What Baker Mayfield has in common with Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning and Bo Jackson
Baker Mayfield is not the first athlete to have success as a pitchman in a series of commercials for the same product. Here are seven memorable advertising campaigns involving athletes:
1. Bo Knows: Nike took advantage of Bo Jackson’s multi-sport stardom (baseball, NFL) to promote sport-specific footwear. Jackson eventually is shown with basketball, tennis, hockey and running, getting endorsements from fellow athletes, though Wayne Gretzky famously says “no.
2. Blake Griffin & Time Travel: The former Sooner star goes back in time — 1997, 1999, 2002, 2006 — to show off his futuristic Kia Optima and give his younger self life advice, everything from practice foul shots to stop wearing jean shorts.
3. Michael Jordan & Mars Blackmon: Noted Knicks fan Spike Lee reprises his movie character Mars Blackmon by continually searching for the secret to Jordan’s success. In a memorable commercial, Blackmon declares, “It’s gotta be the shoes, right?” “No,” says Jordan. And Nike finally chimes in with a statement: “Mr. Jordan’s opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Nike, Inc.”
4. Chris Paul and State Farm: For more than eight years, CP3 and the insurance giant have produced wildly entertaining commercials, from Chris’ identical (fictional) twin Cliff to Meet the Hoopers to the “why is it so dark in here?” to the spoofs with, yes, James Harden.
5. Peyton Manning & Nationwide: Manning’s dead-pan naivety and country singer Brad Paisley’s exasperation knows no bounds in this series of ads that has put the “Nationwide is on your side” jingle into every American brain.
6. Blake Griffin & film sets: The dead-pan Griffin stars as an actor who keeps using his Kia Optima for more film-suitable substituting transportation, like a chariot in a Roman Empire flick, a horse in the Old West and a fighter jet aboard an aircraft carrier.
7. Lil’ Penny: In the mid’1990s, Anfernee Hardaway was one of the NBA’s best players, and Lil’ Penny, the animated younger version of Hardaway, was a show-stealer for Nike. NBC even commissioned a Lil’ Penny to introduce its telecast of the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals.
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