How a Man In a Gorilla Suit Is Helping ESPN Deportes

You know it’s basketball season when a man in a gorilla suit starts appearing in promos for a sports network’s senior studio show.

Viewers to ESPN Deportes and its ESPN México sibling are being treated to two new “This is SportsCenter” spots featuring anchors Jorge Eduardo Sánchez, Ricardo Puig and Jorge Mercader … and “Go,” the iconic gorilla-suited mascot of the National Basketball Association’s Phoenix Suns.

The first spot, “Jungle,” opens with Sánchez explaining that ESPN offers the opportunity for its employees to decorate their own office space and give it a personal touch. The spot then cuts to Puig, who asks his colleague, “Go,” if he’d like to go to lunch, revealing his “jungle” cubicle while he jumps over the wall to head to lunch.

The second spot, “Go Bananas,” features Mercader searching for something to eat in the refrigerator and finally deciding on a banana. When he closes the fridge, he is surprised to find “Go” behind the door. A stare-down ensues, and Mercader is forced to relinquish his snack to the hungry gorilla.

Both commercials were created by ESPN International’s marketing team in Mexico and are an extension of the “This is SportsCenter” effort seen across ESPN’s English-language networks in the U.S.

The NBA-themed effort comes as ESPN Deportes bulks up its roster of soccer commentators by hiring Jorge Pérez-Navarro for “a variety of soccer events” on both ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio, making regular appearances on the sports chat show Jorge Ramos y Su Banda.

Pérez-Navarro was formerly with Telemundo’s sports department and, prior to that, spent more than a decade as co-host for Univision’s sports