Nike Shows Cleveland Fans Reacting To The Title

When a team wins a championship, Nike tends to make a congratulatory commercial. And when that win breaks a long curse, you’d better believe they’re making one. Last night, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Finals. It was the first title for the Cavs, as well as Cleveland’s first since 1964. In Nike’s new spot, we see the reactions of Cleveland area citizens as they realize their team won it all. It was worth the wait for them.

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Tuesday Throwback: Nike Honors Ben Wilson

Last night I watched Benji, a documentary about the short life and shocking murder of Chicago high school basketball phenom Ben Wilson. In researching after I watched, I discovered this Nike ad featuring Wilson’s story that aired during the 1997 NBA playoffs. Excellent work.

Nike: LeBron And Cleveland Are Going All In Together

Tonight, LeBron James will make his highly anticipated return to Cleveland as a member of the Cavaliers. For the occasion, Nike has created this stirring two-minute ad showing LeBron’s importance not just to his team, but to the championship-starved city of Cleveland. Good stuff.

Tuesday Throwback: Nike Says Chicks Dig The Long Ball

16 years ago yesterday, Mark McGwire hit has 62nd home run of the season, breaking Roger Maris’ long-standing single season record. 1998 is often hailed as banner year in baseball, because of the homer record chase. For the season, McGwire finished with 70, while Sammy Sosa had 66. It was an era where home run totals exploded in general, and Barry Bonds would end up breaking McGwire’s record by hitting 73 just three years later. Of course, we now view these years through a different lens, as many of the era’s greatest sluggers have either admitted (McGwire) or are almost certainly known to have used steroids (Sosa and Bonds, among others). So that makes this 1998 Nike spot an interesting period piece. In it, Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, both 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, jealously view Mark McGwire blasting batting practice dingers. He’s getting all the attention, including from the admiring Heather Locklear (yeah, it was 1998 alright). Then they comically practice their hitting and work on their physiques. By the end, they’re blasting the ball, and Locklear takes notice. Maddux says the iconic line: “chicks dig the long ball”, which was concocted by Maddux and Glavine themselves.

Tuesday Throwback: Bo Knows

Presented today on Wednesday. It happens sometimes. Anyway, I recently watched a fascinating documentary about Bo Jackson, who was probably the best athlete to ever play professional sports. At the height of his career, Nike built a campaign called “Bo Knows” around Bo’s athletic prowess, which made sense since he was starring in both baseball and football. Though Bo doesn’t know hockey apparently. And Bo Diddley says Bo doesn’t know diddley. I really wish I could have seen Bo Jackson in his prime.

nike bo knows

Tuesday Throwback: Nike’s 2004 Red Sox World Series Commercial

2004 was a great year to start college in the Boston area. Largely because this happened. I don’t actually remember seeing Nike’s Red Sox ad, probably because I was out celebrating or watching a guy jump into our quad’s disgusting pond. But it’s a excellent spot showing the devotion of fans over decades of disappointment. It’s so cool that the brothers, young boys in 1919, grow up and attend the games with a changing cast of family and friends. They’re old men by 2004, and looking suspiciously good for being in their 90s. Styles and times change, but being a fan doesn’t. What’s also interesting is that the commercial, created by Wieden+Kennedy, actually was created in 2003, but it obviously had to be shelved when this happened.

nike red sox

Tuesday Throwback: Nike’s Lil’ Penny

Actually, I guess it’s more like Thursday Throwback today. Whatever. Anyway, the NBA playoffs got me thinking about a classic Nike campaign from the mid-’90s…Nike’s Lil’ Penny. Chris Rock voiced Lil’ Penny, who was the puppet alter ego of Penny Hardaway. There were many commercials since it was a campaign, and here’s just a few of them.

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