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Posts Tagged ‘Darren Rovell’

Adidas Plays Hare in NFL Turtle Race

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The NFL Scouting Combine is a lot like speed dating—appearances trump substance. Executives make snap judgments about prospects. Players are valued by physical measurements and statistics. The fastest football players are like the most attractive girls at a bar waiting to be picked up by rich suitors who will drop them without hesitation the moment they find a more attractive—or faster—replacement. When it comes to the NFL, the corporations have all the power. Not just the league and teams, but the sponsors as well.

Accepting these truths about NFL business makes adidas’s promise to sign the prospect with the best 40-yard dash time to an endorsement deal smell like a desperate grab for headlines. The news, first reported by Darren Rovell at, seems particularly strange considering NFL players aren’t allowed to wear adidas gear during games; rules only permit Nike and Under Armour apparel. Would sponsoring the fastest player help adidas slice into the NFL money pie? Probably not, even if that player was good. The fact that the contest is predetermined for a single skill rather than an overall body of work is dumbfounding, since speed does not guarantee ability.

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Gold Medal-Winning Hoopsters Star in BBDO’s Latest Foot Locker Ads

Fresh off of winning Olympic gold, Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden are among a few Team USA basketball athletes to star in a new round of spots from BBDO New York for Foot Locker. ESPN’s Darren Rovell is already raving that “Tear Away” (above) could be the “commercial of the year,” though we’ll stop short of that for now. Still, considering Team USA’s success in London and the fairly entertaining ideas put forth here, we can consider this a win-win for BBDO, which picked up creative duties for Foot Locker last fall. While “Tear Away” has Rovell gushing, we were just as amused by “The Melo’s” (below) starring Harden and Westbrook’s Olympics teammate Carmelo Anthony, who perhaps is taking a knock at his own inflated ego. Credits and one more spot starring, Westbrook, Kevin Love and the Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh after the jump.

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Tuesday Olympics Ad Rip-Off: Nike vs. Saucony

The 2012 Olympics have brought us a wide range of ads, from the unbearably corny to the actually kind of inspirational. But, if you have to name one campaign that’s been killing it with their Olympics spots, look no further than Nike and W+K’s “Find Your Greatness” campaign, which has been ruling the viral video charts despite no direct mention of the Olympics at all.

As Ad Age notes, Nike and “Find Your Greatness” are absolutely dominating Adidas and Sid Lee’s “Take the Stage” campaign, even though Adidas plopped down an extra £100 million to be considered an “official” Olympic partner. Ad Age compares Nike’s buzz-stealing tactics to its brilliant “Write the Future” campaign during the 2010 World Cup, where again Nike bested Adidas’ “official” sponsorship. But, is “Find Your Greatness” reminiscent of another campaign that, uh oh, isn’t Nike’s at all?

Last spring, Nike’s comparatively much smaller athletic apparel competitor Saucony debuted its “Find Your Strong” campaign from Mechanica Boston. From the direction to the narration copy to, most noticeably, the campaign’s tagline, “Find Your Greatness” looks an awful like the year-old work for Saucony. This fact hasn’t gone unnoticed by some in sports media, as ESPN reporter Darren Rovell compared the two campaigns on Twitter yesterday. Even Saucony, who’s still using “Find Your Strong” as its taking, is asking its Twitter followers what they think about Nike’s new campaign.

What say you, dear readers? Are Nike and W+K guilty of an ad rip-off? Or, did Nike surpass all comparison by using that adorable kid jumping off the high-dive? After the jump you’ll see that the campaigns’ similarities exist even outside of TV.

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Monday Odds and Ends

-CP+B’s teaming up with Groupon for a Super Bowl pregame ad. link

-Tomorrow is reportedly Judgment Day at MySpace. link

-Deadspin takes a closer look at the Champion sports bra ad (above). link

-CNBC’s Darren Rovell things Gatorade’s marketing is all wrong. link

-Blitz appointed Mullen/BBDO alum Suzy Hill as account director.

-Wunderman is sealing apprenticeship deals with more than a dozen schools around the world. link

-The Aflac duck is having a tough time picking favorites in tonight’s BCS championship. link

-Facebook: We are NOT shutting down on March 15. link

-Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski is once again ready to commercial work. link