Michael Jordan Finally Does an ESPN Ad, and Everyone’s Disappointed

The curse of famous names

Headshot of Tim Nudd

A few months back, we wrote about the history of the ESPN SportsCenter campaign, and asked the creatives at Wieden + Kennedy New York which athlete they had always wanted to include in the campaign but never managed to snag. The answer, perhaps not surprisingly, was Michael Jordan. Well, now W+K and ESPN have indeed landed Michael Jordan—sort of. It's not an ad for SportsCenter but for the "It's Not Crazy, It's Sports" campaign. And it's not the Michael Jordan—it's a guy with the same name, who disappoints people everywhere he goes. It's a great little spot, reminiscent of Michael Bolton in Office Space, who likewise bemoans the bad luck of sharing a name with a celebrity. ("There was nothing wrong with it … until I was about 12 years old and that no-talent ass clown became famous and started winning Grammys.") It remains to be seen whether this is ESPN figuring it will never get Jordan, or if it's intended to butter up the former Chicago Bulls great.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.