The best sports commercials
America loves a comeback story.
With Tiger’s return at the Masters Thursday, Nike has capitalized on the comeback story with a new commercial. The ad features the words of his late father, Earl Woods, playing over a black and white video of a solemn Tiger staring at the camera
As effective as Nike hoped it would be, the message falls flat and a little cheesy, at that. Has the Tiger scandal really reached the point where Woods can publicly call attention to himself?
Whether or not you care about the affairs, it’s odd that Tiger would agree to an advertisement that berates him for his actions. Especially using a tactic that Nike has already employed in the past, and much more effectively:
One of the most powerful commercials ever. Although it aired two years after Earl died, the commercial played on Father’s Day around the 2008 US Open. It didn’t have the immediate timeliness factor of Earl’s death, but couple it with the iconic images from Tiger’s 2006 British Open win (his embrace with caddie Steve Williams) and it’s a classic.
Here are a few of my favorite sports commercials. My true list of favorites would just be a recap of every Nike Golf ad ever, but for the sake of diversity, I threw in some others.
Not as heavy-handed as the previous two Tiger ads, but it’s my favorite. Video editing is amazing, The Faces’ “Ooh La La” is a perfect fit and the dance that little Tiger does after his hole-out is perfect.
Probably the funniest sports commercial ever, if only for the reactions of Torii Hunter (then still a Twin) and the little kids’ surprised faces. Awkward moments in commercials are always good TV.
Before there was even a word spoken about HGH or performance enhancing drugs in baseball, there was the classic “Chicks Dig the Long Ball” commercial. Greg Maddux at his funniest, Tom Glavine with his best comedic timing and a perfect punchline with Heather Locklear. Without a doubt, the most iconic commercial of the ‘90s and it perfectly epitomized the late-‘90s baseball resurgence.
Nike Football is epic. That’s really all that can be said about their work. Ladanian Tomlinson and Troy Polamulu evolve from grade-school athletes to prep stars to NFL stars with the power of Ennio Morricone’s Ecstacy of Gold remixed about as perfect as possible. The commercial leaves you wanting more, and that’s the best a 60-second ad can do.
Soccer commercials don’t get a lot of play in America, but the Next Level commercial was both innovative and exciting. Set from the first-person perspective, the commercial follows an amateur striker get scouted and signed by Arsenal, embarrassed by Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, run stadiums, acquire groupies, fight Marco Materazzi, get scored on by Ronaldinho and get a penalty kick for the Netherlands in the World Cup. All that in a two-minute commercial.
Before Eli was a Super Bowl champion, little Eli was just Peyton’s kid brother. Walking through the halls of the ESPN office, Peyton picks on Eli while Archie leads the Manning family. Highlights include a kick to the thigh and a wet willie.