“Rise” is a new multi-media effort featuring reigning two-time NBA MVP LeBron James speaking in his own voice. In the film, he addresses his off-season controversy head-on and focuses on the road ahead. Rise, via Wieden & Kennedy Portland, OR, features several sides of LeBron’s personality: athlete, competitor, comedian and businessman. It opens with him sitting in a chair in front of the backdrop of “The Decision” asking, “What should I do?”
The campaign debuted globally with a 90-second film on YouTube 10/25 and began airing on TNT 10/26, during the opener between Miami and Boston. The campaign will also air during sports and entertainment broadcasting across national networks into November on TNT, ESPN, BET, Comedy Central, MTV2 Fuse, Adult Swim, Fox Sports, ESPN Family, TNT NBA, NBA TV and more.
Throughout the film LeBron rhetorically asks everyone for their opinion and each scene reflects opinions that have been expressed. A notable scene includes LeBron saying, “I am not a role model,” borrowing a famous line from fellow Nike athlete Charles Barkley. LeBron also humorously asks, “Should I try acting?” He gets advice from Don Johnson, an actor best known for his role as Detective Sonny Crockett on the iconic 80’s TV series Miami Vice, who advises him that things will get better with time. LeBron also reads part of a soulful poem written by world-renowned poet, Dr. Maya Angelou. The film ends with LeBron driving to the net and saying in response to everyone, “Should I be who you want me to be?”