The Washington Post

Teddy Roosevelt’s ‘This is SportsCenter commercial’


We’ve known for a few weeks that giant Racing President Teddy Roosevelt was set to make a star turn in an ESPN ‘This is SportsCenter’ commercial.

I know, the waiting was tough for me, too.

But here’s the 30-second commercial, expected to debut this week. The spot — “Universal Remote” — features anchor (and Phillies fan) Kevin Negandhi Neghandi showing all the fancy new “SportsCenter” studio to colleague Hannah Storm. But his universal remote is wonky, and that allows three lucky ducks — Jay Crawford, Jay Harris and a giant-headed rendition of our 26th president — to prosper.

The spot was shot in early May; Teddy went up to Bristol and made it back to D.C. in time for a home loss to Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. He also posed with a bunch of famous ESPN people during a subsequent trip north.

Being a rather large fellow, Teddy actually had to bend over to fit into the building. You can see him similarly struggle with a doorway in the commercial. Fortunately, no alien human heads emerged from his torso.

The new “SportsCenter” studio — “Digital Center 2″ — will debut June 22. If you’re interested in that sort of stuff, here’s some enthusiasm, via the Hartford Courant:

Sure, it will be more fun and more efficient for ESPN’s personalities to broadcast from the $175 million building, with 6 million feet of fiber optic cable, 25,000 square feet of studio space, and a huge glass wall that looks out onto a glass “cube” with graphic artists sending images onto studio screens.

But, I ask Storm, will the viewers really see a change?

“It’s vastly different,” Storm said. “It will be a significant change, unlike anything on sports TV.”…

The place goes live in late June, producing ESPN’s flagship show a staggering 18 hours a day, with 42 anchors, and the ESPN NFL shows….And the new look ties together with the ESPN app and website.

Stephen Strasburg’s ‘This is SportsCenter’ ad debuted almost exactly a month ago, and Bryce Harper’s is expected later this summer. SportsCenter runneth over with Natitude.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.



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Dan Steinberg · June 15, 2014