PepsiCo’s Ruffles slam dunks $3m inspiration collab with NBA All-Star LeBron James

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

LeBron James is sharing his own rages-to-riches story in a TV campaign kicking off during the NBA Christmas Day games. Pic: PepsiCo
LeBron James is sharing his own rages-to-riches story in a TV campaign kicking off during the NBA Christmas Day games. Pic: PepsiCo

Related tags Pepsico PepsiCo Foundation empowerment LeBron James NBA individuality

The potato chip brand best known for its ridges is teaming up with LeBron James to inspire consumers to unapologetically ‘own’ what makes them unique.

To further empower underserved communities to embrace their ‘ridges’, Ruffles and the PepsiCo Foundation are donating $3 million over three years to the LeBron James Family Foundation and its work to uplift communities through education, job training and other wraparound support.

Set yourself apart

According to the official chip brand of the NBA, it’s a person’s ridges that moulds them and makes their story unique. Everyone faces different obstacles in life, but it’s how they unapologetically respond to those challenges – their ‘ridges’ – that truly sets them apart from the rest.

The brand has a mission to celebrate individuality, inspiring everyone to be a star of their own court. It’s not always easy, but once embraced, the payoff is immense.

The multi-year partnership will span across retail and social media, and kicks off with a TV campaign – titled Ruffles DNA​ – that will premier during the NBA Christmas Day games.

Set to American rapper, songwriter and record producer Kendrick Lamar’s hit single, the spot captures the NBA All-Star reflecting on his own ‘ridges’. The boy with a head full of dreams grew up in the inner-city of Akron, Ohio, but kept on pushing himself and today holds the titles of 17-time NBA All Star, 4-time NBA Champion and 4-time Kia NBA Most Valuable Player.

The commercial also shares the story of four inspiring figures, including a blind skateboarder, a single father, a female barber and a formerly incarcerated. All have been able evolve and grow despite enduring some of life’s greatest obstacles.

Ruffles is hoping to spread this message of hope, especially to empower underserved communities across the US.

Empowering message

Ruffles x LeBron Partnership Announcement Image_With_Product-1

“I knew right away that with Ruffles, we had an opportunity to approach this partnership and the product in a way that's never been done before,”​ said James.

“The idea of owning your ridges and embracing what makes us all different resonates with me on a lot of levels. I'm excited about the depth of the Ruffles D.N.A. campaign and being able to engage everyone with its empowering message."

Stacy Taffet, VP of marketing, Frito-Lay North America, added, “Just like the ridges that set Ruffles apart from any other chip out there, our personal ridges are what make us unique.

“Own Your Ridges [campaign] is all about embracing the challenges that have shaped who we are today, and we’re excited to bring this mission to life in a whole new way with LeBron James as the face of the campaign because he's the perfect embodiment of someone who overcame his challenges in life to become one of the most successful athletes in history.

“We hope this campaign inspires others to celebrate the things in life that make them who they are – no matter how difficult those experiences might be.”

Social change

The duo will be giving their mission a mighty push to inspire fans everywhere to own their ridges throughout the rest of the NBA’s 75th season leading up to All-Star Weekend in Cleveland (20 February 2022).

“LeBron is fully committed to social change and making a positive impact on communities,”​ said Taffet.

“With this partnership, we look forward to the collective impact we can make in communities together.  Just like LeBron is more than an athlete, Ruffles is on a journey to become more than a chip starting with our Ruffles D.N.A. campaign.”

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