By Barry Janoff
October 30, 2013: "Da Coach" Mike Ditka and his former quarterback with the Chicago Bears, Jim McMahon, are reunited in a new marketing campaign from online discount retailer Overstock.com.
Salt Lake City-based Overstock.com said the duo would be featured in a series of commercials and in other media activations.
The launch spot finds Ditka and McMahon addressing media in a press conference, much as they did in the 1980s and especially during the Bears' 1985 Super Bowl XX victory.
"Overstock.com is a big player in online shopping and a world-class operation. I’m only going to associate my name with that level of company," Ditka said in a statement. "It was a pleasure to work with the company and to be reunited with Jim McMahon."
The spot will air on such networks as HGTV, ABC Family, USA Network, FX Channel and Spike.
Overstock.com said that the next commercial in the Ditka-McMahon series wouid be a holiday spot also featuring Overstock.com price checkers. New commercials are planned for 2014.
The online retailer said that this campaign, as well as a previous effort featuring Snoop Lion (aka Snoop Dogg), shows that "Overstock.com is reaching out to a diverse demographic with its brand."
In 2011, Overstock signed a six-year naming rights deal to the stadium that is home to the NFL's Raiders and MLB's A's, known as O.co Stadium.
According to Stormy Simon, co-president for Overstock.com, "Overstock.com's online shopping customer base spans a wide demographic. We're no longer appealing to just the middle-aged housewife. Our varied commercials demonstrate that."
In the spot, Ditka is introduced as "The price coach," much to the surprise of McMahon.
"Don't get all soft and gooey on me," Ditka says to McMahon. "We have a job to do here. We're grinding down prices. And we're going to deliver the best deals."
When a reporter says he's getting married, Ditka replies, "We'll save you thousands on dazzling diamonds. Trust me. I'm the coach here. We price-check over 500,000 items a week to make sure [we have the lowest prices]."
"Overstock.com is a big player in online shopping and a world-class operation. I’m only going to associate my name with that level of company."
The spot ends with the tag, "Re-Ditka-lous" deals." (See the full spot here.)
The 54-year-old McMahon, who finished his career with 100 passing touchdowns, 16 touchdowns rushing and more than 18,100 yards passing, has been in the news of late due to his financial and medical problems, the latter of which he attributes to injuries he suffered while playing football. In August 2011, he was part of a class-action lawsuit filed by former NFL players regarding concussions suffered during their time in the NFL.
Ditka, a member of the Pro Fottball Hall of Fame, played for the Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys and coached the Bears and New Orleans Saints. He is currently an NFL analyst for ESPN.
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