Would you believe that NBA All-Star Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers is the most interesting man in the world? Love’s former teammate LeBron James seems like a better candidate, or even Will Smith with his recent date with Sophia the robot and his helicopter bungee jump for his 50th birthday, but Love is definitely in the running for the title thanks to his collaboration with Banana Republic, BR/K.Love-18, and its new campaign.
BR/K.Love-18, the new capsule collection that launched on September 18, is an American sportswear collection grounded in performance and classic style. The limited edition collection is an extension of Love’s long-term partnership with Banana Republic that started in 2016 and also marked as the brand’s first athlete ambassadorship.
The new campaign developed in partnership with R/GA Portland asks the question, “Who is Kevin Love?,” and it turns out that we really didn’t know much about the athlete except for what he does on the court. We learn in the campaign that the 2016 NBA Champion inspired The Roots drummer Questlove to produce a new song, won Olympic athlete Lindsey Vonn’s gold medal in a ski race, and created a new dish at Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant, Red Rooster. As Love is seen dressing up for the day in his expansive dimly lit closet, he listens to voicemails from his famous friends speaking about their last meetings.
Those meetings have obviously speak to a hidden life of Love. And if you take a take a close look at some of the objects in that closet you’ll find a few items that comically wink at the campaigns narrative; a Cordon Chef diploma, a spear gun, a bee keepers kit, katana samurai swords, an Indian motorcycle fuel tank, a Falken tyre best in Show award, a scuba tank and fins, and numbers trophies.
Through the use of images on his caller id, the campaign wisely leverages 3 additional talents, but cost affectively as all it required was time in a voice recording studio rather than on screen. One of the smartest cheats we’ve seen in a while.
Banana Republic named Kevin Love its first athletic ambassador in 2016 at a time when athletes were exploring ventures away from their sports. Barneys New York had kicked off their ongoing collaboration with Russell Westbrook, who was also named Marketing Creative Director of True Religion jeans, Express entered a partnership with Stephen Curry, and Victor Cruz became a fashion week regular.
Athletes tend to influence male shoppers better than actors and musicians, which is why the partnership with Love is a winning deal. Also, running the ad towards the beginning of the NBA season will keep Love in the minds of shoppers as they push through racks in store.
“To launch BR/K.LOVE-18, we wanted to showcase Kevin’s off-court talents through a series of exaggerated, entertaining stories that reveal all the dimensions of Kevin Love, including co-designing a collection for Banana Republic,” said Banana Republic Chief Marketing Officer Mary Alderete.
“This digitally disruptive campaign takes Kevin’s persona to the next level through larger-than-life adventures. Kevin’s exceptional achievements are all, of course, executed with impeccable style in the clothing from his design collaboration.”
Of course, the digital campaign is meant to be a funny take on Kevin Love’s superstar life, but we can’t help but believe that this is how the Cleveland Cavaliers star has spent his off season this summer.
Banana Republic CMO | Mary Alderete
Agency | R/GA Portland
Talent | Kevin Love