Rob Gronkowski Cleatus the Robot[ edit ] "Cleatus the Robot" is a CGI -animated character that serves as the official mascot for Fox NFL Sunday; it was named through a viewer contest held in the winter of , in which fans were asked to submit entries to select the robot's name.
Cleatus made his first appearance on the program during the —06 NFL season, but was not used regularly until the following season. Cleatus mainly appears during the opening sequence of the program, as well as during end-of-break sponsorship tags within the program and during game telecasts, certain identifications for Fox Sports used to close sports broadcasts and as a cue to Fox stations to air local advertisements during commercial breaks, and brief promotions for movies and television series.
In the latter instance, he commonly gets attacked by a CGI character from the subject of the advertisement such as Iron Man , a dragon from the movie Eragon , a T robot from the Fox drama Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles , and The Burger King , who taunted Cleatus by throwing objects at him.
Cleatus is also seen doing various things such as hopping on two feet, playing an electric guitar , shaking out his limbs, and performing dance moves such as The Swim and the Electric Slide ; during the Fox broadcast of a Denver Broncos game on December 11, , he also Tebowed the kneeling prayer position popularized by former Broncos player Tim Tebow.
Games aired on the weekend following New Year's Day typically show Cleatus sitting on a bench holding an ice pack to his head, as if nursing a hangover. During the MLB postseason in October until the conclusion of the World Series both of which air on Fox , the character is also seen taking baseballs from a basket and hitting them with a bat towards the background.
Fox has since manufactured an action figure of the character, which it sells on the Fox Sports website,  available in the character's normal appearance as well as in special uniforms customized for all 32 NFL franchises.
In response to the creation of Cleatus, Fox Sports created Digger, an animated gopher mascot for Fox NASCAR telecasts; the character was originally seen only during the races when the in-track cameras knowns as the "Digger Cam" were shown, but his role soon expanded. Unlike Cleatus, however, Digger was not well received by fans, and sparked an internet and Twitter outcry for his removal from the broadcast.
While Digger was featured heavily in , he only made cameo appearances in before being phased out completely the following year.
During the WWE draft , Cleatus the Robot would appear in war room-style backstage vignettes with actors portraying FOX executives making selections for the Smackdown!
Sky Sports in the United Kingdom , which was until October owned by 21st Century Fox , uses a modified version of the Cleatus opening sequence and sponsorship tags with their own branding.