Honestly, there may never be enough strange pro athlete product endorsements, particularly when some of the proceeds go to charities.
That thought comes to mind upon the delightful unveiling of “Ovi-O’s,” Giant Food’s Alex Ovechkin-themed cereal. The flavor of the cereal is honey nut, which seems a little mundane for such a vibrant personality as Ovechkin, but we’ll let it slide because a portion of the proceeds from the limited-edition cereal will go to Maryland’s Children’s Cancer Foundation, Inc. The cereal goes on sale on Sept. 17, when Ovechkin will (somehow, already) turn 34.
The box will be hard to miss thanks to Ovechkin’s smile:
As you might expect, footage of Ovechkin eating the cereal (and occasionally failing to eat the cereal) is good fun, too:
To add some strangeness to the promotion, there’s apparently an augmented reality game to accompany the cereal. Let’s imagine it’s an “Ovechkin’s office simulator.” Via the press release:
In addition, the Capitals teamed up with Balti Virtual to bring the Ovi O’s box to life with an augmented reality game, Ovi O’s Slapshot presented by Giant, using Snapchat’s Lens Studio. Customers who have purchased Ovi O’s can scan the box in Snapchat to access this interactive hockey game which gives fans the ability to control Ovechkin as he shoots the cereal at moving targets. After time runs out, players can share their score on social media to compete with friends or scan the box again to keep playing.
Again, stranger product endorsements usually are sequestered to players appearing in low-budget local business commercials, but sometimes we get moments that transcend athletes awkwardly reading off of cue cards, as if they’re in real-life ads from “The Detroiters.”
To me, it’s tough to top Jaromir Jagr having his own peanut butter with secret healing powers. Every now and then, we also had other NHL players getting their own answer to “Flutie Flakes,” with Brett Hull’s Frosted Flakes ad being especially nifty:
(Glorious, even beyond the kid with the bowl cut.)
Since the world needs more esoteric cereals inspired by hockey players, we thought we’d throw out a few NHL-themed suggestions:
Connor’s Cereal of Sadness: Really, you can change the name, but crucially, it would have to parallel Connor McDavid‘s experiences with the Oilers. In other words, one great ingredient surrounded by a bunch of slop. Maybe it could be Raisin Bran, only it was a box full of the blandest bran flakes available with just one raisin?
(OK, OK, Leon Draisaitl could make it two raisins.)
Gen-o’s: The Pittsburgh Penguins couldn’t possibly stand pat while their rival Capitals have a cereal, right?
Since Sidney Crosby hasn’t signed off on being a cover star of an EA NHL video game, let’s assume that only Evgeni Malkin would be game for the cereal box treatment. Bonus points if the cereal is black and gold.
UFA Flakes: You don’t realize that they’ve already expired, so you can only chew on with regret as you ponder their cheaper, tastier days.
Voodoo Goalies: Keeping with the mascot theme of “Count Chocula,” Voodoo Goalies presents a mystery with every box. Some bowls are worthy of a Vezina; others just ruin your day.
Brent Burns Bran: All kinds of weird stuff in here. Is that beef jerky?
Mitch Marner Munch: Taking forever to hit shelves, and we get the sneaking suspicion that it’s holding up other cereals from returning to stores, too.
• ProHockeyTalk’s 2019 NHL free agency tracker
• Your 2019-20 NHL on NBC TV schedule
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.