With Father’s Day just around the corner, it’s a reminder of the important bond that dads have and should have with their children. It’s also an opportunity for more fun and creative marketing and advertising for Foot Locker.
Remember those hilarious commercials from Foot Locker with athletes Manny Pacquiao, Rob Gronkowski, Victor Cruz, Odell Beckham Jr., Aaron Rodgers, and John Cena with comedian Tracy Morgan? Well they’ve done it again, this time with 2017’s top NBA prospects featuring Lonzo Ball (UCLA), De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky), Jayson Tatum (Duke) and Jonathan Isaac (Florida State). The commercial begins with Jonathan Isaac explaining that since Father’s Day (Sunday, June 18th) and the NBA draft (Thursday, June 22nd) are so close together this year, each athlete has been asked by Foot Locker to reflect on everything their Dads have done to support them on their basketball journey.
Isaac starts with commenting on how dads are special and all the memories. De’Aaron Fox remembers how he used to play one on one with his father in the driveway, and how his dad used to let him win. Jayson Tatum fondly recalls how his father never missed his games. But Lonzo Ball, he goes a different and pokes some fun at his father’s antics by mentioning how he berated Lonzo’s high school coach in front of a crowd because coach didn’t get the ball into Ball’s hands enough times during the game. Isaac chimes in again, about how his dad woke up early to drive him to many tournaments. But Ball continues on with a long list of less than fatherly moments by his dad LaVar Ball.
One of these notable moments was when LaVar started a shouting match with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s First Take about how his son was already a better basketball player than Stephen Curry, then MVP of the NBA. Nevertheless, Smith was not excited about the new Foot Locker commercial. Not because of the argument he had with LaVar. Not because of his other antics that Lonzo listed during the ad. Rather, Smith questioned that viewers may overlook the point that these athletes, including Lonzo, have fathers that care about their families and have been a positive presence in their lives.
Smith says, “We don’t take time to step back and say: he’s a good man, good father, loves his kids, believes in his kids. And there’s a lot of kids out there, who wish they had a father that believed in them, the way that LaVar Ball believes in his son.”
“The NBA Draft is a milestone I’ve been working toward for a long time and it’s exciting to celebrate it with a Foot Locker commercial,” Lonzo said via press release. “I loved last year’s spot with Ben Simmons and D’Angelo Russell and I love how they give us players the opportunity to make light out of things. It’s been a big year for my family, and I know we’re just getting started. My dad and I both love the humor of the spot and I’m glad I got to have a little fun around the topic before going to the league.”
The spot will air nationally on ESPN during the live broadcast of the 2017 NBA Draft on June 22nd.
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