Larry Bird And Magic Johnson Commercials include the Converse ads in 1985 and 1987. They also appeared together in the 1993 McDonald’s ad.
Due to their global fandom, NBA players have been some of the first choices for brands and companies to promote their products. Hall of Famers Bird and Johnson were the top two NBA stars for the same motif during their career peak.
Both ruled in the 80s before their careers were short due to health reasons. Bird and Magic brought in substantial sales to their endorsing companies each time.
In between, the two appeared in ads multiple times and have undoubtedly given the TV and NBA universe some of the iconic moments in history.
Iconic 1987 Converse Commercial
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson appeared in the first ever Converse “The Weapon” commercial in 1987. It created a huge buzz in the NBA arena.
Converse released “The Weapon” basketball shoe that year with the two most well-known faces in the country, marking a historic moment in the sports media and business sectors.
The commercial was snapped at Bird’s mother, Georgia’s house in French Lick. Larry had built the house, especially for his mother.
Interestingly, the Magic Johnson Larry Bird Converse ad was released after Magic was awarded NBA MVP for the 1986-87 season, while Bird was the previous year’s MVP.
Hence, Magic opened the narrative of the 36 seconds-long commercial by driving a car to Bird’s house and saying that Converse made a pair of “Bird” shoes for last year’s MVP.
Larry replies to him right after, saying that Converse also made a pair of “Magic” shoes for this year’s MVP, hinting at the iconic athlete’s success and choice of wearing the Converse.
Moreover, the camera angle focuses on eminent Magic Johnson Converse and Larry Bird Converse whenever they call out for their shoes.
After an exchange of dialogue, the two engage in a basketball duel before the camera cuts in. The ad ends with the narrator saying, “The bird shoe, the magic shoe, choose your weapon from Converse.”
1985 Converse Ad
Meanwhile, that was not the first time they were seen together for a Converse ad. The Converse duo, along with Julius Erving of the 76ers, appeared in a 30 seconds-long 1985 Converse ad.
The ad was for Converse Star Tech, mainly designed for basketball players. Larry highlights the fact, followed by Erving, who points out the shoe’s unique saddle design that gave him extra minutes to play, making it a reinforced shoe.
Bird and Erving tussle for a few seconds before realizing that shoes were made for both of them just like magic. And at the meantime, Magic appears between them and jokes that the shoes could have been made only for him.
Converse was founded by Marquis Mills Converse in 1908 as the Converse Rubber Shoe Company. As of July 2003, Nike Inc. acquired the company’s ownership by paying US$309 million.
1993 Big Mac Challenge
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson made another remarkable ad appearance after their 1986 Converse shoe advertisement success.
After seven years of the iconic commercial, the two returned to the sets for the promotion of McDonald’s Big Mac. The ad is 1 minute and 2 seconds long, where Larry is seen practicing on an empty court when he notices Magic sitting down with a lunch bag.
He asks, “What’s in the bag?” and Magic replies, “Lunch, Big Mac, fries.” Larry quickly challenges Magic to a duel for the lunch bag, and the two get engaged in a series of challenges to score a point on the court, set up by each other.
And not to be surprised, each of their challenges appears to be farther and harder for a normal person. As time passes, both succeed, and the challenges grow even tougher than before.
Finally, the two are seen at the top of a high building, having made it that far. However, none of them are tired enough to lose the Big Mac and are still seen challenging each other despite the scoring basket being way far from them.
At the end, Magic is heard asking Larry to throw the ball, “off the expressway, over the river, off the billboard, through the billboard, through the window, off the wall, nothing but net.”
The commercial became very popular among their fans and food lovers who jumped to McDonald’s to get a Big Mac after the ad hit the TV.
While we may never know who got the Big Mac after those daring ventures but Bird and Magic again returned in 1995 for another McDonald’s ad after their giant success with the former, as seen on YouTube.
Both the NBA players and McDonald’s reached a greater height of notability and media exposure with each other.
However, instead of these two NBA powerhouses, another basketball legend, Michael Jordan, became the first NBA player to have a McDonald’s value meal named after him. The meal was named “McJordan.”
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson Rivalry Over The Years
The rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird started during their NCAA days, while it heated during NBA and lasted until both retired.
Bird played for the Boston Celtics in his entire pro career from 1972 to 1992. The same goes for Magic, who only played for Los Angeles Lakers from 1979 to 1991 during his rivalry with Larry.
Though briefly returned in 1996, Magic spent only a season with the Lakers. He officially retired in 2000 after playing a season with Magic M7 Borås of the Swedish Basketball League (SBL).
Regarding the Bird vs. Magic rivalry, the earliest record goes back to the 1979 NCAA championship game. Johnson and his varsity team, Michigan State Spartans, had defeated Larry and Indiana State Sycamores at the finals.
Bird joined NBA with Celtics as a sixth overall draft at the 1978 NBA Draft, a year earlier than his rival. Meanwhile, Magic was the first overall draft pick for the Lakers at the 1979 NBA Draft.
In 1980, Bird became the “Rookie of the Year,” and the Lakers took the NBA Championship while Bird again nabbed the NBA Finals MVP title.
Their rivalry extended the following year when the Celtics became the 1981 NBA champion, and the Lakers took away the title in 1982. The Celtics again won the championship in 1984, followed by the Lakers win in 1985.
Not only their skills and gamesmanship came at par, but both the Celtics and Lakers rivalries fueled the NBA history’s one of greatest rivalries.
Magic retired in 1991, right after he tested positive for HIV, while Larry retired in 1992 due to recurring back problems. While their fans flared up against each other for years, Bird and Magic are actually good friends outside the court.
Indy Star confirmed that the two became friends during the shoot of Converse’s “The Weapon.” A 2010 HBO documentary, “Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals,” showcased the two’s rivalry by interviewing their close personnel.
The film was directed by Ezra Edelman and won the 2010 Peabody Award. From intense rivalry in the court to friends for life, quite a story!!