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Top NBA Draft Prospect Ben Simmons Featured In New Foot Locker Commercials

Foot Locker Approved. (PRNewsFoto/Foot Locker, Inc.)
Foot Locker Approved. (PRNewsFoto/Foot Locker, Inc.)

Foot Locker launched two 30-second commercials featuring top Draft prospect Ben Simmons, on YouTube today. The brand’s latest spots focus on Simmons seeking advice for his upcoming rookie season.

In the first spot “It’s Not Real Yet” – set prior to the Draft – Simmons produces his own, homemade Foot Locker commercial alongside a life-sized papier-mâché version of NBA star Karl Anthony Towns. Simmons asks Towns, “Any advice for my rookie year?” and role plays how he hopes the star would respond. The spot closes with an awkward handshake between Simmons and fake Towns, styled in head-to-toe Nike gear from Foot Locker.

After being drafted, Ben Simmons finally stars in a real Foot Locker commercial. The advice he gets from last year’s top rookies is way more real too.

The second spot, titled “It’s Real Now,” features additional NBA talent – Karl Anthony Towns, Devin Booker and D’Angelo Russell – giving Simmons some much-needed advice on life after the Draft. Russell pokes fun at his own rookie mistakes, discarding of Simmons’ cell phone, saying “Trust me.”

“We’re thrilled to celebrate another NBA Draft with an elite player like Ben Simmons,” said Stacy Cunningham, executive vice president of marketing at Foot Locker. “Featuring four awesome young talents in our Foot Locker Draft campaign speaks volumes to the brand during this marquee sports moment.”

The spots will air nationally on ESPN during the live broadcast of the NBA Draft 2016 presented by State Farm®. The spots are part of Foot Locker’s “Approved” marketing platform, created by worldwide agency BBDO.

“It’s awesome to get the chance to work with guys like Karl, D’Angelo and Devin, who just went through this process last year,” Simmons said. “It’s been fun to hear their experiences first-hand as NBA rookies, and even apply that humor to this campaign.”

In addition to starring in Foot Locker’s Draft campaign, Simmons will appear alongside other NBA prospects in Kids Foot Locker’s second-annual “Media Training,” to be released digitally later this week. The draftees will be put in the hot seat as kids ask hard-hitting questions to help prepare them to face the media as they embark on their NBA careers.

About Jerry Milani

Jerry Milani is a writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 30 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and as a freelance professional. His PR clients have included Wizard World and FAN EXPO, which produce pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America, USA Wrestling, the National Lacrosse League, Strat-O-Matic Media, the Pacific Life Open and Pilot Pen Tennis tournaments and dozens of others. Milani is also the director of athletic communications for Caldwell University. He is a proud graduate of North Rockland High School and Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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