January 7, 2014
By Matt Hawkins
ESPN’s final Nissan Heisman House commercial featured faces familiar to college football fans — and one known on Bradley’s campus. The commercial, which aired during the Rose Bowl, included sports communication major Megan Gorecki among the likes of Ron Dayne, Matt Leinart and Troy Smith.
Gorecki won her cameo through a Twitter contest last spring and spent two days in Pasadena, Calif., rubbing shoulders with college football’s stars. In addition to the filming process, she had opportunities to interview a number of the athletes.
“At first, I was in shock,” she said. “Here I am on this gorgeous set surrounded by cameras, lights and glamour doing my best to stay calm and wait for directions. You would casually walk around the corner and there would be Robert Griffin III or Sam Bradford.”
Gorecki thought she would be a background figure, but she landed a more prominent role as a member of the Heisman Trophy heroes’ court. Thus, she donned an elegant dress and crown instead of sports apparel she initially expected.
“ESPN really wanted to give me a grand experience and they made sure I was in the scene as well and ahead of all the other actresses,” she said. “I enjoyed every minute of it. ESPN truly went above and beyond.”
After finishing her time in front of the lights, Gorecki participated in interview sessions with the celebrities. This proved to be a career affirmation for the aspiring sports journalist.
“I chose this career in sports because it gives me the opportunity to humanize the athlete people see on the field every week, to show that they aren't robots but human beings as well,” she said. “Being able to briefly ask one of two questions was not only a learning experience for me, but it reassured me that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. It gave me a preview of things to come in the future and that is an amazing feeling.”
Additionally, Gorecki observed the production logistics and networked with ESPN and agencies involved in the shoot. As a result, she felt a step closer to her dreams.
“Being so close with people in that industry really assured me that what I want to do is possible and that it may not be as far as it seems,” she said. “Being exposed to all those different people will give me an advantage in the future.”