By Barry Janoff
November 14, 2013: The NBA has scheduled a slate of five games on national TV for Christmas Day, and six weeks out the league has already launched a campaign to support its programming blitz on ESPN and ABC.
No by coincidence, the multi-media marketing push also supports new NBA sleeved jersey shirts from adidas that players on all ten teams will wear on Dec. 25.
The sleeved jerseys, which were unveiled in limited use last season, are part of adidas' NBA “BIG Logo” Holiday Collection, which includes new warm-up jackets and shooting shirts with print graphics "inspired by knit holiday sweaters."
The campaign is anchored by a TV spot, "Jingle Hoops," in which six players whose teams will be in action on Christmas Day shoot basketballs through nets adorned with sleigh bells in order to play, One-Horse Open Sleigh," a variation of the holiday song, "Jingle Bells."
The spot features LeBorn James (Miami Heat), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), James Harden (Houston Rockets), Steve Nash (Los Angeles Lakers) and Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors). James ends the spot with an emphatic dunk, smiles and says, "Please tell me the camera was on!"
Each of the players is seen wearing the short-sleeved jerseys of their respective teams. (See the full spot here.)
d “Jingle Hoops” breaks this week during games across the league’s national broadcast partners, including ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV, as well as its regional sports networks. The NBA said it would also air international versions of the spot in such key regions as China, Europe, Mexico, Brazil, Africa, and the Middle East.
Support includes Internet and social media destinations such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Last year, the NBA unveiled a “BIG Color” campaign for the holidays, with a TV spot in which five players, including Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, are seen dribbling basketballs to the holiday tune, "Carol of the Bells."
The league said that spot garnered more than eight million YouTube views. As happened with the 2012 spot, players seen in "Jingle Hoops" were shot at different locations and then mashed-up for the final version.
"Last season’s 'BIG Color' holiday campaign was an overwhelming success that grabbed fans' attention, and we wanted to find a way to top it,” Jamie Gallo, evp-marketing for the NBA, said in a statement. “This season, we’re back with the game’s biggest stars to deliver an engaging and festive sequence that creatively showcases our players' skills.”
The adidas NBA “BIG Logo” Holiday Collection is available at NBAStore.com, the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in New York and team retailers.
According to Sal LaRocca, the NBA's evp-global merchandising, “We worked closely with adidas to create an innovative new uniform design for our Christmas Day game. The BIG Logo collection will provide a unique look on-court and a variety of products for our fans."
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