Has Kimbo Slice Lost His YouTube Mojo?

Wieden's Viral Nike Ads With L.T. Not Quite Viral Enough

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Kimbo Slice may not be the baddest mixed martial arts fighter anymore, but he's still the king of YouTube, right? Well, maybe not.

A series of 11 stealth marketing videos for Nike featuring Slice and NFL star Ladainian Tomlinson, "Train Like LT with Kimbo Slice," haven't quite made the viral splash that Kobe Bryant or Ronaldinho did.

The spots, which show Slice giving Tomlinson training tips, spoof the videos of backyard brawls that made the former bouncer famous, and helped land his league, EliteXC, in prime time on CBS last fall.

But so far the Nike marketing videos have accumulated just 503,000 views over the past two months. That sounds pretty good until you consider that Kimbo's backyard melee clips have racked up nearly 250 million YouTube views, according to web analystics firm Tubemogul.

CBS canceled the bouts after three airings this fall, and the league filed for bankruptcy protection in October. That, and Kimbo lost a fight. Has he lost his YouTube mojo, too?

The problem certainly isn't the creative, produced by Wieden & Kennedy and uploaded to sports blog Yardbarker's YouTube channel. The videos are pretty funny, but for some reason they haven't broken out like one might expect any video with Slice and an NFL star.

Among Kimbo's training routines: leg pressing Kimbo's "little sister's car," a "sport drink" with raw meat, leather and "a little special Kimbo sauce," and an especially tough drill, "Dent That Truck."

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