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Ovechkin 'Spy' ad named one of ESPN's best

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals

VOTE for Ovi's Ad to take top honors:

Alex Ovechkin already has won a Rocket Richard and Hart Trophy this season, and now he could be up for another honor.

Ovechkin's "This is SportsCenter" commercial has been named one of the 10 best in the history of ESPN's popular, long-running advertising campaign. It's the only hockey ad to make the top 10, which was picked by the campaign's creators.

ESPN will count down the top 50 "This is SportsCenter" ads during a show hosted by former "Saturday Night Live" star Jason Sudeikis at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday. The top 10 ads will be determined by fan voting, which takes place at the SportsCenter Facebook page (

In the ad, titled, "The Spy," Ovechkin is discovered, in his full Capitals uniform, rifling through a file cabinet at the ESPN offices. ESPN anchor Steve Levy jokingly asks if Ovechkin is a Russian spy, and both share a good laugh. But when Levy walks away, Ovechkin gives a sinister look. A ceiling tile slides away and former teammate and fellow Russian Semyon Varlamov, in full goalie gear, drops a rope down to Ovechkin as the pair speak Russian. Ovechkin then hooks the rope to his belt and is lifted out of the room.

The Washington Post, citing a source at ESPN, reported that the Ovechkin ad was one of the most expensive in the campaign's history, as producers built a replica filing room on an outdoor basketball court on the network's campus in Bristol, Conn., and used a crane to lift Ovechkin out of the room. Producers also arranged for stunt double for Ovechkin, but he insisted on doing his own stunt.

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