Who: Dan O'Brien
Olympics: Barcelona 1992

Reebok spent $30 million on a pair of decathletes, Dan O’Brien and Dave Johnson, leading up to the Barcelona Olympics. "Dan and Dave" became something of a national phenomenon as people were swept up by the buzz. There was just one problem with the marketing campaign: Dan didn’t qualify for the Games. D’Oh! The athletes went on to have some good moments as Johnson won bronze in 1992 and O’Brien won gold in 1996. But that's a lot of marketing dollars for a campaign that didn't materialize. Imagine if Twitter had been around in '92.