Bo Ryan Turns Wisconsin Tourism Summer TV Ad into a Slam Dunk

The Zucker brothers and Jim Abrahams are back making pop culture headlines with a fun new ad for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism

Bo Ryan acts stressed in the Kohl Center while shooting the new ad for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. (Photo: Business Wire)

MADISON, Wis.--()--Take a front row seat and watch the action as University of Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan stars in the latest Wisconsin Department of Tourism TV commercial. The spot takes viewers from the crazy chaos of the basketball court to fun attractions and activities around the state, with Coach Ryan at the center of it all. This latest commercial also reunites Wisconsin natives and "Airplane!" writers and directors David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams (ZAZ) for the seventh time to create a TV spot for Wisconsin Tourism. The spot premieres during the Big Ten and NCAA Basketball Tournaments and will run in Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Milwaukee and Madison.

The commercial opens with a clearly stressed Coach Ryan pulling out his hair and making his iconic “heated” face, a humorous reference to the gestures he’s known to exhibit in the throes of competition. It takes the Travel Wisconsin Superhero to show Coach Ryan the merits of vacationing in Wisconsin as he transports him from the basketball court to travel destinations such as Wisconsin Dells and the Northwoods.

"Bo Ryan was an incredibly good sport during the filming of this ad," said Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. "We're so lucky to claim him as our own Wisconsin icon, and thankful to the Hollywood directors who lent their talents to, once again, capture the fun of Wisconsin in such an entertaining and memorable way."

For the Badgers’ coach, participating in the commercial and working with the Zuckers and Abrahams was like being drafted onto the Dream Team. "It's always fun to go outside your comfort zone, and working with the Department of Tourism to shoot this commercial was just that,” offered Ryan, who has spent the majority of his career in Wisconsin. “I’m proud to live in this state, I love its people and I’m so happy to promote Wisconsin tourism.”

Jim Abrahams, David and Jerry Zucker said returning to Wisconsin to work with Ryan was a fantastic experience. "Finally we were able to direct an actor with a natural sense of theatrics who isn’t afraid to express emotion in front of the camera. He also showed us how to do a more effective pick and roll."

Ryan was named a finalist to be considered for election in the Class of 2015 for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Wisconsin’s summer tourism campaign also includes radio spots, billboards, print ads, social media and public relations.

TRAVEL WISCONSIN OFF-COURT MATCHUP

In keeping with the excitement of March Madness, TravelWisconsin.com has a bracket challenge of its own. The “Travel Wisconsin Off-Court Matchup” is a friendly head-to-head competition that follows the UW Badgers Men’s Basketball team through the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments. Iconic Wisconsin tourism attractions go up against popular attractions from the competing team’s state. Passionate travelers can pick the winning attractions throughout the tournament season by voting at TravelWisconsin.com/Off-Court-Matchup.

The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the state as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun by executing industry-leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at www.travelwisconsin.com.

Contacts

Wisconsin Department of Tourism
Lisa Marshall, 608-267-3773
lmarshall@TravelWisconsin.com

Contacts

Wisconsin Department of Tourism
Lisa Marshall, 608-267-3773
lmarshall@TravelWisconsin.com