Posted by: mdegeorge | January 31, 2011

“This is SportsCenter” commercial of the week: Foosball

Mondays are always tough to deal with, especially at this point in the day.

So to spirit away some of that new week malaise, I’ll be digging deep into the outer reaches of YouTube for yesteryear’s best entries in the most important sports marketing campaign the Western world has ever known: the two-decade behemoth “This is SportsCenter”.

What I wouldn’t give to have a foosball table at work right about now. This 1998 spot was part and parcel of the sports-in-the-workplace spots of the early ESPN campaigns, featuring Kenny Mayne and Steve Levy, and a young high-waisted Rece Davis. Their opponents, goateed defender Alexei Lalas and the number 10 who I’m assuming is Tab Ramos (though I’m not positive) are sporting the old New York/New Jersey Metrostars kits. The most obvious exaggeration is Mayne’s celebration after scoring a goal. But most interesting is the efforts of ESPN to push the sport of soccer before they realized just how much potential it had…and they REALLY tried to push soccer.

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