LeBron James is back, and ready to rule the court in Nike’s new ad for the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star.
Produced by Must Be Something, the ad positions LeBron as the mighty beast, implying the fleeing deer and rabbit in the promo must be the other teams.
“LeBron has always been the lion, King James,” Andrew Schafer, CFO, president, account director, producer and strategist for the small, Portland, Ore.-based creative agency, told Adweek.
Adding a sense of drama actor Idris Elba narrates the minute-long spot that also includes footage from NBA games, events and James’ Instagram.
The video is heavy on symbolism as lava splashes and lightning strikes as the star makes basket after basket. Elba’s voiceover is enough to make other teams cower:
“Oh no, no why’d they go and poke the bear? Why’d they try to set fire on fire? Do they know what happens now? Did they even think about that? No, too smart for that… now they’re living on borrowed time. Now is the season of their discontent.”
With the NBA season officially underway, the video launched on social media ahead of
James is clearly back with a vengeance after Cleveland lost the 2017 NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors in June, and ready to reclaim the title.
“The work was meant to signal the beginning of [his] 15th season and kind of put the league on notice that he’s back, stronger, better, faster, more terrifying than ever on the basketball court,” Schafer said.