Ferrell, as ‘Bobby,’ Drives for Sprint Nextel

NEW YORK Will Ferrell, in character as race car driver Ricky Bobby, will star in a new round of commercials starting this Saturday for Sprint Nextel, tying in with the upcoming Nascar-themed movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Ferrell’s Bobby character will star in TV spots created by TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York, promoting exclusive mobile content from the movie.

Much of the content in the spots is improvised. In one scene, Bobby is talking to his friend Michael, a live chicken standing on the roof of his car. In another, Bobby is posing for a glamour calendar. Some of the content from those shoots will be available in mobile form starting July 1 to consumers who have Sprint Vision, a service from the company that offers video over its mobile network.

“In these spots, Will Ferrell isn’t promoting the exclusive movie content available on Sprint phones—Ricky Bobby is,” Mike Goff, vice president of national advertising at Sprint, said in a statement.

This is not the first time Sprint has tied in with Nascar. In 2004, Nextel inked a $700 million deal with Nascar to become title sponsor of what used to be the Winston Cup. Sprint bought Nextel the next year.