Be Like Mike

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"Be Like Mike" is a Gatorade commercial featuring American professional basketball player Michael Jordan that originally aired in 1992.

After seeing an early cut of the commercial, just featuring highlights of Jordan dunking, advertising executive Bernie Pitzel was disappointed. Pitzel came up with an idea to use the song "I Wanna Be Like You" from the 1967 film The Jungle Book, though Disney asked for more money in licensing to use it than Gatorade was willing to pay.[1][2]

Pitzel wrote the lyrics to "Be Like Mike" inspired by The Jungle Book song, and put it to a tune by Ira Antelis and Steve Shafer.[3] "If we had used music from The Jungle Book," Antelis told journalist Darren Rovell, "the advertisement would have been forgotten."[1]

In 2015, as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, Gatorade re-aired a digitally remastered version of the commercial during NBA All-Star Weekend. The updated version ends by displaying the hashtag #BeLikeMike.[4] For the 25th anniversary of the commercial's release in 2017, Gatorade and Air Jordan collaborated to release the "Be Like Mike" collection. This collection included shoes, clothes, and accessories that featured Gatorade branding.[5]

In 2020, during the airing of the documentary miniseries The Last Dance on ESPN about the 1997–98 Chicago Bulls season, Gatorade aired an updated version of the commercial featuring many of the same highlights but interspersed with videos of modern basketball players Zion Williamson, Elena Delle Donne and Jayson Tatum.[6]

See also[edit]

  • "Hey Kid, Catch!", Coca-Cola advertisement featuring football player "Mean" Joe Greene


  1. ^ a b Rovell, Darren (August 9, 2016). "Famed 'Be Like Mike' Gatorade ad debuted 25 years ago". ESPN. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  2. ^ Foss, Mike (March 18, 2015). "Gatorade brings 'Be Like Mike' campaign back from the '90s with 3 new commercials". USA Today. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  3. ^ Evans, Gavin (May 6, 2016). "'Be Like Mike': The Story Behind Michael Jordan's Iconic Gatorade Commercial Song". Complex. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  4. ^ Nudd, Tim (February 12, 2015). "Gatorade Digitally Remastered 'Be Like Mike' After 23 Years, and Damn Does It Hold Up: Classic spot looks like new". Adweek. Prometheus Global Media. ISSN 0199-2864. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  5. ^ Stearns, Alia (December 20, 2017). "Be Like Mike With The Gatorade-Inspired Air Jordan 1 OG Collection". Uproxx. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  6. ^ Kenney, Madeline (May 3, 2020). "WATCH: Gatorade releases new 'Be Like Mike' ad with Zion Williamson, Elena Delle Donne and Jayson Tatum". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved May 6, 2020.