There aren’t many people quite like Bo Jackson. This doesn’t necessarily have anything to do about the athletic abilities he displayed during his time playing in MLB and the NFL, although Jackson’s exploits on two different types of field had him go from a freak athlete to a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle.
No, there aren’t many people quite like Jackson because it’s exceedingly rare that an athlete can find a way to transcend the sport — or, in his case, sports — that they play. Jackson wasn’t just a baseball player or a football player, he was Bo, a cultural phenomenon who was at the center of ad campaigns, posters, and a sense of wonder that only a handful of athletes can inspire over the course of his career.
It’s the type of thing that has made Jackson a superstar even though he hang up his football cleats in 1990 and his baseball cleats four years later. It’s also why you can expect to see Jackson on Sunday, as Sprint tabbed him for their upcoming Super Bowl ad, one which plays off of his sports career.
“The ad was super, I have never held a mermaid before,” Jackson told Uproxx Sports with a laugh.
Jackson has been in a countless number of advertisements over his career. Still, in Jackson’s eyes, there’s something special about getting to appear in a commercial that airs on Super Bowl Sunday, one of the few sporting events that brings people across the globe together to sit in front of their televisions and share the collective experience of enjoying a football game.
“I can remember back almost back in the early 2000s, I was in the Middle East and the Super Bowl aired there live on the military base at 2:30 A.M.,” Jackson recalls. “I’m watching the Super Bowl with the troops before Desert Storm. Yes, everybody that’s familiar with American football will be watching this game. Hundreds of millions of people, so to have a commercial run when you’ve got the largest audience on the planet watching, that’s saying something.”