Two Minions on a football field.

Illumination's Minions Interrupt Team USA Athletes to Promote NBCUniveral's Coverage of Olympic Games Paris 2024 and 'Despicable Me 4'

Stamford, CT

The world-famous Illumination Minions unexpectedly interrupt Team USA track & field athletes Noah Lyles, Ryan Crouser, and Anna Hall in a promotional spot for NBCUniversal’s coverage of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the theatrical release of Illumination’s Despicable Me 4, the new chapter in the blockbuster action-comedy franchise. The 30-second spot debuted this morning on TODAY and will run this summer.

In the spot, track & field Olympic medalists Lyles, Crouser, and two-time world championship medalist Hall are attempting to practice their respective events when one particularly noisy Minion steps into frame, yelling. He’s soon joined by a stadium full of Minions all jumping to their own version of the House of Pain song, “Jump Around.” The spot concludes with the three athletes and the Minions all jumping together. The scene is followed first by graphics for the Paris Olympics, which begin with the Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 26, and then by graphics for Illumination’s Despicable Me 4, which arrives in theaters nationwide on July 3.

We wanted to create a spot that highlights these incredible athletes and captures the unexpected joy and comedy of the Minions. It’s a thrill to partner with Noah, Ryan, and Anna in the lead up to the Olympic Games.
Chris Meledandri
Illumination Founder and CEO

“I am especially excited for these games given that Illumination’s animation studio is based in the host city of Paris and the games will be broadcast in the U.S. by our partners at NBCUniversal,” said Chris Meledandri, Illumination Founder and CEO.

“For Noah, Ryan, and Anna, these lovable mischief-makers may not be the best to train with, but they are definitely the best to celebrate with,” said Jenny Storms, Chief Marketing Officer, NBCUniversal Entertainment and Sports. “The Minions are part of the NBC Olympics family, and we are thrilled to have them back in our campaign to celebrate NBCU’s coverage of the upcoming Games in Paris.”

“Game acknowledges game in this vibrant and effervescent spot celebrating our incredible Olympians and their vivacious yellow competitors,” said David O’Connor, President, Global Franchise Management & Partnerships, Universal Pictures. “Illumination’s Minions continue to surprise and delight audiences around the world, which makes them the ideal training partners and brand ambassadors for the collaboration between our iconic brands.”

Illumination’s iconic Minions first appeared in 2010’s Despicable Me and the franchise has since gone on to become the highest-grossing animated franchise of all time. With the Minions appearing in all four Despicable Me movies, starring in their own two movies (Minions and Minions: The Rise of Gru) and headlining the “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” ride at all Universal Destination and Experiences Theme Parks, they have become a joyful, indelible part of global culture.

Lyles, a six-time world champion, is coming off a historic 2023 season that saw him become the first man since Usain Bolt to win the gold medal in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay at an outdoor World Championships. The 200m American record holder and Tokyo Olympic 200m silver medalist is aiming to make his second Olympic team and win his first Olympic gold medal in Paris.

Crouser is the two-time reigning Olympic shot put gold medalist, two-time reigning world champion and world-record holder in the event. Arguably the greatest shot put thrower of all time, Crouser is looking to win an unprecedented third consecutive Olympic shot put gold medal this summer.

Hall is coming off a superb rookie season on the pro circuit that saw her break the North American indoor pentathlon record en route to an outdoor campaign that ended in a silver medal at the 2023 World Championships. Previously, Hall had a decorated collegiate career as a Florida Gator, setting the NCAA heptathlon record and winning the national championship during her senior year.

NBC and Peacock will present live coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 26, beginning at Noon ET. Telemundo will provide Spanish-language coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Primetime coverage will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and Peacock.

In Paris this summer, the world’s greatest athletes will compete against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful cities in the world where the modern Olympic Games were conceived 130 years ago. This will be the third time Paris has hosted the Olympics (1900 and 1924), tying London for the most as a Summer Games host. Los Angeles (1932, 1984) will tie those two cities when it hosts the first Summer Games in the U.S. in 32 years in 2028.

The organizers of Paris 2024 are reimagining the Games to make them more accessible to the public and to showcase their city to the world. In a first, competitions will be held amidst iconic Parisian landmarks – beach volleyball at the Eiffel Tower, equestrian at the Palace of Versailles and urban sports at Place de la Concorde.

The NBC broadcast network and streaming service Peacock will be the company’s primary platforms for its coverage of the Olympic Games Paris 2024, scheduled for July 26-Aug. 11, 2024. Click here for more linear programming information and here for more about the Olympic experience on Peacock.

NBCU owns the U.S. media rights to the Olympic Games through 2032, which are scheduled for Paris (2024), Milan Cortina (2026), Los Angeles (2028) and Brisbane (2032). The host city for the 2030 Olympic Winter Games has not yet been chosen.