Jordan Brand Pays Homage to Russell Westbrook After He Breaks the NBA’s Triple-Double Record

R/GA created Sunday night's broadcast spot

Westbrook's Thunder eliminated the Nuggets from playoff contention. - Credit by YouTube: Jordan
Headshot of Patrick Coffee

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook broke the NBA’s single-season triple-double record Sunday night. Who better to congratulate him than the greatest of all time and who better to score the moment than Little Stevie Wonder?

The Jordan brand and creative agency R/GA took the opportunity to celebrate Westbrook’s achievement this weekend with help from the previous record-holder: former Bucks point guard and Hall of Famer Oscar “The Big O” Robertson.

The resulting broadcast spot, which aired directly after the game, is both an homage to Robertson and a recognition of Westbrook’s achievement during what Jordan’s own press release calls “one of the greatest individual seasons in NBA history.”

“The spirit he plays with can control the energy of an entire game,” said Michael Jordan in a statement. “He’s willing to take advantage of every opportunity to help his team win.”

All true—but the ad speaks for itself.

By mixing recent game highlights and archival footage of Robertson in action with hints of behind-the-scenes shots and meme action, the timely spot highlights the impact of a new superstar who sums up his career (and life) with the phrase, “Why not?”

Coincidentally, it doubles as a promotion for the new Air Jordan XXXI model, which bears the same name and hits stores at the end of this month.

R/GA has a nearly 20-year relationship with Jordan’s parent company Nike, and much of its work has focused on interactive projects like the Nike+ FuelBand and assorted digital design efforts. The agency eventually began making TV spots for Nike as well, and this is its first broadcast campaign for Jordan. Of course, the new project also includes classic interactive elements in the form of emojis and iMessage stickers from the Jordan brand.

Meanwhile, Westbrook will continue this season’s MVP-worthy run, leaving devastated opponents in his wake. Just ask Denver fans.


Agency: R/GA
Client: Jordan Brand
Campaign Title: “Why Not?”
Spot Title: “Triple Double Record? Why Not?”

VP, Executive Creative Director: Ben Williams
VP, Executive Creative Director: William Esparza
Executive Creative Director: Andy Fackrell
Creative Director: Matt Walton
Creative Director: Gabriel Cheung
Executive Production Director, Content Studio: Kat Friis
Executive Producer: Ricky Vega
Content Producer: Summer Allgyer
Account Director: Pam Yang

Editorial: Cut and Run
Editor: Lucas Eskin
Producer: Brian Mulvey
EP: Amburr Farls
Managing Director: Michelle Eskin

Color and VFX:  Jogger Studios
Executive Producer: Rich Rama
VFX Producer: James Howell
Production Coordinator: Erica Cruz
Flame Lead: Shauna Prescott
Flame Assistant: Jorge Tanaka 

Company 3
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld
Color Producer: Katie Andrews

Final Mix House:  Lime Studios, LA
Sound Mixers: Ben Tomastik & Jeff Malen
Producer: Susie Boyajan

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.