The Week’s Best in Sports Advertising

This Week's Best in Sports Ads: NBA2K and BSSP Make Numbers Fun

This week in sports advertising, NBA2K gets an assist from data, Dickies puts in elbow grease with Packers fans, and AT&T uses genre-bending cinema to catch the eye of sports fans.

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1. Nike — #11

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy

Athlete / Influencer: Kyrie Irving

Nike keeps giving us goosebumps with one “It’s only crazy until you do it” spot after another. First Kaepernick, then Serena, then LeBron and Odell Beckham Jr. Now the brand is telling the compelling story of Kyrie Irving and his dad, a man who sacrificed his own basketball career so that his son could succeed.

The ad premiered on Thanksgiving Day, and continued Nike’s theme of showing us that players are people too.

2. State Farm — Siberia

Athlete / Influencer: Aaron Rodgers

State Farm has found a formula for success through its ‘Agent vs. Agent’ campaign, featuring Aaron Rodgers.

The rivalry between Rodgers’ sports agent (played by Supernatural actor David Haydn-Jones) and his insurance agent (a cameo from State Farm agent Patrick Minnis) is heating up each episode, and in this spot one tries to ship the other off to Siberia.

3. Dickies — Frozen Tundra

Agency: Lucky Post

The smallest NFL city, yet the biggest season ticket waitlist. The coldest games, yet the warmest fans. Dallas-based Lucky Post creatively crafted a campaign for Dickies to share the story of the people of the Frozen Tundra—a group unphased by elbow grease.

With no flashy influencers or overwhelming product placement, the spot relies on the best elements of cinema to embody the spirit of Green Bay (and its favorite workwear brand). It’s a short film about The Digout, an annual tradition for Packers fans that is based on the weather rather than the calendar.

4. NBA2K — Everyone’s On

Agency: Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners

48,043. That’s how many times LeBron has been carried by his teammates to a title this year on NBA2K. That’s just one figure amongst an absurd amount of data and mind-blowing statistics helping turn simple numbers into a brilliant marketing effort.

Hundreds of thousands of fans get behind the controller each day, including gamers, musicians, kids, and NBA stars themselves. With some help from Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, the popular video game is leveraging data to create unexpected headlines and showcase NBA2K as the party everyone is at.

5. AT&T — More For Your Thing

Agency: BBDO

AT&T’s ‘More For Your Thing’ campaign has been mixing it up all year long. In a step away from traditional advertising, the telecomms giant has created movie trailer-esque spots that debut prior to films in theaters.

In their most recent release, ‘Spot,’ the focus is a genre-bending sports plus sci-fi nail-biter that offers 90 seconds of drama built around two of consumers’ favorite passion points that somehow seamlessly culminates in a crystal-clear brand message about their unlimited data plans. Impressive work from BBDO.

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