Director: Stacy Wall
Executive Producer: Doug Halbert
Line Producer: Dina Oberley
Director of Photography: Sal Totino
Editorial Company: Spot Welders
Editor: Robert Duffy
Post Producer: Carolina Wallace
Post Executive Producer: David Glean
Assistant Editor: Healy Snow
VFX Company: Public
VFX Supervisor: Tony Smoller
Flame Artist: James Allen
VFX Producer: Rachel Kaminek
Sound Company: Stimmung
Sound Designer: Gus Koven
Producers: Jack Caitlin, Ceinwyn Clark
Music: “Crockett’s Theme” by Jan Hammer
Color Correction: Company 3
Colorist: Dave Hussey
Mix Company: Lime
Mixer: Loren Silber, Mark Meyuhas

There are 8 comments for this article
  1. Robby at 4:33 PM

    One of the best Nike commercials I’ve seen! If he did what everybody else wanted him to do, he would be consider a joke. Just because he decided not to wait til his 30’s to try and get a ring, people wanna make him a bad guy. Funny…nobody said nothing to KG or Ray Allen.

  2. miarsop at 4:45 PM

    This is a classic example of how Nike does a great job of changing the conversation. This spot makes us realize that it is just a sport, and while Lebron may have “abandoned” Cleveland and its fans, it’s ultimately about a life journey and what made sense for him. I hate to admit this, as I am a NY Knicks fan, but it is true. The true test for the Lebron James brand will not be great advertising like this, but what he does on the floor. If he succeeds, his fans will follow, and his brand will “rise”.

  3. Amirah at 4:56 PM

    It’s a big mistake. To 90% of the country who doesn’t care about the team change or the ridiculous announcement show, this has made him look much worse than we thought he was.

  4. Rauaskjdkla at 5:32 PM

    Love this spot. Everyone needs to get over their gripe with Lebron – he made a decision as an athlete, motivated by the desire to win championships, so what?? He’s human and still an extremely likeable person who can still sell just about anything. Good spot Nike!

  5. mrs at 5:55 PM

    i loved this commercial, nike knows exactly how to take advantage of what ever is going on and put a decent spin on it. HI CHUCK!

  6. BigBalls at 7:44 PM

    Before I saw the vid, I was going to bad mouth dude. After I saw it, I’m thinking that Lebron is going to be just fine. He did what anyone else WOULD have done. He did it for HIMSELF.

  7. Tweet at 8:17 PM

    What should I be? Great question. After this commercial I’m not at all sure who he is… a role-model, a pastry eater, a super star, a construction worker, an actor, a basketball player? I want to be told who LeBron James is, not confused. What is the purpose? No message.

  8. AJ LoFranco at 1:29 AM

    How about stop hawking yourself or shoes, and play basketball. That said, I believe we’re all at fault for giving star athletes a microphone in the first place. Maybe he should have asked John Wooden, and then listened?

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