/// Fox Enlists Mega-Robot to Promote FS1 Launch
Cleatus walks among us. In advance of the August 17 launch of Fox Sports 1 , the network’s marketing and promotions team has brought the animated Fox NFL Sunday robot to life for the first time, ordering up a 6’ 9” fiberglass and Kevlar suit which, at this very moment, is being worn by an overheated actor somewhere in East Texas. Midway through a 3,800-mile barnstorming tour of 11 Major League Baseball markets (the itinerary includes a day trip to the U.S. Army installation at Fort Campbell, Ky.), the Cleatus mascot and a group of female representatives from the Fox Sports Networks RSNs are presently making their way toward Houston on Interstate 10. The road trip is something of a relay from RSN to RSN, starting off in Southern California (where Fox Sports San Diego arranged for Cleatus to help throw out the first pitch before the August 4 Yankees-Padres game), before heading north into Los Angeles for a quick stroll around downtown and the Santa Monica Pier. Fox Sports Arizona picked up the baton on Wednesday, as Cleatus and a support staff of about a dozen human boosters made the rounds at Phoenix’s Chase Stadium . “Because you see him and immediately think, ‘Oh, hey: Fox Sports,’ we wanted Cleatus to be at the center of this campaign from the beginning,” said Chris Hannan, svp, Fox Sports Media Group. “And because baseball is our biggest summer platform, it just makes sense to have him appear at the ballparks and be integrated into our regional sports networks’ coverage.” A typical day on the tour will find the mascot and his female cohorts parked in front of that day’s venue—the garishly painted “ Fox Sports 1 Fan Express ” is pretty hard to miss, even in a packed parking lot—where they’ll sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans. From there, they make their way into the stadium for on-field appearances and the occasional visit to the owner’s box. Of course, there are those who don’t necessarily appreciate Cleatus’ brand of cyborg joie de vivre . Despite the extreme reaction the two-dimensional version often excites in die-hard fans who can’t figure out what a dancing cartoon robot has to do with football, Hannan said the big fella has been well received in the flesh (as it were).