Best Athlete Food Endorsement Ads Slideshow

Macho Man Randy Savage and Slim Jim

There was never as colorful a celebrity spokesperson as the wrestler Randy Savage, a guy who stood out in a sport full of people whose best talent could be described as the ability to get attention. With his mane of frizzy-curly hair, his Day-Glo sunglasses, cowboy hat, and fringe-lined leopard-print spandex, Savage, who died unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of 58 last year, brought an undeniably badass joie de vivre to his spots for Slim Jim, which he represented beginning in 1996. Who could forget the original spot in which the wrestler burst into a rehearsal of a stage production of Romeo and Juliet shouting, "Art thou bored?" (The antidote, of course: "Snap into a Slim Jim …… Oooh yeah!")

Watch it here.

Michael Jordan and McDonald’s

Wikimedia Commons/PS2pcGAMER; Wikimedia Commons/Naaldenberg

His Airness has made a veritable ton of television commercials, but the very best one is from 1993 and is known as "The Showdown." It features Number 23 in a shooting contest with Larry Byrd. The set up: There’s a bag of McDonald’s. "The first one to miss watches the winner eat," the players agree. From there, we are witness to the ball sinking, and sinking, and sinking, and from a variety of impossible locales ("Over the bridge!"). Jordan’s "nothin' but net," line became famous from this classic commercial. The Big Mac in question must have been stone-cold by the time it was all over, but we’ll never know.

Watch it here.

Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Peyton Manning, and Eli Manning and Double Stuf Oreos

Nike/PRNNewscom; Itemmaster

Haven’t heard of the Double-Stuf Racing League (DSRL)? Nabisco made up a pseudo sport as a way of packing athletes into its ads. And because the product is a "double" (and only 70 calories per cookie!), not one but two pairs of famous sports siblings are pitching it to us. What are the odds that any of the four of them include these cookies in their training regimen? No matter. The best ad of the 2009 two-on-two cookie-eating series is the initial one, which features dueling press conferences and the chance to hear one of the best quarterbacks in the modern era utter the words, "It’s on like Donkey Kong!"

Watch it here.

Mr. T and Quaker Cereal

PR-NEWSWIRENewscom; Itemmaster

Perhaps more revolutionary than the advertisement itself is the fact that Quaker hired Mr. T to endorse breakfast cereal. The product was launched in 1984 on an episode of Pee Wee’s Playhouse (an equally improbable but more brilliant confection altogether) with Mr. T saying, wait for it, "I pity the fool who doesn’t eat my cereal." The commercial itself veers even further from reality because it’s a cartoon in which a gymnastics team dances around Mr. T singing about the cereal, which gives you "a crispy corn taste with a touch of brown sugar." The ad reveals a "strike-while-the-A-Team is hot" mentality at its finest.

Watch it here.

Blake Griffin and Subway

In the classiest, most understated, and most healthy endorsement on this list, reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Griffin takes on Subway sandwich spokesman Jared Fogel in a game of….S-U-B-W-A-Y at New York City’s Fourth Street Cage, home of some of the best street basketball in the country. The game of Horse is shot in a fast-paced, evocative, photo-journalistic style, but the best part is finding out Griffin’s sub order: Oven-roasted chicken breast on whole-wheat roll with lettuce, tomato, pickles, banana peppers, and cucumbers. Jared is, as ever, the most lovable former schlub in endorsement history.

Watch it here.

Donovan McNabb (and His Mom) and Campbell’s Chunky Soup

The star quarterback spent the heyday of his career during the past decade touting the wonders of Campbell’s Chunky Soup with his mom, Wilma. Their notable tagline, "It fills you up right," made Mrs. McNabb a household name among the mothers of America. Every wannabe pro football player in the country had their parents stocking up on Chunky for their big games.

Watch it here.