How Wayne Gretzky messed upp three simple words, and it made the best commercial in history even better

There’s something exceptional with a great sports commercial, and in all of TV history, there hasn’t been a better one than Bo Knows. ”Bo Knows” was an ad campaign from Nike in the late 80s, starring legendary baseball and American football player Bo Jackson.

Bo himself plays baseball in the commercial, with Kirk Gibson coming up saying, ”Bo knows baseball.” In the scenes, Bo Jackson plays several sports, including basketball and tennis, with Michael Jordan and John McEnroe stepping up and saying, ”Bo knows basketball,” and, ”Bo knows tennis.”
Hockey is also included in the commercial, and who better to represent than the Great One, Wayne Gretzky himself.

But, when Gretzky steps up, it’s wasn’t quite like the other superstars. Instead of saying,” Bo knows hockey,” Gretzky said, ”no.”

The scene is a classic one and one of the most memorable ones ever, but there are details about it that few people have heard.

For one, Wayne Gretzky didn’t even want to do it.

His agent, Mike Barnett, convinced him to do it, and when he finally gave in to the pressure, it didn’t exactly go as planned. Gretzky writes in his autobiography that he couldn’t get the Bo-knows-hockey line right, and when he skated up to the camera and just said no, the director loved it.

”I’ll admit it, I’ve had amazing luck with endorsements and licensing deals,” Gretzky writes.

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