NBA debuts ‘That’s Game’ global campaign for 2021 NBA playoffs


On Friday, May 21, 2021, the National Basketball Association (NBA) unveiled its latest global brand campaign “That’s Game” ahead of the 2021 NBA playoffs. The voiceover for the campaign is done by famed British actor, filmmaker, musician and activist Idris Elba. The campaign was rolled out ahead of the 2021 NBA playoffs that began last Sunday.

“This is the game of basketball– poetry in motion, science fighting art, legend burned into imagination,” opens Elba in the minute-long anthem spot created by NBA in conjunction with creative agency Translation. Directed by renowned director Emmanuel Adlej, the spot is set to an original triumphant score from Academy Award winner Jon Batiste.

The highlight reel encapsulates the energy, swagger and style of NBA basketball, uniting a diverse community of fans and players by motivating and inspiring them to defeat all odds. The campaign redefines the meaning of standing up for a cause and highlights the players off-the-court battle for social justice and their selfless assistance for the underserved communities.

“This game takes everything you give and gives back even more.” The reel features history’s greatest basketball legends in action from scoring drives to blocked shots and buzzer-beating-three-point plays. The film captures bold moves from legends including LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry. The spot also captures Vince Carter’s legendary 360-degree physics-defying windmill dunk in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest. Not limiting to clips within the court, the film series also includes footage of Orlando Magic players and Boston Celtic Jaylen Brown standing up to combat inequality.

‘That’s Game’ campaign tells stories and is more than just the culmination of play. The campaign unveils off-the-court stories and thereby play a predominant role in carrying forward the league’s ongoing social justice commitments, including the recently introduced Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award. The league through the NBA Foundation invests in Black communities and advocates for policy change through the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition.

‘That’s Game’ campaign includes a series of four spots that celebrate the NBA’s impact on and off the court. The campaign ads will air globally in 15 languages with local public figures doing the voiceover in select markets. The global brand campaign ‘That’s Game’ will also serve as the primary promotional platform celebrating the NBA’s 75th anniversary.

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