Tip-Off: Adidas 'Brotherhood' Campaign Launches

Portland, Ore.-based Adidas is launching a campaign timed with the kickoff of NBA season this week, and supporting Adidas' Team Signature footwear and apparel, which arrive in retail on Friday. The effort is called "Basketball is a Brotherhood", and features NBA All Stars Gilbert Arenas, Chauncey Billups, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard and Tracy McGrady.

The integrated push features the players during candid moments, working as a team, teaching kids how to behave as a team, and talking about the subject interview-style. But the rich-media focus is online, with 11 video episodes housed at adidasbasketball.com. The campaign, via 180 LA, drives consumers to the site with TV, mobile, print and retail components. At the Web site, consumers can do things like text in to "join the Brotherhood."

The videos were shot at a basketball camp for 12 young players who knew that the camp was run by Adidas--but not that the camp counselors were Garnett, Duncan, Arenas, Howard, Billups and T- Mac. The films are intended to reveal how disparate players become a team through crucible of practice, camaraderie and discipline. The Brotherhood campaign continues the Adidas tactic of showing its products in settings that put pros next to regular Joes.



On April 11, 2006, the Adidas Group and the NBA signed an 11-year global merchandising partnership that will make the Adidas brand the official uniform and apparel provider for the NBA, the Women's National Basketball Association and the NBA Development League (D-League) beginning with the 2006-07 NBA season.

Also last year, Adidas introduced its Signature line with ads featuring the six All Star players who are in the current effort. Last year's campaign--"Believe in 5IVE," which ran for six months--also had a "whole is greater than the sum of its parts" message. TV spots had the players lambaste those who think a team is defined by its stars. It also drove consumers to the Web site, but for a sweepstakes. As is the case this year, each of the six players has a signature shoe.

The media rollout covers the U.S., Asian and European markets. The company says it is rolling out the "Team Signature" brand with a tri-partite launch: First is Team Signature Lightspeed, touted as the lightest Adidas basketball shoe ever; in November, the company will launch Team Signature Lightswitch, featuring a new cushion system; next February, Adidas will launch Team Signature Pro. Each shoe comes in different player editions--e.g., "Team Signature Lightspeed T-MAC."

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