ESPN’s newest College GameDay commercial (above) features the West Virginia Mountaineer’s mascot, Jon Kimble, WVU’s head football coach, Dana Holgorsen and GameDay’s Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso. In the ad, Kimble, a graduate student at WVU, faces off in a staring match against Coach Corso while the rest of the crew picks Coach Holgorsen’s brain regarding his team.
Front Row talked with Kimble about shooting the ad and the response it’s gotten on the Morgantown campus.
What was it like being in an ESPN College GameDay commercial?
It was incredible. All of my friends were pretty jealous that I was going all the way to California to shoot the ad. The response has been great. People are calling me about it, texting me about it, blowing up my Twitter and Facebook, it’s neat to see how many people are loving the commercial.
I’ve heard nothing but positive things about the ad. WVU loves the positive image we’re getting from ESPN and College GameDay.
Tell us about the shoot.
We started around 2 or 3 p.m. at the USC campus and we were there until sundown. We had to do 30 takes because Kirk kept laughing and messing up; he had the giggles the whole time.
Being able to see the whole production crew at work and how much time and effort goes into creating a little 30-second commercial was just unbelievable. All the preparation and the scripts, it was awesome.
Talk about being around the GameDay crew.
Being around the GameDay crew was pretty awesome. They are people that I look up to and respect and being able to see them in their work environment and being behind the scenes was pretty neat.
It was exciting to see how much effort Chris puts in and how much he cares about his job. I was really impressed with him.
What does your job as the WVU mascot entail?
I’ve made over two hundred appearances since I started in April. I’m the only mascot for the team; I’m the man that does it all.
Each Mountaineer gets tailor-fitted buckskins as their uniform that they get to keep. The rifle we carry gets passed down from Mountaineer to Mountaineer. I actually went bear hunting with it the other day.
Do you think you would ultimately win a staring match with Coach Corso?
He (Coach Corso) couldn’t even keep a straight face during the filming. I would definitely win the stare down challenge with Corso.
Tonight’s Thursday night college football game between undefeated and No. 8 Stanford (3-0) and host Washington (2-1) at CenturyLink Field in Seattle begins at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. In the video below, former Husky quarterback Warren Moon, who recently visited ESPN, discusses what he expects from the Huskies.