Nike MVPuppets with Santa Claus and Reindeer

Nike have launched a new promotional campaign for their basketball line, bringing back the Most Valued Puppet team of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, this time accompanied by Santa and the Reindeer. A series of commercials was timed to coincide with the buildup to the Christmas Day basketball game between LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers and Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Nike MVPs Santa and Reindeer

Blitzen Raps

The self-proclaimed #1 reindeer in the world has a message for Santa Claus, voiced by Lupe Fiasco.

B to the L-I-Tee-Zee
Three suckers plus one me equals too easy
Believe me the top of your wish list better read
A chance to beat me
Because you never got that

Santa Raps

Santa Claus, voiced by KRS-One, has something to say to Blitzen after the reindeer challenged him to game of basketball. Looks like it’s time to lace them up.

Y’all got issues and I’m not a subscriber/ You the reindeer, I’m the driver/ Kris Kringle, the gift’s in my saliva/ I got every address in the hood, I’ll find ya

Dunkin on Reindeer

1, 2, 1, 2. King James and Kobe too. The game is called for what it is…

Vixen crying to Blitz like ‘Oh no!
LeBron took one from behind the free throw!’
LeBron rose up, looked at him again said
Merry Christmas Blitz’
And shattered the rim

His sweater is Coogi, his belly is round
Bet you didn’t know the biggest baller lives way, WAY, uptown
Just because he eats cookies doesn’t mean he can’t fly.
Santa’s got hearty handle, a jolly jumper and takes to the sky.

The Reindeer were trash-talkin’ about how Kringle’s game was gone.
So he got on the celly and holla’d at his boys Kobe and LeBron.
On that magic court, on that magic night
The fellas got busy and Santa got right.


The MV Puppets campaign was developed at Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, by creative directors Jeff Williams, Alberto Ponte, copywriter Edward Harrison, art directors Sasha Swetschinski, Matt Murphy, head of production Ben Grylewicz, senior agency producer Matt Hunnicutt, agency producer Jessica Staples.

Filming was shot by director Stacy Wall via Imperial Woodpecker, New York, with executive producer Doug Halbert, producer Jeff McDougall and director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki.

The puppets were created at Legacy Effects (the newly named Stan Winston Studios). The team of puppeteers who worked on this included Greg Ballora and Greg Manion (Lebron), Rob Saunders and Dave Barclay (Kobe) with Christine Papalexis, Alison Mork, Blake Bolger, and Patrick Gerrity assisting. The Kobe puppet’s voice was supplied by David Allen Grier; Lebron’s was done by SNL’s Kenan Thompson.