ESPN Debuts Spot Celebrating Fans in the New Era of the College Football Playoff  

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ESPN Debuts Spot Celebrating Fans in the New Era of the College Football Playoff  

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The 2014-15 college football season marks the first to culminate with a true College Football Playoff.  To celebrate the occasion, ESPN debuts a series of spots showcasing the hope every college football fan has given this new, clean slate.  A diverse array of fans representing all 128 Football Bowl Subdivision schools are featured in the new series,  which kicks off with a 45-second spot titled “In Common.”

A second spot in the series highlights how the new bracket format may produce some non-traditional Cinderella teams.   These vignettes, along with several more to follow, are part of ESPN’s integrated “Who’s In?” campaign, running through the crowning of the National Champion in January 2015.

For three weeks, a team from ESPN traversed the country by bus and by plane, covering more than 8,000-miles and gathering more than 23 hours of footage for the “In Common” series.  Original footage captured during the tour will be used to develop additional spots as storylines emerge throughout the season.

“‘Who’s In?’ is about setting the stage for college football fans during what will be an historic regular season,” said Emeka Ofodile, senior director of marketing. “It is a brand new era — in so many ways — and our goal was to frame the college football conversation all season long through the lens of the new Playoff.  Fans asked for it and now it is finally here.”

The first commercial features cameos from NFL players representing their alma maters including: San Francisco 49ers’ NaVorro Bowman for Pennsylvania State University, St. Louis Rams’ Sam Bradford for the University of Oklahoma, Chicago Bears’ Matt Forte for Tulane University, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Dashon Goldson for University of Washington, Washington Redskins’ DeSean Jackson for the University of California, Berkeley; Jacksonville Jaguars’ Marcedes Lewis for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Detroit Lions’ Golden Tate representing the University of Notre Dame.

Additional elements in the campaign include upcoming digital, social, print and out of home executions.

The campaign was developed in collaboration with creative agency Wieden + Kennedy New York and directed by Stacy Wall.  Wall has directed a number of ESPN spots over the years, including the recent “Time Zones” and “Global Issues” spots for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and “Born Into It” highlighting the similarities and differences of Manchester United and Manchester City fans for the “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports” campaign.

“Who’s In?” launched with “Different Ways In” on August 11.  Narrated by Florida State alumnus Burt Reynolds, more than 20 schools were represented with cameos from Jerry Jones, Jimmy Kimmel, Urban Meyer, Les Miles, Sam Bradford and JJ Watt.

ESPN will have exclusive coverage of the College Football Playoff beginning with the 2014-2015 season and featuring the four top teams as selected by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. The Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual and the Allstate Sugar Bowl will host the first Playoff Semifinals, which will pit No. 1 versus No. 4 and No. 2 versus No. 3 on January 1, 2015. The winners of those two games will face off in the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on January 12, 2015.


 Creative credits:


CLIENT CONTACT Scott Parker, Emeka Ofodile, Ryan Anderson, Scott Swindler, Nick Smith, Margaret Davis
Executive Creative Directors David Kolbusz, Susan Hoffman
Creative Directors Brandon Henderson, Caleb Jensen
Art Director Jared White
Copywriter Will Binder
Executive Producer Temma Shoaf
Assistant Producer Kristen Johnson
Account Team Brandon Pracht, Mike Welch, Joe Morelli
Production Company Imperial Woodpecker
Director Stacy Wall
Director of Photography Corey Walter
Producer Andrew Travelstead
Managing Partner Doug Halbert
Editorial Company Final Cut USA
Editor Jeff Buchanan, Michael Dart Wadsworth
President Stephanie Apt
Executive Producer Lauren Bleiweiss
Producer Beth Fitzpatrick
VFX Company Significant Others
After FX/Online Phillip Brooks
Flame Artist Cecil Hooker
Finishing Producer Alek Rost
Color Grade
Color Grade Company Color Collective
Colorist Alex Bickel
Color Assistant Mike Howell
Color Producer Claudia Guevara
Mix Company Heard City
Mixer Keith Reynaud, Eric Warzecha, Philip Loeb
Executive Producer Gloria Pitagorsky
Producer Sasha Awn
Music Company Extreme Music
Track “Strike it Rich”


Ana Livia Coelho

Ana Livia Coelho is a Senior Publicist in New York, overseeing FiveThirtyEight as well as ESPN’s Consumer Marketing, Ad Sales, Affiliate Sales, Consumer Products and Research groups. She is a native Brazilian and a graduate of the Indiana University School of Journalism and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
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