ESPN and Wieden + Kennedy/N.Y., which brought us gems like "Shelfball" and "Nimrods," were at it again last month, shooting the latest spots for the immensely popular "Without Sports" campaign, in the suburb of Clifton, N.J., on a chilly, overcast day. Directed by Park Pictures' Lance Acord, the spots feature a father and son playing one-on-one in Cleveland Cavalier jerseys from different eras, tagged, "Without sports, how would we close the gap?" As agency creatives watched footage on monitors set up on the back porch, ACD/writer Kevin Proudfoot talked about the challenge of the tagline. "We wanted to do a spot about something that you share between generations. Beyond geography, the team that you root for depends on who your family roots for. We wanted to talk about that without being sappy."
ACD/AD Paul Renner added, "The key to it was making the kid really young-5 or 6 years old. Dads are tormented about when to get their kids into sports, and everything that we're shooting has that truth to it." The actors stayed warm in sweats layered under carefully chosen jerseys-one of '80s star Ron Harper for the father, and a modern LeBron James jersey for the son. "LeBron is topical," Proudfoot explained. "We also wanted to set the spots in a town that's excited and reinvigorated by basketball. It has the old school and the new school. It's kind of a metaphor."