Damian Lillard Sets a Strong Beat in Spalding’s New True Believers Spot

Spalding’s “The Beat of True Believers digital spot brings athletic dedication to the next level, presenting practice as important as the beat of one’s heart. Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers is the embodiment of an uncompromising athlete in this simple, yet chilling new commercial for Spalding’s True Believers campaign, a movement that challenges aspiring athletes to be fearless and push their limits against all odds. This spot was produced by LightHouse Films and directed by up and coming director Anthony Pellino. Lillard’s actual heartbeat was recorded on set and incorporated into the spot’s sound design, merging it with the beat of dribbling to insinuate that the basketball is an extension of himself; that his heart and the ball are one and the same.

We open on Lillard staring down the camera, confronting us with his confidence before cutting to his silhouette entering an empty, slightly eerie, gymnasium. He begins to dribble two basketballs at alternating rhythms. The sound of the balls bouncing is gradually replaced with a slow and steady heartbeat accompanied by minimal voice over from Lillard. His dribbling accelerates, and the guiding beat reaches a peak rhythm, cultivating a strong sense of tension, but Lillard is in full control. The intensity never overwhelms him. He loses his grip for an instant and one of the balls bounces away. Lillard releases a breath, as his eyes follow the loose ball, and the tension built is released. We see Lillard grab the ball and prepare to continue practicing because, “True believers don’t wish, they work.”

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