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This is SportsCenter is a series of comical television commercials run by ESPN to promote their SportsCenter sports news show that debuted in 1995, based on the show's opening tagline.[1] The ads are presented in a deadpan mockumentary style, lampooning various aspects of sports, and sports broadcasting. The New York office of advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, of Portland, Oregon, was responsible for the writing and production of the commercials until 2017, with ESPN taking over production in-house since 2018.[2][1]

A few of the ads are available for free on iTunes while many ads are available for viewing through the official ESPN YouTube channel.

Guest appearances by sports figures

A notable feature of the commercials is the seeming ubiquity of famous athletes on the ESPN campus. Some are even depicted doing menial, everyday tasks, usually while wearing their game uniforms. Athletes often have their idiosyncrasies parodied—for example, gymnast Kerri Strug being carried around ESPN headquarters because of her famous ankle injury.

List of This is SportsCenter spots

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1995

1996

1997

1999

2000

2002

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Sports practices

Many commercials in the series have derived their humor from parodying conventional professional sports practices, by applying them to working for SportsCenter:

Sports mascots

Sports mascots and cheerleaders are usually present in most ads, implying they work behind the scenes at ESPN. They are often seen casually milling around in the background, but occasionally they take on an active role:

References

  1. ^ a b Bucholtz, Andrew (29 March 2018). "ESPN's first new "This Is SportsCenter" ads feature Aaron Judge". Awful Announcing. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  2. ^ Lefton, Terry (19 September 2005). "This is SportsCenter". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved 13 November 2010.
  3. ^ "Henrik Lundqvist Stars In New 'SportsCenter' Commercial With Swedish Chef (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  4. ^ Hanstock, Bill (18 January 2013). "ESPN, hockey and the Swedish Chef". SBNation.com.
  5. ^ Phillips, Amy (23 January 2013). "This Is SportsCenter: The Muppets' Swedish Chef co-stars with NHL's Lundqvist in latest ad, Okey Dokey? - ESPN Front Row". ESPN Front Row.
  6. ^ Hoerger, Ryan (18 December 2015). "Coach K uses emojis in new ESPN spot". The Chronicle.

Further reading