So, what are NFL players doing while the ongoing lockout makes the forthcoming football season more of a question than a certainty? Some are finding new and unique ways to fulfill their sponsorship commitments, all while potentially picking up some new trade skills like talent evaluation and photography in the process.
Last week, NFL stars Reggie Bush, Eric Berry, Prince Amukamara and Titus Young made a surprise visit to a Los Angeles high school football practice as part of the promotional run for Adidas' newest marketing campaign, focused on capturing players; "Game Faces" at both the professional and amateur level. The effort is all part of the sneaker and apparel company's new "Adidas is All In" campaign, which was billed as the largest in the brand's history in a recent release.
Of course, it's a lot easier to capture high school players' game faces in action than their professional counterparts at the moment. For his part, Berry was snapping up the facial expressions of players running through typical ladder drills, while Bush cut a more obtuse, scout-ish figure on the side of most the practice's drills, all while wearing a monotoned sweat suit that would have been equally suited for a Rocky redux cameo as it was for a high school practice.
Whether the NFL stars got much from the promotional event is a legitimate question, but they certainly seemed to be having a good time. The high school players, on the other hand, were clearly motivated by the sudden arrival of some of their heroes.
"I see [Reggie Bush] on TV but I never thought I'd see him in reality," one player told an Adidas videographer on hand for the event. "I was like, 'Oh, man, is that Reggie Bush?'"
While the NFLers on hand captured plenty of game faces for the new Adidas campaign, they were there in large part to promote a new crowdsourcing effort by the brand, which it hopes will partner with the celebrity endorsements to forge a centralized image for the sneaker company.
As you can see in the video above, Bush and Berry parroted advice on how athletes could upload their own "Game Faces" to Adidas' Facebook page (right here) or videos to the brand's YouTube channel, all of which will contribute to an ad being put together for the forthcoming MTV Movie Awards.
There's no word on whether ads after that night will revert to the traditional celeb-heavy paradigm, or whether we'll see more amateur intensity (here's hoping for the latter). Either way, something tells us we might see more of Bush and Berry -- who has been notably active in giving both his time and money to his high school alma mater already -- on high school sidelines in the future.
After all, they've got nothing better to do at the moment anyway, right?
- Reggie Bush
- Eric Berry