ESPN Debuts Twelve New This is SportsCenter Commercials to Coincide with 40th Anniversary
Athletes featured: Saquon Barkley, Jared Goff, Brooks Koepka, Becky Lynch and Manny Machado
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(Bristol, Conn.) – On Saturday, Sept. 7, ESPN will introduce twelve new commercials from the iconic This is SportsCenter (TISC) franchise. This marks the first time ESPN has debuted this many new TISC spots at once and the date has significance, as it marks the network’s 40th anniversary. Several spots will debut across TV, digital and social while others will be seen primarily on digital and social channels. ESPN wrote the spots in house and they were produced in concert with Hungry Man productions.
Each taps into the unique personalities of the featured athletes and what it’s like to work at ESPN. The following commercials will air across TV, digital and social:
- Presentation: New York Giants Running Back Saquon Barkley– with Stan Verrett, Neil Everett, Mina Kimes, Joe Bruin
- Audibles: Los Angeles Rams Quarterback Jared Goff– with Linda Cohn, Stan Verrett, Willie the Wave
- Putter Wipe: Professional Golfer Brooks Koepka– with Matt Barrie, Elle Duncan, Wally the Green Monster, Rutgers Scarlet Knight
- What’s My Name?: WWE Wrestler Becky Lynch– with Noel the Barista, Nicole Briscoe
- The Manny: San Diego Padres Third Baseman Manny Machado– with Kenny Mayne, children of ESPN employees
- Hot Corner: Manny Machado – with John Anderson
- Mouthguards: Scott Van Pelt, David Lloyd, Hannah Storm, Jay Harris, Mr. Met, Rutgers Scarlet Knight, UConn Husky, ESPN employees
- New Tech: Mr. Met, Jay Harris, Toni Collins
The following spots will debut across digital and social channels:
- Hallway Putts: Brooks Koepka – with Elle Duncan, Matt Barrie
- Vending Machine: Becky Lynch – with Jay Harris
- Push: Becky Lynch – with Rutgers Scarlet Knight
- Who’s on Hold?: Scott Van Pelt
“We’ve been working to develop terrific new SportsCenter scripts for a while now, and when we realized the timing worked out perfectly with our anniversary, we pressed GO!,” said Laura Gentile, SVP of Marketing. “This campaign has always been iconic, and made to delight fans. We hope they love these new spots.”
To coincide with the anniversary, ESPN has released a This is SportsCenter quiz on ESPN.com to challenge fans and highlight some favorites from over the years. There is a full archive of This is SportsCenter spots available here.
Since 1995, This is SportsCenter has given fans and viewers an inside peek at the Bristol campus with a humorous spin on day-to-day life at ESPN. The network has produced more than 400 advertising spots as part of this signature franchise.
Laura Gentile: Senior Vice President, Marketing
Seth Ader: Vice President, Brand Marketing
Stacey Pressman: Director, Talent Production
Peter Mulally: Director, Brand Marketing
John Lobo: Manager, Brand Marketing
Spencer Shaev: Coordinator, Brand Marketing
Billy Hickmott: Intern, Brand Marketing
Matt Cheron: Associate Director, Grande & Leonard
Kevin Sullivan: Senior Writer, Grande & Leonard
Alex Park: Producer, Grande & Leonard
Max Godnick, Contributor
Hank Perlman: Director
Kevin Byrne: Exec. Producer
Lucy Sheridan: Producer (NY)
Martha Davis: Producer (LA)
Adam Beckman: DP (NY)
Scott Henriksen: DP (LA)
Michael Krantz: Production Designer
Mike Cavagrotti: Ass’t Director
Metro Pictures Editorial
Paul Norling: Editor Mary Stasilli: Producer
Nick Chartrand: Assistant editor/graphics
This is SportsCenter – Background
- Launched in 1995. The first spot features Bob Ley, who introduced the world to the ESPN campus in Bristol, CT by strolling past satellite dishes, a speed bag being pummeled by Roy Jones Jr. and a freshly painted set courtesy of Jason Kidd.
- More than 400 spots to date. Full library here.
- Conceit: The network’s Bristol, Conn. offices as the center of the sports universe—a fantasy world where athletes and mascots lived and worked together with anchors and journalists.
- Aside from athletes and plotlines, conceit has not changed.
- TISC offers a behind the scenes look into a typical workday at ESPN’s headquarters as if the anchors interact with athletes and mascots in every aspect of their jobs.
- Athletes appear in team uniform
- Humanizes athlete superheroes by putting them in mundane, everyday scenarios.
- As long as the sports world rolls on, so does This Is SportsCenter. We’ve managed to keep the campaign relevant by reflecting the stars and trends in sports, and serving them up in a comedic way.
- Athletes are not paid, but sometimes small donations are made to favorite charities
- Original Agency was Wieden + Kennedy New York; now produced internally with the help of an outside production company, HungryMan.
- Style: Mockumentary.
- The campaign has been honored with many industry and creative awards over the years. Awards include: bronze Cannes Lion, CTAM Hall of Fame induction, Ad Age Best of Show, Broadcast Best of Show at American Advertising Awards, Best of Show at the Addy’s.
Link to full library of TISC spots