You’ve probably seen ’em on your TV screen: the commercials that place NBA stars with ESPN broadcasters in an RV, traveling cross-country on a seemingly never-ending adventure. And as The Worldwide Leader has been known to do, its expanded the campaign from your television to your closet. ESPN and the NBA have joined together to create a full line of merchandise, which includes tees, hoodies, hats, pendants, and more. Like the advertisements, the inspiration for the products comes from the “Journey of the RV,” comparing the voyage one would take on a friendly expedition to the excursion teams and players make from the preseason to the postseason and beyond.
“Connecting the on-screen advertisements with the merchandise was very important to the organizations involved,” says Chris McClure, Creative Director at ESPN. “We think the RV campaign is a great starting point and a foundation to create product that spins off something the fans are going to see online and on-air that they can gravitate to it and connect with.”
Different partnerships were set up for each piece of merchandise that’ll be on sale, including New Era (hats), Spalding (basketballs) Sportiqe (tees), VF (tees) and WinCraft (pennants and signs).
According to Chris Brush, ESPN’s Vice President of Marketing, there will be three different merchandise-release “pockets”: a regular season package available from fall into winter, then a Christmas/holiday line, and then new Playoff (springtime) merch that’ll be out through the Finals.
“It breaks it down into three different story-telling opportunities for us,” adds Brush. “Some graphics we start in the beginning of the season will then carry over and tell a new story about that same graphic idea and then go into the Playoffs—so it’s sort of one story.”
Then when 2011-12’s new line hits stores few months later, a celebration theme will commemorate this season’s champion.
Click through to see images of NBA on ESPN’s new merchandise.