Top 10 Most Cringe-Worthy Athlete Commercials

Script written by Clayton Martino.

There are many great celebrity endorsements, but there are also too many hilariously bad commercials featuring athletes. Whether it’s half of the Pittsburgh Penguins painfully pitching for a local car dealership, Marshawn Lynch shilling for a plumber or Joe Flacco peddling Pizza Hut of Maryland, these are some of the dumbest commercials famous starring sports stars. WatchMojo counts down ten of the most painfully awkward athlete endorsements.

Special thanks to our users dave_macintyre and Tim Dischert for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%20Ten%20Cringe-Worthy%20Celebrity%20Commercials

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Script written by Clayton Martino.

Top 10 Most Cringe-Worthy Athlete Commercials


Just because they’re stars on the field, court, or ice, doesn’t mean they’re stars on camera. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Cringe-Worthy Athlete Commercials.

For this list, we’re looking at the most awkward and embarrassing commercials involving professional athletes.

#10: Maurice Richard
Grecian Formula 16

Age catches up to everyone, regardless of whether you’re a professional athlete or not. And of course, one annoying side effect of aging is grey hair. Fortunately, men have hair coloring products like Grecian Formula to turn to. Back in the early-‘80s, the company tapped Maurice “The Rocket” Richard – one of the greatest hockey players to ever lace up the skates – to help promote their product, over twenty years after he’d retired. And, sadly, from the Rocket’s wooden acting to the strange headshots and the bad joke at the end, this commercial is the definition of cringe.

#9: John McEnroe
BIC Shaver

Widely considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Johnny Mac has seven Grand Slam Singles championship titles to his name – among his many accomplishments. A pitchman, however, he is not, as evidenced here by this advertisement. Playing off McEnroe’s reputation as a hothead, the commercial starts with what appears to be one of his classic tirades, but even he struggles to keep a straight face as he discusses his shaving routine with the chair umpire. Hmmm, maybe instead of tennis lessons, McEnroe should’ve spent the money on acting lessons.

#8: Hunter Pence
Liscio’s Bakery

Hunter Pence may not be the biggest star in the majors, but he’s had a successful career with over 200 homeruns and two World Series rings. Lucky for him all that success means he’s made millions and likely won’t need a job once he retires. However, if he did need to keep working, salesman probably wouldn’t be his best option. In this strange, clearly low-budget commercial, Pence uses several different types of Liscio’s bread as part of his workout. The concept may’ve been funny on paper, and it is funny in an “oh boy” kinda way. But the look on Pence’s face suggests that even he can’t believe he’s doing this.

#7: Haloti Ngata
Thompson Creek Window Company

A star defensive tackle in the NFL, Haloti Ngata weighs well over 330 pounds, and as such seems like the perfect person to portray the sun on screen… right? Well, that bit of casting might’ve worked in this commercial had the first 15 seconds not been comprised entirely of screaming. Seriously, three people just yell at the camera. Eventually it’s revealed that Thompson Creek windows are helping to keep the heat, aka Ngata, out and the air conditioning in during the summer months. Naturally, it ends with more screaming. Huh, who knew the Baltimore Ravens needed an official window company?

#6: Marshawn Lynch
Beacon Plumbing

Back when he played for the Seattle Seahawks, Marshawn Lynch was one of the most popular – and, at the same time, most bizarre – players in the NFL. Perhaps this cringe-worthy commercial sums that statement up best. There’s no doubt that Marshawn is charming as he helps fix the various problems around the house for this young family. But from the bad editing to the incredibly corny catchphrase to the subtle flirting with the mom, this commercial is all kinds of awkward.

#5: Colby Armstrong, Max Talbot, Sergei Gonchar & Evgeni Malkin
A&L Motor Sales

What’s more cringe-y than one athlete acting badly? A handful of athletes acting badly together! Several members of the Pittsburgh Penguins come together to promote a local car dealership that primarily sells BMWs. Colby Armstrong is bad enough, but then Max Talbot decides to improvise, we hope, with a little dance that’d likely make any customer extremely uncomfortable. But wait, there’s more! Sergei Gonchar then says something that’s barely understandable due to his thick Russian accent, then tosses keys to Evengi Malkin who looks like he’d rather be anywhere else. Bring on the cringe!

#4: Joe Flacco
Pizza Hut of Maryland

As cringe-worthy as the previous commercials turned out to be, at least the creators put in some effort and tried to be creative. Pizza Hut did not. Instead, they brought in Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, made him wear a Pizza Hut shirt, put him in front of a green screen and played some footage of pizzas behind him. As if that weren’t bad enough, the writing and acting are also terrible: who caught the ball? They? More than one person? And that point at the end? THAT’s a performance. Luckily the commercial only lasts 15 seconds, because there’s only so much awkwardness we can handle.

#3: Jonathan Ogden
Gebco Insurance

So let’s set this straight: Jonathan Ogden, a former offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, is standing in the middle of the street when a lady drives her car into him. And that’s HIS fault? Well, luckily for Ogden he appears to be Luke Cage, because he is perfectly fine – while the car is totaled. Then, because the lady very convincingly tells him to get Gebco insurance, several attractive women show up to dance sexily around him despite the fact that his dance moves may be more of a crime than totaling the woman’s car. Who greenlighted this commercial?!

#2: Scottie Pippen
Mr. Submarine

Mr. Submarine is a Chicago-based sandwich franchise. The Bulls are a Chicago-based basketball franchise. Why not combine the two? Bad graphics aside, this commercial starts off simple enough, as Scottie Pippen notices a massive 6-foot sub standing before him during practice. Naturally, he immediately calls over a couple of cheerleaders to help him eat the sub. That’s when things get awkward, as he suggests they “have a party” while one grinds up next to him. What kind of party involves Scottie Pippen, two cheerleaders and a 6-foot submarine sandwich? We think that question is best left unanswered.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Ron Cey, Darryl Dawkins & Ed White
Wheaties

- Boston Celtics
Scotch ‘N Sirloin

- Ben Johnson
Cheetah Power Surge Energy Drink

#1: Alex Ovechkin
Eastern Motors

If the Pittsburgh Penguins entry on this list taught us anything, it’s that Russian hockey players make for unreliable pitchmen at best. This commercial reaffirms that idea. Ovi can barely get through his lines without laughing, but that’s far from the worst part. The commercial seems like it was filmed on somebody’s cell phone, the Eastern Motors jingle is playing on, like, a boombox in the background and the so-called “stage” is literally just a blank wall with lights. After watching this, we’re the ones who need the vodka shots. Well, at the very least, Ovechkin looks like he’s having fun, and at the end of the day that’s all that matters. Or not.
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