Ranked: The Top 10 “This is SportsCenter” Commercials

With a new “This is Sportscenter” ad airing on ESPN this week, I was reminded of one of the most entertaining internet rabbit holes anyone can fall down. The long-running series of ads have given us some of the funniest moments in the history of ESPN and created some very memorable moments.

Of course, there are more of these incredible ads than I can count, so I decided to take on the nearly impossible task of narrowing them down to the top 10. There are so many hilarious commercials that didn’t make the cut, but here are my 10 favorites.

10 – “Duck to Water”

Some of the best work in these ads is done by the mascots. This one, featuring the Oregon Duck, is one of the first that comes to mind for me when I think of SportsCenter. It’s such a simple joke and it works so well.

9 – “New Chef”

You’ve got to love it when synergy works! The Swedish Chef makes the jump from The Muppets to ESPN for an appearance in this hilarious ad, along with former New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

8 – “Stone Cold Steve Austin”

WWE (or, at the time WWF) doesn’t get a whole lot of play on ESPN, in fact there was a completely different commercial acknowledging that. But this ad featuring WWE legend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is another one that comes to mind for anyone who grew up in the ‘90s.

7 – “Study the Tape”

The ESPN talent really gets to shine in these ads, perhaps none more so than Scott Van Pelt. He teams with former Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins in this one for a hilarious comparison of their two professions.

6 – “Birds”

The late great Stuart Scott has appeared in more “This is SportsCenter” ads than anyone else and this is one of my favorites. Again, more amazing work from the mascots here.

5 – “Catchphrases”

For an advertising campaign called “This is SportsCenter,” I don’t think any of the ads actually represent SportsCenter more than this one. When the show is at its best, it’s anchors like Kenny Mayne just having a great time with some ridiculous catchphrases.

4 – “Yankee Cap”

Two big sports stars – check. More great mascot work – check. One of the biggest personalities in sports – check. This one has it all and it’s just one of the funniest ever.

3 – “Wet Willy”

I remember watching this and thinking, “the Manning brothers might have a future in comedy.” Sure enough, they both have their own shows on ESPN+ and the Manningcast for Monday Night Football. I like to think it all began with this commercial.

2 – “Thermostat”

Another one of the first that comes to mind. The mascots for the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils passive aggressively fight for control of the thermostat in this simple-but-hilarious ad.

1 – “Arnold Palmer”

Narrowing all of these ads down to a list of just 10 was nearly impossible but picking a favorite was nearly impossible-er. Arnold Palmer, the legendary drink mogul who also happened to be a golfer, does his thing as Scott Van Pelt and Stuart Scott watch on in amazement.

There are so many more great “This is SportsCenter” ads. Which ones are your favorites? Which one should have been on this list? Let us know on Twitter.

Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."