Behind The ScenesSportsCenterTISC

“Let’s Go Bucs” makes room for #PlunderTheLox

A t-shirt, a rally cry - "Plunder the Lox" has found a home in Pittsburgh. (Photos by Kristen Hudak)
A t-shirt, a rally cry – “Plunder the Lox” has found a home in Pittsburgh. (Photos by Kristen Hudak)

“The lox,” said the reigning National League MVP, “plunder the lox.”

With those five words, as part of the “Pirates” installment of ESPN’s iconic “This is SportsCenter” ad campaign, Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen darn near started a mutiny on the Allegheny.

Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. But there’s a movement afoot and fans of the Bucs appear to have lost it over the lox. (Lox is defined as a “kind of brine-cured salmon.”)

With last night’s Sunday Night Baseball game emanating from Pittsburgh for the first time since 1996, ESPN’s marketing mavens flooded the zone with “Plunder the Lox” gold or black t-shirts (with “This is SportsCenter” on the back).

“We’re just happy we’re able to continue to extend the iconic ‘TISC’ campaign with MLB, the Pirates and Andrew McCutchen,” said ESPN’s Vice President, Marketing – Brand Strategy and Expression/Executive Creative Director Jeff Gonyo. “It’s nice to see players and fans utilizing a fun line from the campaign while at the ball park or in speaking about baseball, the Pirates and SportsCenter.”

“We loved [the line] immediately when we read it in the Wieden + Kennedy NY-written script,” said AJ Mazza, ESPN marketing manager. “We’re glad to see it becoming well known and associated with Andrew McCutchen.”

Tell us what you think “Plunder the Lox” means in baseball terms. Is it when McCutchen steals a base or hits a HR? Or can it be anything the Pirates do well? Use #PlunderTheLox for your chance at a “PTL” t-shirt. Most creative answer, as deemed by Front Row staff, will win.

In the spot, East Carolina University’s Pee Dee is the actual plunderer, but it’s McCutchen’s keen eye that spots the lox. The line spawned its own Twitter handle (@PlunderTheLox) and last night it was quite the popular hashtag.

But why lox? Why not ham or roast beef? Why plunder the poor lox?

“It was a breakfast meeting,” Mazza said. “There was lox, bagels and a few cream cheese spreads. Pretty typical breakfast meeting foods!”

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