White Hot HEAT: The Future’s So Bright They Gotta Wear White
It’s a pretty well-worn cliché, but truly, there’s something about a man in uniform.
From the knights of King Arthur’s round table, to the Samurai of medieval Japan, to the elite fighting soldiers embodied in U.S. Special Forces, warriors have always donned specific and unique uniforms and armor for their most important conflicts. Putting on those special uniforms boosted morale for the troops as they considered what might be the biggest challenge of their lives, and it intimidated their opponents; perhaps most importantly, dressing in a different and rarified way rallied the faithful behind them as they went out into battle. For back-to-back NBA champions in Miami, their playoff “armor” has been the White Hot HEAT uniform — white on white. And it’s been shown to do all of the above and more.
You might remember the rollout for the 2013 jerseys, a follow-up to the successful 2012 White Hot HEAT playoff campaign (that itself harkened back to the franchise’s 2006 trip to the NBA championships). When the HEAT faced the Cleveland Cavaliers on November 24th, the day after Thanksgiving (which has always been known as “Black Friday”) was rechristened “White Hot Friday”; the new colors became available for fans to purchase on the same day the team jerseys debuted on the court.
“White Hot Friday” also kicked off sales at the Miami HEAT Store in Dolphin Mall — with many shoppers earning free HEAT home game tickets with their purchases. The franchise also offered substantial “white hot” deals on package ticket plans that also included discounts on the purchase of White Hot jerseys.
White Hot Campaign Surpassed Expectations
How successful was the White Hot HEAT campaign? If you were lucky enough to be in South Florida during the playoffs, you probably remember how fans of the MiamiHEAT from every walk of life showed support for the team — and for the playoffs, it wasn’t by wearing red, or black, or gold. It was by wearing white on white. Everyone from Miami HEAT coach Erik Spoelstra to the youngest HEAT fans sported some variation on the Miami HEAT White Hot jersey — and the Miami HEAT White Hot campaign even went worldwide during the run-up to both years’ playoff victories with fans across the globe showing off their “colors” wearing white to watch HEAT games.
And at home in Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena, there was seemingly a white jersey in every seat. Both years fans filled home games with seas of white — and made a white hot roar for the HEAT. In 2013 in particular, a substantial run-up to the playoffs and turning up the “heat” on the campaign included eye catching, provocative and visually beautiful promotional videos — featuring some of the franchise’s most famous players dressing in their white-on-whites for the first time, all set to the music of none other than (who else?) the White Stripes, playing the hit single “Seven Nation Army“.
But enthusiasm wasn’t limited just to courtside fans, or those who watched games at home. Through its strategic partnerships, the Miami HEAT franchise successfully brought the White Hot Miami HEAT sensibilities to not just the AmericanAirlines Arena but also local businesses and public spaces around South Florida — including the memorable digital canvas animations that graced Miami’s InterContinental Hotel throughout the HEAT’s post-season game schedule. Even Miami’s Seaquarium got in on the action, offering half-off discount tickets to the park for fans who arrived at the gates wearing HEAT gear.
As HEAT Coach Likes To Say: ‘Play To Your Identity’
In his role as coach of Miami HEAT, Spoelstra talks a lot about how he feels his team performs best when they’re “playing to their identity” — in fact, he’s said it often enough that the HEAT head coach has actually taken some flak for repeating himself. But team identity is what it’s all about — and for the Miami HEAT White Hot campaign the idea of team identity is extended beyond the locker room and into the homes of the fans — and if it’s playoff time, and you’re wearing white, you’re part of the HEAT organization — you’re part of the family.