July 24, 2014 11:10am PT by Graeme McMillan
ESPN's Kenny Mayne Stars in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' TV Spots (Video)
Although much of a core audience for next month’s Guardians of the Galaxy is currently captive in San Diego at this year’s Comic-Con, that doesn’t mean that Marvel Studios isn’t looking for ways to make the movie appeal to as many people as possible. How else to explain these three special advertisements for the movie created especially for ESPN?
Well, yes; corporate synergy is another explanation—ESPN, like Marvel, is owned by Disney. The three spots feature former SportsCenter anchor Kenny Mayne introducing Marvel’s latest super team as new ESPN employees brought in to ensure the safety of the new SportsCenter set.
“From what I understand, the Guardians of the Galaxy are a tough bunch of wisecracking outlaws,” Mayne tells a group of ESPN employees. “I’m gonna need ‘em. You want to face that guy down?” he asks, as video of the movie’s Ronan the Accuser plays. “I don’t.”
The videos are the latest piece of cross-Disney promotion for Marvel, following Monday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance from the cast of the movie and last week’s announcement of the new Thor on ABC’s The View. The relationship goes both ways, of course; since Disney’s purchase of Marvel in 2009, the comic book company has published graphic novels and comics for John Carter, Castle, Once Upon a Time and Scandal. We can but hope that Mike & Mike: The Graphic Novel will be announced soon.
Guardians of the Galaxy is released August 1. Watch the three ESPN spots below.