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Special Project

Special Project
From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

Spalding 125th Anniversary of Basketball

Audience Honor in Graphics


Spalding and basketball are synonymous, and the game itself had an anniversary coming up. 125 years. The Spalding brand wanted to celebrate the anniversary of basketball and bring attention to the game in a way that only Spalding could. This would have to be done with a very limited budget, hardly any media spin, and launched during the holidays, where the world is already saturated with content.

Strategy and Execution

In order to gain traction around an event that few people knew about, we had to create something worth sharing in order to generate the large-scale buzz we desired.

To deliver on honoring the game that has given us so much, we wanted to create something that would bring attention to the anniversary, but in a way that fit the Spalding brand voice. So, we created a limited edition, commemorative basketball to give to celebrity influencers, brand ambassadors, and purveyors of the game alike. 125 balls – 1 for each year the game has been around.

These basketballs had to be special to signify the momentous occasion. We created a logo to convey the simplicity of the game itself. We designed a monogram pattern that reflected the game's heritage story through icons that represent the game's 125 years. The balls were packaged in a matte-black custom monogrammed box, which doubled as a display case. We included an open letter, written to the game of basketball, as a reminder for what the ball stands for.

Once the limited-edition balls were sent out to all of the influencers and brand ambassadors, the program started to really gain traction. They posted images of the ball to their social channels and people noticed. From Kevin Hart to Colin Cowherd to Kobe Bryant, images and posts about the game's 125th anniversary ball started to pop up.

A variety of outlets picked up on the anniversary of the game, publishing articles on the platform, and specifically the design of the commemorative ball.


From the idea's inception to the engagements garnered, the campaign was a complete success. We planted a seed and watched it bloom into something beautiful and memorable.

Influencer impressions: 71,308,471

Spalding social impressions: 509,385

Partner impressions: 90,701,761

PR total impressions: 88,297,821

Social total engagements: 1,242,015

It proves that building something with purpose will create an even larger impact when it's worth sharing with your world.


Video for Spalding 125th Anniversary of Basketball

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Walton Isaacson, Spalding

Entry Credits