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Aug 4 / King Kaufman

What are the most iconic sports commercials of all time?

Michael Jordan

Wild guess: This guy's name will come up.

The brainstorm we tried the other day didn’t pick up much steam, so let’s try another one. Thanks to those who did weigh in on the most marketable athletes, though.

Today’s slideshow topic for blog readers to brainstorm on: The Most Iconic Sports Commercials Ever.

I hadn’t yet heard of “Marvelous” Marv Throneberry before his turn in the 1970s Miller Lite campaign: “I’m kinda worried,” he said, “because if I do for Lite Beer what I did for baseball, I’m afraid their sales might go down.”

Miller Lite was called Lite Beer From Miller back then. It was the first mainstream light beer, so you could just say “Lite Beer” and everyone knew what you meant.

Throneberry, the starting first baseman on the 1962 New York Mets who was legendary for his terrible fielding and baserunning, appeared in many Lite Beer ads, often appearing at the end to say some variation of: “I still don’t know why they asked me to do this commercial.”

That’s my entry. What’s yours?

Update: Here’s the resulting slideshow

  • Sean Swaby

    Glavine + Maddux: Pitchers want to be hitters, “Chicks dig the longball.” All-time favorite. The pre-2010 World Cup “Write the Future” was pretty amazing, too.

  • Caleb Garling

    I go Bud Bowl and Jordon/Bird playing horse for a Big Mac. Also, I think you could make a whole list out of best SportsCenter commercials or best Nike commercials all by themselves. Just a ridiculously long string of solid advertising.

  • Mick Akers

    Jordan commercials: any Mars Blackmon Nike ones. The Like Mike Gatorade ones and the McDonald’s horse one with Larry Bird.

    Also the Nike Charles Barkely “Not a role model” one.

  • Todd Washburn

    Perhaps the most recognizable commercial of all time: “Bo Knows”

  • Eitan Katz

    Gotta be the Mean Joe Greene Coke commercial. I wasn’t even alive and I’ve heard of it. Also gotta consider the Tiger commercial post-sex addiction (with dads voiceover) and LeBrons (what should I do) both recent, but both EASILY recognized in sports world.

  • Jeff Cohn

    For me, it is BY FAR the Nike commercial where Tiger hits that magical chip shot and has the camera zoomed in on the Nike check on the golf ball as it slowly rolls into the hole. The Kobe buzzer beater is also a good one.

  • Sam Lack

    Its has to be Yao Ming’s Visa commercial.

    “Yo” “its Yao”

  • DaBarnes

    Mean Joe Green Coke commercial. Not even close.

  • bucky1984

    “Writer the Future” and Jordan/Bird HORSE were both classic.

  • Sunil Ram

    There’s some great ones already listed. For relevancy purposes, I’ll say the Grant Hill and Tim Duncan Sprite commercials from the last NBA lockout.

  • Hcatalan2001

    Jordan 23 coke .. When he fly to kids tree house to deliver six pack coke..