Nike Turns Marketing Focus to the Legend of Leroy Smith...

Are you looking to create motivating promotional campaign that inspires consumers across the globe? Are you looking for a unique way to capitalize on professional sports in a unique way?

Nike hasdone it again. Each year, the sports marketing masterminds at Nike create an inspiring campaign that turns the heads of sports fans across the globe. This year's viral marketing campaign - Get Your Basketball On - centers around LeRoy Smith, a figurehead who is said to be the man behind Michael Jordan's motivation to become the greatest of all time. While in the 10th grade, Smith beat out MJ for the last spot on the Varsity basketball team- amoment that Jordan will never forget.

Nike called in Charlie Murphy (an actor who gained noteriety from his role on The Chappelle Show) to play the part of LeRoy Smith in a series of mock videos and skits, which include training videos, news segments, and video game previews.

Nike features a collection of interactive features on the promotional site, including a petition for fans to vote Smith into the Hall of Fame, desktop accessories, iPhone applications (and other fake LeRoy Smith gear), and a DVD series (a collection of YouTube segments). In essence, the LeRoy Smith platform serves as a natural fake brand extension for Nike to promote and capitalize on.

While the campaign doesn't scream Nike by any means, it will definitely spark plenty of discussion within the basketball community. A strong sports viral marketing platform with substance and legs, it will be interesting to see how far the LeRoy Smith story takes off.

Check out some of the clips below (and click through to view some of the other segments on YouTube)... It's a classic "do it yourself" platform and a job well done by Nike!