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We Salute Their Best “This Is SportsCenter” Work As ESPN And Wieden+Kennedy Part Ways

Wieden+Kennedy has been making ESPN ads since 1992, but all good things must come to an end.

We Salute Their Best “This Is SportsCenter” Work As ESPN And Wieden+Kennedy Part Ways

It’s hardly a box of tissues and pint of Chunky Monkey type of break-up, but these two were so good together over so long, it’s tough to imagine them apart. It’s probably how Goop fans felt about Gwenyth and Chris Martin. In December, ESPN and Wieden+Kennedy decided to mutually part ways, after working together since 1992.

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The ad agency has moved on to other sports pastures, becoming the agency of record for Bristol rival Fox Sports. It’s a lot to process, I know. So many emotions. But in this time of confusion and heartache, let’s fight the urge to sad-binge eat by looking back at the good times, the times that made SportsCenter ads some of the most iconic brand advertising over the last 25 years.

It’s never going to be perfect, and these things are always subjective, but I’ve cobbled together my own Top 10 “This Is SportsCenter” ads to help ease us through this time of sorrow. In the words of Charley Steiner, “Follow me, follow me to freedom!”

“Spy”

This spot featuring Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin (and former Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov) might hit a bit too close to home these days–Washington, Russia, SPIES–but it’s still one of the best ever.

“Big Buddy”

Kenny Mayne and Stuart Scott get a bit too serious playing in a kids program with NBA stars Kenny Smith and Jayson Williams.

“Performance Enhancer”

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Anchor Scott Van Pelt can’t hide his thesaurus habit.

“Betrayal”

Red Sox mascot Wally knows what he saw in that ESPN boardroom with David Ortiz and New York Yankee Jorge Posada.

“Brothers”

This one featuring Peyton and Eli Manning shows that sibling rivalry outlives age and Super Bowl success.

“Going Up?”

You do not want to go where the New Jersey Devil is going.

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“Manny being Manny”

The former Red Sox star is just so quirky, right?

“Overseas”

Just in case you ever wondered what SportsCenter looked like in Russia.

“Bedwetter”

As Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson knows, you can’t control where your nickname comes from.

“Y2K”

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Everyone was a little paranoid leading up to the millennium, and here we learn it was no different in Bristol, Connecticut.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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