Johnson Is Bank Card’s First Sports Star

NEW YORK Randy Johnson, who pitched a perfect game for the Arizona Diamondbacks last night, will soon be making a pitch for Capital One, the company said.

The five-time Cy Young award winner will appear in a 30-second spot set to break on May 21 that highlights Capital One’s Super Fans promotion. The promo offers free flights to fans using points from the No Hassle Rewards card so they can follow Johnson and his team on their upcoming road trip.

The spot shows the same three “super fans” cheering Johnson as he pitches in opposing teams’ ballparks. A pitching coach tells Johnson that the fans could use the No Hassle card to get free flights to follow him from ballpark to ballpark.

At one point Johnson is shown relaxing with his wife on a remote beach when the same three super fans appear chanting his name. Johnson then addresses the camera to deliver the tagline, “What’s in your wallet?”

In a statement, Johnson said, “It was very exciting to shoot the commercial and do something out of my element. You have loyal fans that follow you and it’s an amazing thing to have people willing to travel with the team and support you at home and on the road.”

At 40, Johnson became the oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game when he defeated the Atlanta Braves 2-0.

Bill McDonald, Capital One’s executive vice president of brand management, said in a statement, ” ‘Super Fans’ is a special ad for us because it’s the first time we’ve tapped a celebrity athlete to participate. With 17 outstanding years in the majors, Randy Johnson is the ultimate road warrior with loyal super fans who can appreciate the benefits of the No Hassle Rewards card.”

Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson in New York, which has been the client’s lead creative agency since April 2003, created the spot.

Campaign spending is undisclosed. The client spent $192 million on ads in 2003, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.