Ad of the Day: ESPN

The latest SportsCenter work, starring Robinson Cano, is totally conventional yet utterly new

In January, we wrote about the history of Wieden + Kennedy New York's "This Is SportsCenter" campaign for ESPN, and how it has triumphed over the past 17 years (through almost 400 ads) by barely changing at all. Well, now it is changing—not the tone or subject matter, but the targeting.

The latest spot, "Handshakes," starring New York Yankees slugger Robinson Cano, features the same kind of humor we've come to expect from the campaign. The difference is, W+K filmed two separate versions—one in English, now airing on ESPN, and one in Spanish, airing on ESPN Deportes. It hasn't just been dubbed into Spanish. Most of the scenes were filmed twice, once with ESPN talent and once with ESPN Deportes talent. (A few of the wordless scenes do use the same footage.)

The move represents a push by ESPN for a greater connection with its Hispanic audience, the growth of which has outpaced its non-Hispanic audience in the past several years. While creating a whole second spot would seem to embody a respect for cultural differences, the plot of the two spots is identical—Cano's extensive hand-slapping celebrations are shown to not exactly be sanitary in an office environment. It's a nod to just how broad and relatable the humor of the campaign can be—and should continue to be, despite the expanded demographic focus.


Client: ESPN

Spots: "This is SportsCenter" – "Handshakes"

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York

Creative Directors: Brandon Henderson, Stuart Jennings

Copywriter: Charles Hodges

Art Director: Gary Van Dzura

Executive Producer: Temma Shoaf

Producer: Kelly Dage

Account Team: Brandon Pracht, Casey Bernard, Ryan Burke

Brand Strategist: Jason Gingold

Executive Creative Directors: Scott Vitrone, Ian Reichenthal

Head of Content Production: Lora Schulson


Production Company: O Positive

Director: Jim Jenkins

Executive Producer: Marc Grill

Line Producer: Marc Grill

Director of Photography: David Morabito


Editorial Company: Joint, New York

Editor: Andrew Robertson

Post Producer: Michelle Carman

Post Executive Producer: Patty Brebner

Assistant Editor: Eric Schoenbrunn


Colorist: Tim Masik

Company: CO3


Artist: Kevin Quinlan

Company: The Mill

Post Supervisor: Charlotte Arnold


Mix Company: Heard City

Mixer: Philip Loeb