Among Olympic sports, certain athletes tend to be the recipients of all the hype. In the Summer games gymnastics and swimming is suddenly in vogue. For the Winter Olympiads, snowboarding and hockey take center stage.
But Comedy Central funnyman Stephen Colbert is trying to draw attention to one of the oft-underlooked events: speedskating.
During last night’s taping of The Colbert Report, Colbert announced that “The Colbert Nation,” his legions of die hard fans, would become the official sponsor of the U.S. Olympics speedskating team. Colbert came through after the team’s previous sponsor, DSV Bank, declared bankruptcy and had to withdraw its sponsorship. Colbert will be soliciting donations for the team through his website, ColbertNation.com. As part of the sponsorship, Colbert branding will get prominent placement on the uniforms of the skaters.
“US Speedskating is thrilled to be able to create a unique partnership between one of the great entertainers in the industry and one of the great sports in the Olympic movement,” said executive director of US Speedskating Bob Crowley in a statement. “Embracing the U.S. Speedskating Team will provide immeasurable exposure for our sport and very talented athletes.”
With Colbert’s sponsorship the real deal, I think some other late night hosts should get in the act too.
David Letterman, with his older urban audience, would be a perfect fit for that Canadian winter staple curling.
Conan O’Brien needs to sponsor the men’s snowboarding team, especially because its biggest star, Shaun White, is a splitting image of the red haired Tonight Show host.
Jay Leno, with his broad, middle America appeal, should sponsor the biathlon, which combines every warm blooded American’s favorite pastimes: skiing and shooting guns.
And Craig Ferguson, with his wild and unpredictable ways on camera, needs to sponsor Bode Miller. Just Bode Miller, that is more than enough.
Check out the video of the Colbert announcement below.