Mountain Dew, a brand of Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc., announced that NBA All-Star and Dew front man Russell Westbrook, who signed on with the brand last year, renewed his partnership through the 2018-19 NBA season. Simultaneously, the NBA champion and All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving is joining the DEW lineup, the company says. Westbrook and Irving will partner with the brand to celebrate the lifestyle and culture of the game in unexpected ways, including an exciting and larger-than-life activation around tip off, it adds.
"Dew gets me as both a player and an individual, and I'm proud of our collaborations over the past year and a half," Westbrook said in a statement. "I love that I can do me, while still doing the Dew."
Irving added: "I am excited to be a part of the Dew lineup. Mountain Dew is a brand that celebrates being an individual, and I continue to work to be the best version of me on and off the court. I can't wait for what's coming up next."
This partnership deepens the relationship between Irving and PepsiCo, which was established in 2012 with the success of Irving's "Uncle Drew" videos, the company says. The original Uncle Drew spot, "Chapter 1,” has received more than 47 million views, making it the most-viewed basketball-related video in YouTube history, it says citing ESPN. Irving also remains a partner of brand Pepsi, it adds.
Throughout the 2016-2017 season, Dew plans to get fans closer to the NBA lifestyle. This includes everything that the NBA and its players touch and influence — from style and music to art and technology — all with a dash of humor, it says.
"The NBA is more than just a sport to basketball fans," said Ryan Collis, senior director of marketing for Mountain Dew. "It represents a source of inspiration, which lines up with the spirit of the Dew Nation — celebrating sports and culture while having a damn good time. Both Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving are the perfect embodiment of this message, as talented players with their fingers on the pulse of everything that's cool, fun and relevant right now."
Westbrook and Irving might be two of the most recognizable players on the 19-man Dew lineup, but they are joined by other star players, such as NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas, Los Angeles Lakers power forward Julius Randle and Miami Heat small forward Justise Winslow. Together, the Dew lineup will engage in national and local marketing initiatives, from in-store and event activations to TV, digital and social media campaigns, the company says.
DEW Tips off NBA Season with Largest Basketballs Ever, We Think
The brand is starting off the NBA season with something unexpected: 40-foot-tall glowing basketballs. In the days leading up to tip off on Oct. 25, Dew is placing these giant basketball installations in three cities that are home to some of the country's biggest NBA fans: Los Angeles, Miami and Cleveland, it says.
Dew unveiled the first two locations this past weekend with the help of team partners — the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. The DEWxNBA basketball installation will make its final stop at the home of the 2015-16 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers, it adds.
Starting on Oct. 25, consumers can go to Public Square to snap a photo of the massive basketballs, witness surprise appearances and have a shot at scoring tip-off tickets.
- Russell Westbrook – NBA Point Guard (national partner)
- Kyrie Irving – NBA Point Guard (national partner)
- Justin Anderson – NBA Shooting Guard
- Giannis Antetokuonmpo – NBA Small Forward
- Bradley Beal – NBA Shooting Guard
- Patrick Beverley – NBA Point Guard
- Devin Booker – NBA Shooting Guard
- Mike Conley – NBA Point Guard
- Danny Green – NBA Shooting Guard/Small Forward
- Elfrid Payton – NBA Point Guard
- Rodney Hood – NBA Shooting Guard
- Reggie Jackson – NBA Point Guard
- CJ McCollum – NBA Shooting Guard
- Emmanuel Mudiay – NBA Point Guard
- Bobby Portis – NBA Power Forward
- Julius Randle – NBA Power Forward
- Isaiah Thomas – NBA Point Guard
- Myles Turner – NBA Guard
- Justise Winslow – NBA Small Forward