Throughout the history of basketball, “That’s Game” has taken on many interpretations and we at The Lift were excited to explore this iconic phrase in partnership with our friends from the Directors Bureau for an NBA campaign that will air throughout the playoffs and culminate with the 75th anniversary season, thanks to a number of partnerships with artists, content creators, influencers and brands that support the NBA’s drive to activate change.
The story behind “That’s Game” was constructed by director Emmanuel Adjei to capture the unfiltered momentum and spirit of the NBA. To Emmanuel, the NBA represents an energy that is both always evolving on the court while also pushing important cultural conversations forward off the court.
The Lift producer Julian Torregrosa described the “epic” collaboration with Emmanuel and the Directors Bureau as a unique project that “was very exciting from the beginning, rounding up so many factors: the sport, the institution, the creative, and the meaning of it all together. Shooting in Mexico City was challenging but we managed to find ideal locations for what we needed.”
The excitement experienced behind the scenes is echoed in an anthemic supercut of some of the most awe-inspiring moments in basketball history, both recent and retro – Ja Morant executing the perfect layup, Dwyane Wade watching his jersey rise into the rafters, Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James kneeling with their fists in the air – meshed together with the joyous images of people all over the world taking part in the experience, from dunking in a blow-up swimming pool hoop, to couples on the court’s infamous kiss cam.
The footage lives in harmony, existing as a singular representation of the strong sense of community that has been built by the NBA. Considering that basketball and the NBA are consumed differently all over the world, the campaign utilizes a wide range of mediums to capture the impact of “That’s Game” as it applies to the athletes as well as the communities they serve and support.
After we wrapped production, The Lift was able to donate 130 basketballs used during filming to three institutions – Alvaro Obregón Secondary School, Club Zorros Blancos, and Club San Andrés – across Mexico City so that the community could take part in the experience of “That’s Game” for themselves. We are proud to have played a part in this project which emphasizes our message of infinite possibilities when it comes to creativity and community.