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I hate the new Sportscenter commercials - VIDEO

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 6th 2008 1:43PM
Sportscenter logoHave you seen the annoying new ad campaign for the ESPN SportsCenter relaunch? If you watch even a half-hour of ESPN programming -- or like me, Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption -- you can't miss these commercials.

There's a young, 20-something guy named Steve running around with a bulky, scoreboard-like digital clock with a strap that hangs around his neck like he's a peanut vendor at a baseball game.

The ads show him going through his day -- working out at the gym, jogging -- while he's waiting for the launch of the new, 9-hour SportsCenter on August 11. The commercials are completely live, which I grant you is novel, but they are not funny, clever or up to the ESPN standard. I hate them. They're jarring, poorly done and, like I said, annoying. I guess some genius in marketing decided that any way to make the viewer remember that a new format is coming is good enough.

Here's a sample of Steve's work (don't say I didn't warn you!):



I'm disappointed in ESPN. This company has consistently done some of the best commercials promoting their programs. They've used athletes in creative ways, making many of them come off really well. Remember LeBron James and the throne? Tony Romo as a receptionist? Hip, hip Jorge? I think they should be commended for those and others that have made me smile or chuckle. Where was that level of creativity for this SportsCenter relaunch?

So, coming August 11 when Hannah Storm, Steve Berthiaume, Linda Cohn, Josh Elliott, Robert Flores and Chris McKendry begin the live daytime SportsCenters, delivering nine -- yeah, nine -- continuous hours of highlights, news and recaps, I'll likely check it out if I need a score or want to know if Brett Favre is still all they're talking about. But the memory of Steve's lame promos will hang like a bad stink for a long time to come.

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Nathaniel

Cool concept, but I haven't seen enough to judge them. However, I do not appreciate him destroying a classic Warren Zevon song.

I have only glanced a few of these while passing by a TV, and because of that, I had no idea why they appeared to be counting down to launching Sportscenter, which is all I could tell they were doing.

August 07 2008 at 10:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MIchael

Allison,
I must say I disagree with you 100% percent on this. I watch ESPN everyday and I find these commercials pretty funny. Its a clever way of advertising LIVE sportscenters with live commercials .... you know when it starts now don't you?... the commercials make you remember

August 07 2008 at 1:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Thomas Vogh

Your opinions aside: get your facts straight before you make your posts.

SportsCenter will be from 9am-3pm, M-F. (As Steve proclaims, repeatedly.) The 6am-9am show with Linda and Steve was announced, then later pulled.

(Also, shouldn't these type of posts have some sort of disclaimer as editorial content...? It's often hard to sort out the news from the opinionated blather.)

August 06 2008 at 11:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ricky

I am not a mathematical genius by any means, but how does 9AM-3PM equal 9 hours of continuous programming. Seems more like 6 hours of program. I guess we can't expect these posters to watch the videos they post, but instead just rely on old press releases.

August 06 2008 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dwayne

I have to disagree with you on this. My favorite part of these commercials is during primetime live programming like the Rangers, Yankees game tonight. After most of the commercials you get to hear a little interaction with whoever is doing play by play. Tonight, Sutcliffe talked about how he wanted to hang out with the guy. The video you posted was in response to Erin Andrews calling him out for giving the play by play guys props but not her. I think they are pretty fun.

August 06 2008 at 10:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
debi

Yeah, I didn't get the commercials. There are so many sports centers and so many time zones, I never know which one is really live. Thats why I have fauxvo!

August 06 2008 at 5:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cray

Sportscenter is rather redundant these days...some the commercials are actually more entertaining than the show.

They really need to overhaul the format. Its outdated and irrelevant. They are trying way too hard to be part of pop culture and its getting annoying. You think Bob Ley and Chris Berman tried to be part of pop culture? No, they were just plain into sports and their appreciation for the play-by-play.

I like Bob Ley's Outside the lines, and the new series called E:60. We need to see more of this and less of MTV wannabe Sportscenter. They actually wasted 7 minutes on a bracketology of celebrity mustaches, apparently Geraldo Rivera was declared winner. (rolleyes)

August 06 2008 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cray's comment
hubris

To be fair, there's relatively few of the "major" sports going on right now. They've got to fill the time somehow. And if I remember correctly, the mustache bracket was on First Take.

August 07 2008 at 9:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brian

Chalk one up for the "annoying" category. At first I had no idea what they were even about... it took a few viewings to make the connection that theyre bumping daily sportscenters live till 3pm.

Fortunately when you get home at 6, you can let the DVR handle those commercials for you and just enjoy the ATH/PTI goodness.

Hip hip Jorge... best one in a while. Phelps and his computer breaking/chair wetting was amusing too.

August 06 2008 at 4:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam

ESPN has funny commercials, but they seem to only have two at a time, so the viewers are left with an endless stream of repeats. I think Steve is crack-a-smile funny, but the fact that these commercials are live and put him in different situations make up for the lack of laugh-getting humor. As for the new show they are launching, don't they already have First Take?

August 06 2008 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hubris

These are infinitely better than the X-Games ads they were running. Man that Darkmane was annoying as hell.

Hip hip Jorge!

August 06 2008 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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