“We’d like to thank the Academy…” And while we’re at it, we’d also like to congratulate our client “Dear Basketball”—from superstar Kobe Bryant and the legendary Glen Keane—on winning the 2018 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Entertainment PR & Marketing Agency Rogers & Cowan’s Senior Vice President Craig Greiwe and Vice President Nicole Wool led the project’s Academy Awards campaign that culminated in Sunday night’s groundbreaking Oscar win as part of a joint marketing campaign for Verizon from the firm and sister agency Weber Shandwick.

In the stirring, five-minute, hand-sketched poem to his passion profession, Bryant tells the sport how his adoration grew “From the moment I started rolling my dad’s tube socks and shooting imaginary game-winning shots at the Great Western Forum.” We see Bryant depicted as a boy watching the Los Angeles Lakers and envisioning himself becoming one as Keane, the director of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and other animation classics, takes animated Bryant from age six all the way up to NBA shooting guard, capturing many MVP moments along the way. “Dear Basketball” is based on a letter Bryant wrote to The Players Tribune in 2015 announcing that he was retiring from the Lakers and the sport.

Rogers & Cowan, PR entertainment company, was honored to run the Academy Awards campaign for “Dear Basketball,” now airing on client Verizon’s family of media properties, including go90 and Yahoo! Sports. To bring the short film the attention it deserved, we designed and implemented a strategic, three-phase, industry-targeted Oscar effort that ran from June 2017 through March 2018. We positioned it and handled the press, social media, website management and talent relations along with advertising, trade and targeted campaigns including screenings and Q&As at DreamWorks, Pixar, Paramount, Blue Sky, Disney and other studios.

While the film itself was short, we embarked on a nine-month journey from the launch—at a Bryant-attended Hollywood Bowl screening set to a live performance of the movie’s music by its composer, John Williams—to the opening of that Oscar envelope last Sunday.

“Dear Basketball” was produced by Granity Studios, Glen Keane Productions and Believe Entertainment.

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