Imagine being prepped for surgery and seeing basketball legend Michael Jordan peering down amid your team of surgeons.
That’s just one eye-catching visual in a new regional advertising campaign that debuted this week that features Jordan promoting Novant Health’s Forsyth Medical Center. For Jordan, it’s a rare partnership with a regional organization, but also a natural move for the NBA legend because Novant’s Presbyterian Healthcare is the official healthcare provider for Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats. Also, Jordan grew up in North Carolina and played college basketball at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Two 30-second TV commercials (a second commercial will debut this fall), three print ads and two posters were shot in a whirlwind four-hour session last month, with Jordan showing his sense of humor as a wanna-be surgeon.
“That’s okay, we’ve got this. We’re good. Thanks, Michael,” two surgeon-playing actors tell Jordan as they politely discourage him from following them into the OR. The disclaimer in the commercial reads: “Michael Jordan is not a licensed surgeon. He’s just a big fan of our hospital.”
Novant Health, a not-for-profit system of 13 hospitals in the Carolinas and Virginia, is also teaming up with Jordan to communicate a serious message to its employees. In posters featuring Jordan’s oversized hands, he joins Novant’s award-winning “Washing hands saves lives” effort. That hard-hitting internal campaign, which was started several years ago, dramatically lowered hospital-acquired infection rates. Campaign materials have been offered at no cost to other health systems across the country; so far more than 3,000 hospitals and other organizations have downloaded the materials. In the newest addition to the campaign,“His hands have built quite a reputation. So have ours,” proclaim posters featuring Jordan wearing Carolina-blue custom scrubs with his Jumpman logo.