THE LEROY SMITH CAMPAIGN by Wieden + Kennedy New York for Brand Jordan

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THE LEROY SMITH CAMPAIGN

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Industry Sportswear, Athletic Footwear & Accessories
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Wieden + Kennedy New York
Director Tom Kuntz
Creative Director Keith Cartwright
Art Director Ricardo Viramontes
Strategic Planner Neal Arthur
Released June 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Integrated Media
Advertiser: JORDAN BRAND
Product/Service: JORDAN BRAND
Agency: WIEDEN+KENNEDY
Date of First Appearance: Jun 1 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: WIEDEN+KENNEDY, New York, USA
Entry URL: http://www.getyourbasketballon.com
Executive Creative Directors: Kevin Proudfoot/Todd Waterbury (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Creative Director: Keith Cartwright (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Art Director: Ricardo Viramontes (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Copywriters: Andy Ferguson/Josh Dimarcantonio (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Media Planners: Troy Valls/William Hearst (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Strategic Planner: Neal Arthur (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Head Of Content Production: Gary Krieg (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Broadcast Producer: Dan Blaney (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Senior Account Manager: Julian Cheevers (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Account Managers: Michael Dunn/Juan Reyes (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Print Producers: Paul Rattoballi/Stacy Moorehead (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Interactive Agency Producer: Jenny Winterbottom (Academy: A Division Of Blast Radius)
Creative Director: Marcus Eriksson (Academy: A Division Of Blast Radius)
Copywriter: Greg Liburd (Academy: A Division Of Blast Radius)
Executive Producers: Jeff Scruton/David Zander (MJZ)
Director: Tom Kuntz (MJZ)
Editors: Gavin Cutler/Dave Anderson/Eric Laroi (MacKenzie Cutler)
Sound Designer: Sam Shaffer (MacKenzie Cutler)
Sound Mixer: Phillip Loeb (Sound Lounge)
Charlie Murphy (As Leroy Smith): Talent (None)
Media placement: Www.getyourbasketballon.com - Website - 01/06/2009
Media placement: “Leroy Exposed – Newsmaker” News Stories With Grant Whittaker Webisodes - Website - 01/06/2009
Media placement: “Leroy Interviews” - Website - 01/06/2009
Media placement: “My Gift To The Game”, Music Video - Website - 01/06/2009
Media placement: “Put The 'Shazam!' Back In Your Game” - Out Of Home - 01/06/2009
Media placement: “Michael Jordan, You’re Welcome” - Newspaper Print - 01/06/2009
Media placement: “2-On-2 Hall Of Fame Challenge” Video Game - Interactive Website Game - 01/06/2009
Media placement: Leroy Twitter - Social Media - 01/06/2009
Media placement: Leroy Facebook - Social Media - 01/06/2009
Media placement: “Get Your Basketball On” Infomercial - DVD, Website - 01/06/2009

Results and Effectiveness
The Leroy Smith campaign kept Michael Jordan top of mind in the months building up to his Hall of Fame induction, and continues to entertain and engage an ardent following of fans who actively adopt and spread the word of Leroy, and by association, the Jordan brand.

Creative Execution
The Leroy Smith story unfolded over a three-month period utilising a fully integrated approach – broadcast content for TV and web, a music track and video, interactive games and downloads, out-of-home, print, exclusive content interviews with noted sports journalists, Twitter and Facebook pages – and climaxed on the day of Michael Jordan’s induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame with a simple statement issued by Leroy Smith in USA Today: “Dear Michael Jordan, You’re Welcome.” The campaign then came full circle during Michael’s induction speech, when he thanked the real Leroy (whom he had flown in for the ceremony) for taking his spot all those years ago and motivating him to become better.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Michael Jordan is widely considered as the greatest basketball player of all time. Our task was to come up with a campaign to remind a new generation of young consumers, who never saw Jordan play, of his storied career. Enter Leroy Smith. The story goes that in 10th grade Jordan was cut from his varsity team and that final spot went to his classmate, a player named Leroy Smith. This failure motivated Jordan to become the greatest player of all time as Leroy became a constant reminder of his first taste of failure. From this insight, “Leroy Smith” the character, a wildly successful motivational guru (played by Charlie Murphy), was born. This persona entertains audiences, celebrates Michael Jordan as the greatest player of all time, and presents a reverential message from the Jordan brand in a fresh, irreverent way.