After a 14-month delay, Scarlett Johansson's solo film Black Widow will finally release in theaters and on Disney+'s Premier Access next month. The film revamped its marketing back in April of this year after posting the "Final Trailer" back in March 2020.
After redirecting the MCU ship, Marvel CCO Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios will get to debut their first theatrical project since July 2019. Three MCU Disney+ shows have released in the meantime.
WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Loki have kept the MCU afloat, but now it's time to get back to major motion pictures. In part to raise awareness for the film just a few weeks out of its release, Marvel has partnered with a familiar sports league once again.
THE BALL BROS. IN BLACK WIDOW?
NBA Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball and his brother Lonzo are featured in two of the latest Black Widow advertisements that also promote the ongoing NBA playoffs.
The first is an edited video that puts the Ball brothers at the dinner table with Natasha Romanoff and her family.
LaMelo and Lonzo are no strangers to family dinners. But this one ... was a little different. @theblackwidow #ad @ZO2_ @MELOD1P pic.twitter.com/23cKPelC8w
The second is Lonzo driving and LaMelo in the passenger seat as Black Widow drives by in the middle of a high-speed chase.
The Disney-owned sports network ESPN presented the ad, indicating an effort to market the movie in front of a different demographic.
ANOTHER NBA & MARVEL PARTNERSHIP
Back in May, ESPN hosted Marvel’s Arena of Heroes a "Marvel-inspired alternate presentation" NBA game between the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans. The comic book theme game brandished floating names over the players' heads, steam coming off of three-point shots, and explosion animations when they went in.
Lonzo Ball was also featured in the game, so he is quickly becoming an NBA/Marvel crossover veteran. The broadcast didn't only give fans a new look at what an NBA game could look like, but also a Special Look at Loki played on the network at halftime.
Disney using all of its available resources to promote each of its brands is good business. The Arena of Heroes televised event gave film fans a reason to tune into the game when they usually wouldn't, and the Ball brothers interacting with Black Widow and Red Guardian may help Marvel put more seats in the theater come July 9.
The Ball family has been known for their entrepreneurial spirit over the years. Their father LaVar started the Big Baller Brand in 2016 when his eldest son Lonzo was gearing up to be drafted into the NBA.
LaMelo may have only been kidding when he said families are "a pain in the a--" during the commercial. Learn more about Black Widow's family when they reunite in theaters and on Disney+ July 9.