Kenny Smith Out To Dethrone Car Insurance Commercials

Written By Ian St. Clair on 03/23/2021 - Last Updated on April 14, 2021

Editor’s Note: The following article represents the views of the author.

You know when you turn on your TV, you’re about to get inundated with car insurance commercials.

No matter the time of day.

Admit it, you just heard one of the slogans in your head, didn’t you?

Since the start of March Madness, fans have probably noticed that two entities have issued their challenge for the most overplayed and annoying commercials:

Sportsbooks and Kenny Smith.

To prove how serious they are about dethroning car insurance, they’re joining forces.

In fact, Smith now has the chance to pull off the rare double.

When Colorado sports betting first launched, BetMGM aired two versions of a commercial telling potential customers to put their money where their mouth is.

Both had the former NBA guard and current NBA/basketball analyst for TNT in the back of a SUV.

“Kenny! Kenny!”

Just the mere thought of those ads is bringing forth horrible flashbacks.

In the ultimate case of irony, we now have sportsbooks tweeting about annoying car insurance ads.

Kenny Smith commercials everywhere

But, suddenly, magically, Smith and his SUV were gone.

It was a summer miracle.

Then, out of the blue, Smith started showing up again. And not because of the influx of NBA games and the start of March Madness.

No, this time around he’s in Corona commercials.

And Wendy’s.

Now, as of the middle of March, he’s moved to FanDuel, though the ads haven’t started, mercifully, yet. It was then the sportsbook announced a multi-year partnership with Smith.

Why is there a sudden appeal for Smith?

I recently asked my wife, “Have you seen these Kenny Smith commercials?” She responded, “Who is Kenny Smith?”

Makes you wonder how many casual sports fans have the same response.

This isn’t to rip on Smith.

He’s a great analyst. In fact, he’s one of the better ones.

The NBA on TNT is extremely well done and fun.

Smith was also a great basketball player.

For those who don’t know, Smith played for the Houston Rockets and was part of their back-to-back NBA titles in the 1990s.

To tie in the “local” reference, he closed out his career playing for the Denver Nuggets (33 games) in the 1996-97 season.

Smith is known as “The Jet.”

Is Smith really this popular?

But is he really this popular?

These are legit brands, too.

If given the choice between Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Smith (the NBA on TNT analysts), most would list who they want as their spokesman in that order.

In terms of current athletes, we have Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield and Aaron Rodgers.

For the retired athletes, there’s Peyton Manning and Tony Romo.

Is Smith just more famous than even he realized?

It’s a question that will leave historians and sociologists perplexed.

And this is before FanDuel starts its commercial cycle that features Smith.

Brace yourself for more Smith commercials. Smith commercials everywhere.

Quick note to FanDuel: No SUVs. Please.

If you thought you would get a break from Smith since there’s a pause before the start of the Sweet 16, au contraire.

The NBA on TNT is scheduled to have four games this week.

So you can see Smith give NBA analysis, then see him on the Corona hotline and pick up some Wendy’s.

We’re at the point now that we don’t need to regulate sportsbook ads, we need to regulate Kenny Smith commercials.

Now that sportsbooks and Smith (in particular) have issued their challenge, keep an eye on the response from car insurance companies.

At the rate we’re headed, look for Smith in a car insurance commercial in short order.

Photo by AP / Bennett Raglin
Ian St. Clair Avatar
Written by
Ian St. Clair

Ian is an award-winning sports journalist and a University of Northern Colorado graduate. He’s a Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics. He broke into the gambling industry right as Colorado launched legal sports betting in 2020. Ian now manages the sites for some of the biggest gambling markets in North America and is an analyst for PlayColorado.

View all posts by Ian St. Clair