The Jordan is The OG; The Jumpman the symbol of the most important athlete/brand partnership in sports, produced in the name and carrying the legacy of the true GOAT. This special heritage - and the amazing passion of the brand’s fan base - demands that every launch of every new iteration of the line be bigger, better and generate more cultural heat than the last. And the demand was greater than ever with the announcement of the 30th signature silhouette, Jordan XXX, made for the Jordan roster of elite NBA players, and represented in our campaign by superstar guard Russell Westbrook.
To get the campaign into popular and sports culture we structured our launch around the biggest media moment on the NBA calendar, The All Star Game (ASG), in Toronto in the first week of February, 2016. We wanted to bring XXX to life in a big way ahead of the game so that when tip-off came, everyone would know what “DangeRuss” had on his feet while he was busy torching the best players in the league.
February 6th was our first blast of activity. Our key :60 asset “Make Space” was launched in the broadcast of Russ’ OKC versus the Golden State Warriors. The game was a classic, and the most watched ESPN TV game since 2013 with 3.2MM viewers - a total that also made it highest rated program anywhere that night.
As big a moment as the televised game was, its main role was to pay-off the fan excitement we had built in digital and social over the previous two weeks. Our :15 teaser video “DangeRuss” had dropped on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube on January 15th. The video went nuts, and had been watched and shared more that 1.1MM times before the full “Make Space” film was released on Jordan digital and social channels the night before the OKC game, complimented by a YouTube Mobile Masthead buy that generated 2.5MM views.
We also took Jordan XXX to the streets by unveiling a giant animated digital board in New York City, and Hoops fans everywhere saw ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, Complex and Slam taken over with rich media and videos surrounding their NBA content.
Targeted support continued through the week of 2/8. Live games on NBATV and TNT included a new :15 spot where our hype-kid-hero Kadar sparked conversation about Russ' most appropriate nickname (DangeRuss or The Westwolf?), supported by editorial content on Complex and Slam covering the same theme. Kadar stayed with us throughout, helping us produce reaction videos and tweets to Russ' biggest moments through the season.
All Star Weekend itself was all Jordan. Spots in OKC's final game before the break on TNT, with Westbrook's highlights amplified by sponsored tweets from the official @NBA handle. A live broadcast of The Jordan Invitational on TSN and ESPN3. Domination of ESPN.com, Bleacher Report, Complex and Slam across the weekend.
And when it came to the All Star Game Russ duly delivered, awarded MVP for his stellar performance for the Western Conference team. Wearing his Jordan XXX's.
The campaign was not tied to a commercial KPI, but campaign awareness and engagement was phenomenal and Jordan Brand reported sales sell-thru figures that far exceeded their initial forecasts. The Westwolf and DangeRuss monikers took hold too, including earned media mentions on ESPN Sportscenter and other prominent outlets.