Blogs & Comment

Alexander Ovechkin goes Big

Is the Washington Capitals star the best NHLer in advertising?

Marketing has long featured pro athletes and hockey players are no exception. But while many all-stars’ acting chops have been safely limited to a simple one-liner and a smile (e.g. Gretzky and Crosby), Alexander Ovechkin has quietly become the best NHLer in advertising.

Cadbury this week announced a deal naming the Washington Capitals captain as the face for its new Mr. Big chocolate bar campaign. The spots are typical candy “oddvertising” but unique in that they star a world-class athlete and not, say, a prancing little lad. Unsurprisingly, Ovechkin pulls it off.

See, the gap-toothed goal scorer got off to a rocky start in the ad game—perhaps following Mario Lemieux’s lead with a bizarre local car dealer commercial—but quickly turned things around last year with a series of quirky spots for Reebok CCM that featured his decapitated head’s crazy-person/evil genius laugh, and a turn for ESPN’s SportsCenter that pegged him as a Russian spy.

The Mr. Big campaign contest‘s grand prize is a two-hour hangout with Ovechkin either at the front row at Washington Fashion Week, a restaurant dinner, video game session, or having a home-cooked meal at his house. No word on any nunchuk lessons.