D-Wade Gets Bud, Gatorade Tributes As Fans, Players, Mom Honor His Life, Career
Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 04:13PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in Budweiser, Dwyane Wade, NBA, NBA, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

April 9, 2019: As part of his “One Last Dance” tour of the NBA in his final pro season, Dwyane Wade has been swapping his No. 3 Miami Heat jersey with select players, including LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Ben Simmons and also-retiring Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks.

Ahead of Wade’s last regular season home game with the Heat (tonight vs. the Philadelphia 76ers), Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser has unveiled an extended spot, “This Bud’s For 3,” that not honors Wade the man and the player, as well as his jersey-swapping.

Concurrently, Gatorade today unveiled, "3 Is The Magic Number," featuring music by John Legend, which traces his hoops career and life from Chicago to Miami.

President Barack Obama taped a two-minute tribute message, which ran prior to the Heat game.

“Saying goodbye to a career that you love is never easy.," said the President. "I’ve been there. In my case, I didn’t have a choice: My knees were shot and I had to give up basketball. You have just completed one of the greatest careers in NBA history. Hope the next phase of your career is just as fulfilling and just as spectacular.”

In the Budweiser spot, Wade meets five surprise guests, each of whom he has directly impacted by his actions and words.

This Bud’s For 3,” which will air during NBA games and in the Heat's AmericanAirlines Arena, opens with some of the autographed jerseys that Wade has received this season from players.

Text offers, “Dwayne Wade has been swapping jerseys with NBA legends. But before he says goodbye, we surprised him with five more.”

Wade is shown entering an empty AmericanAirlines Arena. “I literally have no idea what’s coming,” he says.

One by one, people enter with whom Wade has had a personal, impacting situation.

They include Andrea Ghersi, whose brother, Joaquin Oliver, was one of the 17 shooting victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 14, 2018.

Wade wrote Joaquin Oliver’s name on his basketball shoes for a game following the tragedy, and the young man, a big D-Wade fan, was buried wearing a Miami Heat Wade jersey.

"You mean so much to us, and my brother Juaquin loved you from the beginning," Ghersi says in the spot.

She then presents Wade with a basketball jersey her brother wore during a championship basketball game, inscribed, “Please don’t forget my brother.”

Also in the four-minute spot is a woman Wade took shopping with her family after she lost her house and all possessions in a fire ten days before Christmas.

"It was the lowest point in my life,” she says. “Then we received a phone call: 'Would you mind if Dwayne Wade took you on a shopping spree.' That meant so much to me that you were there for us.”

A young man from an underprivileged neighborhood near Miami who met Wade 12 years ago says Wade’s words and inspiration “hit a spark and changed where I was going.” He gives Wade the blazer he wore to a job interview.

A woman who was given a full-tuition scholarship by Wade, without which she would not have been able to go to college, gives Wade her graduation cap and gown.

The visits are capped off by Wade's mother, Jolinda, who talks about when she was sent to prison how he continued to support her, and then bought her a church. “When you bought your momma that church, you don’t even understand the lives you changed.

“I am more proud of the man you have become than the basketball player,” she says. “You are bigger than basketball." She gives her son a minister’s robe.

A closing shot shows these items hanging with the NBA jerseys he has been given.

As part of Wade’s final season, Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, appear in another new Gatorade spot, "Keep Moving," and last month attended A Night on the RunWade 2019 fashion show to raise funds for the Overtown Youth Center.

He also has continued to support The Wade's World Foundation, founded by Wade in 2003, which “works to provide support to community-based organizations that promote education, health and social skills for children in at-risk situations.”

After seeing the Budweiser spot, Union posted to her Twitter account, “Bigger Than Basketball. So much bigger than basketball. Man, this captures so much of what @DwyaneWade means to people. I'm also bawling. Watch and RT #OneLastDance. ‘

The Heat have been offering special commemorative items as part of the Wade Legacy Collection, and are giving out T-shirts at the final home game that read,"‘L3gacy.”

Wade’s final regular-season game is on the road against the Brooklyn Nets on April 10.

Among those current and former NBA players with whom he has swapped jerseys this season:

• Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
• Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
• Benny the Bull, Chicago Bulls mascot
• Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
• Chris Bosh, ex-Miami Heat
• Vince Carter, Atlanta Hawks
• Jamal Crawford, Phoenix Suns
• Jae Crowder, Utah Jazz
• Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
• Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
• DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs
• Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
• Goran Dragic, Dallas Mavericks
• Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons
• Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder
Tim Hardaway Jr., New York Knicks
• Montrezl Harrell, Los Angeles Clippers
• Devin Harris, Dallas Mavericks
• George Hill, Milwaukee Bucks
Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks
• LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
• Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
• Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
• Frank Mason, Sacramento Kings
• C.J. McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers
• Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
• Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
• Marcus Morris, Boston Celtics
• Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
• Chris Paul, Houston Rockets
• Terry Rozier, Boston Celtics
• D'Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets
• Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers
• Iman Shumpert, Sacramento Kings
• Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
• Isaiah Thomas, Denver Nuggets
• Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets
• Jason Williams, ex Miami Heat
• Delon Wright, Toronto Raptors
• Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks

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