Houston Matters

The Bigger Picture: ‘Space Jam’ And The Legacy Of Product Marketing On The Big Screen

With the release of Space Jam: A New Legacy, we discuss how product endorsements and marketing deals have affected what’s on the silver screen.

Space Jam A New Legacy
LeBron James and Bugs Bunny in a scene from Space Jam: A New Legacy.

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You may or may not remember that in the 1990s, there was a series of Nike commercials involving Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. In one of them, they played basketball against a team of aliens.

That eventually spawned Space Jam, a 1996 feature-length movie where Jordan, Bugs, and the other Looney Tunes did all that again.

Well, in our era of decades-later remakes and sequels, we probably shouldn't be surprised that a sequel starring Lebron James, Space Jam: A New Legacy, landed earlier this month.

Product endorsements and commercial deals have long been part of the experience for professional athletes.

So, in the latest installment of our monthly film segment, The Bigger Picture (in the audio above), Houston Matters producer Joshua Zinn discusses how product endorsements and marketing deals have affected what's on the silver screen with Jason Escamilla, film critic for EskimoTV, and Kelly Iko, NBA writer for The Athletic.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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