Mike McCarthy shouts last 'Challenge' for Cellcom
DE PERE – Former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has made his last "Challenge!" for Cellcom.
Aside from his Packers duties, McCarthy probably is best known for his ubiquitous appearances as a spokesman for the De Pere-based regional wireless provider, especially on television, where he shouts "Challenge!" and throws a red flag when a wireless user runs into a problem with another provider.
McCarthy's endorsement deal ended Sunday because it was tied to him being head coach of the Green Bay Packers, said Brighid Riordan, Cellcom chief innovation officer and vice president of emerging services and public affairs. McCarthy was fired as coach after the Packers lost Sunday to the Arizona Cardinals. He was in his 13th year with the team and his seventh with Cellcom.
"I think it's safe to say Mike McCarthy is a beloved part of our community," Riordan said. "For us, it's not about being fancy, for lack of a better word. It's about the values of a person. His integrity, his generosity, his humility; he was just such an upstanding person."
The television ads featuring McCarthy, and sometimes Packers players, were light-hearted and a touch corny.
"He was a good sport," Riordan said. "Not everybody knows how funny he is. He was sort of up for anything."
Riordan said it was too soon to know what Cellcom would do next.
"We have a lot of other ways to do branding," Riordan said. "We've had spans of time without a spokesperson. It's not something that's an absolute with us."
Cellcom also sponsors the annual Cellcom Green Bay Marathon, next scheduled for May 18-19, 2019.
The branding with McCarthy worked. At least one social media comment criticized Cellcom for firing him as Packers coach.
The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in Manitowoc have a Green Bay Packers room where they cheer, and 'armchair coach', during every game. Sarah Kloepping, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin