You may not be able to hold back the tears watching Budweiser’s tribute spot to retiring NBA star Dwyane Wade--not because it hammers home how basketball is losing one of its champs, but because it reminds viewers how much the Miami Heat pro has contributed to the world outside of his 15 years in the game.
The long-format spot, titled "This Bud's for 3" in a nod to his jersey number, brings a twist to the ritual Wade began at the start of his final season, in which he’s been swapping shirts with players from opposing teams.
Here, instead of receiving jerseys from other NBA stars, he’s gifted by people whose lives he impacted in a truly meaningful way, beyond the court.
When one of his young fans, Joaquin Oliver, passed away during the Parkland, Florida massacre, Wade was there to support the boy’s family--writing his name on his shoe and paying tribute with a special memorial offering. A woman lost all her possessions in a house fire, so Wade took her shopping to replace some of her lost goods. A young man and young woman steered their lives in a more positive, productive direction, thanks to Wade’s inspiration and financial support. And his own mother, Jolinda Wade, overcame addiction and made it out of prison to become a minister--with her son at her side throughout all her trials.
Five individuals express their gratitude and present Wade with a different kind of jersey--clothing representative of his impact on their lives: Oliver’s own high school basketball uniform, a graduation gown; a blazer worn on a first job interview, a purple minister’s robe.
“I am more proud of the man you have become, than the basketball player,” his moms says. “You are bigger than basketball.”
Vayner Media and Vayner Productions created and produced the film.