Maybe there will come a day when MMA fighters appearing and being mentioned by name in ad campaigns for major brands is so common that we won’t feel compelled to mention it but we aren’t there yet. MMA is still so young, so close to the days where it was banned in most states and kept off cable, that, gosh darn it, we get a lil teary eyed anytime we see a fighter like Anderson Silva (Burger King) or Georges St. Pierre (Gatorade) get picked to be a spokesman for for a major brand. That’s good money in their pockets and an indication of MMA knocking on the door to mainstream acceptance each time out.
The latest fighter getting such an opportunity is Mr. Wonderful himself, UFC light heavyweight Phil Davis. Davis, who fights August 4th on the UFC on Fox card in Los Angeles, appears in a new Sprite television commercial, twisting an actor into knots.
According to Adage.com, Sprite’s new ad campaign will feature commercials like this one, that emphasize the product experience as “intense.” I’ve never tangled with Phil Davis and it has been a long time since I’ve had Sprite, but I think it is safe to say that the soda company is overstating the intensity of their product experience a tad, but hey, who doesn’t?
The fact that Sprite doesn’t just use Phil as an anonymous beefy tough dude figure in the video, but instead mention his name, might lead us to believe that they feel the young audience they are trying to reach would have already heard of the fighter. Pretty cool, if so, considering that Phil – as good as he is – isn’t a champion or tippy-top-tier name yet in the UFC.
That said, Phil knocks his role out of the park – looking scary and fighter-y to a satisfying degree. What fighters do you want to see in major brand commercials, and which brands for which fighter, nation?