There’s a long history (going back to 1934 specifically for Wheaties) of athletes being recognized on cereal boxes, and we’ve seen that in multiple countries. It’s more unusual to see that for media figures, though. But that’s what ESPN is doing with a particular new promotion for College GameDay this week.
While this isn’t a full retail product release, ESPN has come up with small actual cereal boxes featuring each of their six GameDay cast members this year. That would be (in alphabetical order) Lee Corso, Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, Pat McAfee, and David Pollack. The respective cereals are “Corso’s Cereal,” “Rece’s Undefeated Eats,” “Streities,” “Dez’s Magic Maize Flakes,” “McAfee Crunch,” and “David’s Dawg Chow.” Here’s a video showing these off, from sports anchor Brad Galli of Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV:
These cereal boxes aren’t for sale, but will be available in Columbus, Ohio this week around GameDay‘s on-site show there Saturday ahead of the battle of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines. Each box comes with a traditional crossword or word game on the back. The overall image for this set can be seen at the top; here’s a collage of images of the six individual cereals. (As a noble spirit is for the smallest man, a click is required to embiggen.)
There are some good notes in there, from McAfee’s box’s #ForTheBran (a riff on his oft-used #ForTheBrand hashtag) to the “Not so fast, my friend” on Corso’s box to the “Whole new breed!” Dawg Chow for Georgia alum Pollack. The overall “Get ready for a breakfast that eats other breakfasts” is a nice one too. And this is a fun promotion for GameDay to come up with.
And it’s good timing for GameDay to do this ahead of what will surely be one of their most-watched broadcasts this year, the setup to the unbeaten battle of Ohio State and Michigan. The Wolverines-Buckeyes rivalry game is always one (if not the) of each year’s most-watched regular-season college football games, and the audience seems likely to be even higher this time around with both teams undefeated (and ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the current AP and Coaches’ polls, and in last week’s College Football Playoff rankings).
Of course, ESPN and ABC don’t have the actual live rights for The Game these days. The first pick annually used to take it is one of the main reasons why Fox pays so much more than Disney ($240 million annually versus $190 million) under the current Big Ten contract. But sending GameDay to it makes some sense anyway, as that’s definitely going to be one of the most-discussed games this week. And it’s interesting that ESPN is rolling out a GameDay promotion this week as well; there certainly will be lots of eyeballs on the show from afar, and lots of interest in it in Columbus, so there’s some logic to that for sure.
[Images supplied by ESPN]