Rocky’s impact is stronger than ever with its 45th anniversary in Philly

The premiere event of ‘Rocky IV: Rocky V. Drago: The Ultimate Director’s Cut’ with Sylvester Stallone will be held Thursday, Nov. 11.
De’Jon Glover

Yo, Philadelphia.

2021 marks the 45th anniversary of ‘Rocky’, and throughout the rest of this year into early next, there will be different themed events happening to celebrate the film that still holds a huge fan base to this day—and it all was started right here in the City of Brotherly Love. 

When ‘Rocky’ first premiered, the story of the underdog boxer from Philly making it all the way to the top in the world of not just American, but eventually global boxing, was met with huge acclaim. Created and starring Sylvester Stallone, the film that sparked a franchise showed universal themes of ambition, passion, determination and giving it your all to be a champion, and in later films such as ‘Creed’ starring Michael B. Jordan, those sentiments were exemplified for a new audience. As a release states, MGM’s ‘Rocky’ and ‘Creed’ films have generated more than $1.3 billion in worldwide box-office sales, three Academy Awards, and 10 nominations, so it comes as no surprise to see the impact still holds strong, and past fans along with new age groups can celebrate together. 

De’Jon Glover

To commemorate the 45th anniversary, the brand will be holding a movie-themed concert, which was announced earlier this year, ‘Rocky’themed athletic runs, in-theater events, as well as exciting merchandise and new gaming collaborations. 

The Rocky Run will kick off on Nov. 13 and will run until Dec. 31 and anyone can participate in the virtual activity (a trip to the Art Museum’s steps is not required, but might be worth it.) There will also be the Rocky Tour Experience created in partnership with Bounce, a new app that takes fans on a self-driving tour of Rocky’s Philadelphia that will launch this month, then, Rocky in Concert next year in 2022. These particular performances launching with TCG Entertainment will feature six musical events for each of the six films in the original franchise, beginning with ‘Rocky.’ Audiences will be able to hear the music from the films performed live by a full orchestra while watching the movies on larger-than-life screens.

For those looking for collectibles, there’s an array of opportunities as well with Foot Locker x Diodora, which was inspired by characters in the franchise. For the activation, Foot Locker, Inc. and Diadora are launching an exclusive new sneaker collection that can only be found at Foot Locker starting this month. Olympia Le-Tan is also throwing their hat into the ring with a brand new clutch from the celebrated designer featuring the re-imagined poster art of the ‘Rocky’ film. There will also be ‘Rocky’ hoodies and tees featuring the art of the film.


Video game fans also have their own chance to delve into the world of the Philly boxer with a brand new game. While gaming, you can fight as Adonis Creed, Rocky Balboa, and a complete roster of  boxers from the ‘Creed’ and ‘Rocky’ franchise, including Apollo Creed, Ivan and Viktor Drago, and Clubber Lang. 

Finally, as the release states, fans can also purchase Funko creations that were made to celebrate the 45th anniversary. The company is releasing Pop figures based on Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed as they appeared in their heavyweight bout—Apollo in his star spangled trunks and Rocky sporting his white trunks and swollen eye that inspired the famous line “Cut Me, Mick.” Pre-orders are available at Entertainment Earth and the figures will be released in January. Rocky Limited Editions 24K Gold Plated Bicentennial Superfight Ticket from Fanattik can also be bought while fans can score an individually numbered ticket to Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed at the Philadelphia Spectrum.

However, the stand-out from the new activations is first up and will be taking place this week. On Nov. 11 the premiere event of ‘Rocky IV: Rocky V. Drago: The Ultimate Director’s Cut’ with Sylvester Stallone will be emanating from the Philadelphia Film Center and broadcasted via Fathom events. After Thursday, the film will then be available to stream the next day on Nov. 12 on demand and digital everywhere. The fourth film in the initial franchise follows Rocky Balboa in his training and journey to fight Drago (Dolph Lundgren) who killed his friend Apollo Creed in a title fight at the beginning of the film. With 40 minutes of never-before-seen footage, the fights scenes are more intense, the music is more powerful and the drama is heightened. 

De’Jon Glover

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