Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Is Andy’s Mojo Back? We Asked Him

Andy Roddick

Andy Roddick played the match of his life yesterday, only to lose to Roger Federerin the Wimbledon final that featured a five-set marathon that lasted 30 games.

You could say that Roddick got his “Mojo” back. And we’ve, in fact, confirmed that the “Mojo” wasn’t out partying as he was in the now infamous American Express spot that ran in 2005 during the US Open.

Nick Kroll, the actor who played “Andy’s Mojo” almost four years ago, was in his apartment rooting for Roddick to pull through.

“We actually never met, but I feel weirdly tied to him,” said Kroll, whose part of the “Mojo” consisted of him wearing a blonde wig and a cowboy hat. “I always root for him.”

The spot, which asked viewers if Roddick would get his “Mojo” back, quickly became part of advertising history when the 2003 US Open champ was shockingly dispensed by Gilles Mueller, the 68th ranked player in the world at the time, in three-straight sets in the first round of the Open that year.

American Express pulled one of its ads and commissioned Kroll to whip up a mock press conference ad.

Krollhad spent the week before drumming up press for the big campaign. He helped shut down Park Avenue and danced across the Brooklyn Bridge. American Express even gave him a courtside seat for Roddick’s first round match, sitting next to sushi chefs and belly dancers.

“I was sitting next to his training partner and he was telling me how Andy was pretty much automatic for the first couple rounds,” Kroll said. “Then he lost a set.”

That’s when Kroll told me that if Andy lost, the “Mojo” would likely have to be shot and killed.

When Roddick lost, Kroll said that he –- in a strange way –- felt like he was partly responsible.

“I went back to the VIP box, took off the wig and the cowboy hat and walked to take the subway back,” Kroll said.

Although Kroll admits the campaign turned out to be a less than ideal marketing play, he says it helped him launch his career.

Kroll was one of the cavemen in the quickly canceled ABC sitcom, but he’s looking forward to the next year. He has a small part in “Date Night,” which stars Tina Fey and Steve Carrell and “Get Him To The Greek,” which features Jonah Hill and Russell Brand.

“Andy and I both managed to get through it,” Kroll said. “Though my wife isn’t as hot as his.” We checked into it, the comedian doesn’t even have a wife.

As for whether he’d accept a call from American Express if they wanted to bring Andy’s Mojo back?

Said Kroll: “They have my phone number and e-mail if they want to re-up.”

Questions?  Comments?