Monthly Archives: February 2013

Super Bowl Commercials – Everyday Man vs. Athlete

Written By:  Katrina M. Smith, MBA
Date:  February 4, 2013

People watch the Super Bowl for three reasons:  1) Football, 2) Half-Time, and 3) Epic Super Bowl Commercials.  Yesterday, two commercials caught my eye featuring Sketcher running shoes and Mio, a sports drink.  Let us first take a look at the Sketchers commercial:

The Sketchers commercial shows a man chasing after a cheetah with all the quickness of Usain Bolt.  He attributes his speed to state-of-the-art running shoes made by Sketchers.  The commercial was humorous and random like most Super Bowl Commercials.  Anyone viewing could tell great thought was put into the commercial from the color scheme to the facial expressions of the animals to the memorable storyline.  Good commercial.  As I was watching however, three questions came to mind:  1) Who was the guy in the commercial?  2) Who does he represent?  3) Why wasn’t a track & field athlete chosen to market this product?

Now let’s view the Mio commercial featuring comedian Tracy Morgan.

Tracy Morgan’s delivery of the “Mio Sports Drink Anthem” was funny and random.  He added comedic value to the commercial which satisfies Super Bowl Commercial requirements.  However, Tracy Morgan is not an athlete.  He is not known for sports or fitness so why was he chosen?

So many athletes, especially in track & field, are overlooked for marketing sports and running-specific products.  Companies, for whatever reason, resort to using models with bad form and celebrity figures outside of the sport to market products.  Just think if track & field athletes were involved in the marketing process, perhaps track & field would have a bigger following.  Viewers would become familiar with the images and names of track & field athletes.  When competitions are shown on TV or local events are announced, maybe…just maybe…spectatorship would rise.

Why aren’t track & field athletes considered?  Why do we not see marketing images of Reese Hoffa, Carmelita Jeter, David Robles, Natasha Hastings, Angelo Taylor, Yelena Yelesina, Christophe Lemaitre, Walter Dix, Mitchell, Watt, and others?  Perhaps this inconsideration can be attributed to the topic of our previous blog:  how the rules of track & field favor amateurism over professionalism.