Commercials and sport are enemies, right? We hate ads during the game. And yet sometimes the creative advertising folks actually get it right. The right mix of humour, sincerity, inspiration and sport.
We’ve literally studied every single sports commercial ever from a philosophical, historical and meta-theological perspective to bring you the definitive compilation of the Greatest Sports Commercials ever made.
We know there are heaps of them out there and we tried to mix up the sports as much as we could so feel free to disagree (even though you’re probably wrong).
Leave comments on ones that you think we missed and we will amend the article if we happen to agree.
As always, Enjoy Yo’self!
#10 Energizer – Michael Chang.
Starting off with one of my childhood favourites. The Energizer commercial included an inspirational “Never Say Die” sportsman. For those who don’t remember, Michael Chang played tennis for the United States and was world number 2 in the 1990s after winning the French Open and reaching the finals in several Grand Slam events. He probably would’ve beaten the Energizer battery if it were real.
#9 Nike Bball squeak sound ad.
I snuck this one in due to its creativity. Every court-squeak, bounce and every basketball related sound effect was compiled and made into a song. How can you not love that? The commercial featured some NBA stars such as Vince Carter and Jason Williams as well as some lesser-known And 1 streetball players.
#8 Nike Ninja Round Ball.
I cheated a little here and put all three of these Football Commercials under No. 8 because picking a favourite would be like picking to keep 1 out of 3 children.
Features some of the greatest football players to ever play the game and a surprise guest referee.
#7 Nike. Lance Armstrong.
Inspirational. This Livestrong piece reminds us that Lance Armstrong dominated not only cycling but cancer as well. Originally diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs, Lance overcame all odds to not only defeat it but returned to cycling and won 7 consecutive Tour de France events, which is unheard of.
The voices throughout the commercial further reiterate that it is not only him but countless others who have beaten cancer. But it shouldn’t take cancer for us to lead a more active and fulfilling life.
We can all take an important message from this.
#6 Ali G NBA on TNT Commercials.
They say laughter is the best cure for illness so this brings us to something a little less serious. I must warn you, the humour of Sacha Baron Cohen is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. There are moments where you don’t know if it was improv or scripted but I swear Charles Barkley looked like he was going to open a can of whoop-ass on Ali G in one of them.
#5 Nike. What if Commercial.
Let’s face it, Nike dominates when it comes to sports advertising. This was no exception. The minute and a half long commercial leaves you feeling exactly how it was titled. What if…. Serena Williams played volleyball instead of tennis? What if…Michael Vick played in the NHL for the Colorado Avalanche? We will never know and can only imagine.
Nike even included Andre Agassi’s patented mannerisms but instead of a tennis racquet, he was wielding a baseball bat (in Fenway Park, no less).
#4 Adidas. Muhammad Ali – The Long Run.
Adidas only needed a minute to pull off this gem. It featured the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Ian Thorpe, Maurice Greene, Tracy McGrady, David Beckham, Laila Ali and a CGI version of The World’s Greatest Muhammad Ali. It’s one of the best commercials from Adidas’ Impossible is Nothing series. Listen carefully if you missed what Laila was saying and at the end, see if you can catch one of Ali’s greatest quotes.
#3 NBA – Generations
TNT did an excellent job with this one. They put a boatload of effort into this commercial with timing and great synchronization of past NBA greats and the stars of today. Highlights include Wilt Chamberlain swatting away Dwight Howard’s shot, Larry Legend passing to Ray Allen for a trademark 3. The song Live Forever by Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors paired with Derrick Rose fist bumping “The Guy who wore No. 23,” made me cry real man tears, no joke.
To truly appreciate it, you have to be a big fan of the NBA. If it were up to me I would rank it number 1 but unfortunately, here at Mike Or the Don, it’s a democracy.
#2 ESPN SportsCenter Commercials.
Believe me, there is no complete compilation of ESPN’s Sportscenter commercials. I would’ve found it otherwise. However, the link does take you to a collection of 20 worth ten minutes of your time, if you’re up for a laugh.
All of them are clever, quick, hilarious and creative. ESPN are constantly making more so keep an eye out if you have cable TV.
BONUS! I included “Lebron’s Chair” as a special treat since you’ve made it this far!
#1 Terry Tate: Office Linebacker.
Awesome doesn’t begin to describe how awesomely awesome Terry is and funny to the point of where urinating in your pants is justified. First aired a few years ago during the Superbowl when Reebok was still relevant, Terry Tate left millions of viewers wanting more. The good news is that, there are a few more episodes that are just as long as the above. The bad news is, it was never turned into a mini series or a movie.
Very quotable and still funny after the hundredth time.