ESPN’s Newest “This Is SportsCenter” Spot Features Aaron Judge Practicing His Home Run Trot At The Gym

Last year, ESPN parted ways with its longtime agency Wieden + Kennedy New York. Their most famous campaign was “This Is SportsCenter”, which had about 400 ads over 20 years. Now, ESPN is working with an in-house agency Creative Works, and its first new “This Is SportsCenter” spots in a year debuted today. Luckily, they still feature the same wry and witty humor that the campaign was renowned for. The ads star New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge. In the longer one, he’s taking a leisurely jog on a treadmill in full uniform at ESPN’s gym. It’s brief…because the treadmill is set to “Home Run Trot.” In the other, he enters a room, and All Rise.


Tuesday Throwback: Fred McGriff Fully Endorses Tom Emanski And His Videos

In honor of baseball being back, today’s Tuesday Throwback is one that was shown for a long, long time. If you’ve watched ESPN in the last 25 years (especially late night), you probably have seen “Major League superstar” Fred McGriff’s commercials for Tom Emanski’s Defensive Drills video. They debuted in 1991, when McGriff played on the San Diego Padres, and aired basically unchanged (except sometimes updating what team McGriff was playing on) for years. The ads became fodder for many a SportsCenter anchor snarking about shoddy fundamental play. And let’s not even get into Crime Dog’s goofy cap. But I guess they worked. You don’t win back-to-back-to-back AAU championships without having good fundamentals.

ESPN’s College Football Playoff: Everyone’s Going After The Buckeyes

I’m an Ohio State fan, and it was great to see them win it all last year, especially since their run was somewhat out of nowhere. The Buckeyes look stacked again this year, but as this commercial narrated by Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer demonstrates, the other contenders are looking for a national championship. Here’s more info about the spot from Advertising Age.

This Is SportsCenter: “MMMBop” Is An Interesting Entrance Song

If you had a personal entrance song, what would it be? It’s a question I’ve thought about before, and I’d have to say my song would be “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta”. The latest spot from the beloved and long-running “This Is SportsCenter” campaign deals with Major League Baseball walk-up music. It features Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig walking up to his own music during a meeting. Then we hear SportsCenter anchor Stan Verrett’s music: “MMMBop” by Hanson. Excellent.

This Is SportsCenter: John Clayton’s Epic Ponytail

John Clayton is ESPN’s resident football nerd. Depending on who you ask, he resembles a turtle or Mr. Peabody. Deadspin has wondered whether he has a ponytail. Now, ESPN is in on the gag too. In this latest commercial from the classic “This Is Sportcenter” campaign (created by Wieden + Kennedy New York), we see the real John Clayton. He’s a ponytail (skullet?) rocking metalhead who lives at home and aggressively eats Chinese food. Awesome. This one just came out today, but it’s already garnering a huge amount of buzz.

ESPN: Michael Jordan Is An Average White Guy

Sharing a name with a famous person seems like a drag. I’m not talking about naming your child after a celebrity…that’s just poor parenting. But sometimes people will have a certain name, and then another person with that name comes to fame. I saw a feature on ESPN a few months ago about average dudes around New England who happened to be named Tom Brady. I have a few experiences with that. I am Josh Weinstein. This Josh Weinstein (who also has a certain resemblance to me) used to be a writer/producer for The Simpsons. Of course, that just led to some good-natured jokes in elementary school about how they liked my episode last night. Then in college, I found out about this fictional Josh Weinstein from Entourage, who was a “pen-stealing fuckface”, and derisively called Josh Weinfuck. That was pretty funny too. But what if your name was Michael Jordan and you turned out to be a bland, probably not athletically gifted, white guy? ESPN and Wieden+Kennedy New York tell us the story. And here’s the scoop from AdFreak.

ESPN: Don’t Be The Fart King

Occasionally, the NCAA shows these “Don’t Bet On It” commercials to discourage gambling on games. While making a valid point, they tend to be very heavy-handed. Unless you’re an NCAA athlete or an extremely heavy gambler, nothing is likely to happen. The government presumably (hopefully) has better things to do than bust up your March Madness bracket. But those gentleman’s bets can be dangerous too, as shown in a new spot for ESPN’s “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports” campaign, created by Wieden+Kennedy.

Hahaha. The ad shows the losers of college football bets in ridiculous situations, such as being the “Fart King” (complete with sandwich board and bell), eating the winner’s chest hair, and shaving your face/head into a football helmet. It’s quite funny, and it’s actually very realistic. Guys do stuff like this. But as AdFreak suggests (they’re beating me to the punch this week): “Next time I bet on my favorite team, I’ll play it safe and just bet the rent money.” Sage advice.

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