In Year Three, ESPN Campaign Foreshadows the Many Roads to the College Football Playoff

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In Year Three, ESPN Campaign Foreshadows the Many Roads to the College Football Playoff

As ESPN embarks on one of the most anticipated college football opening weekends ever, the network introduces a new campaign featuring many of the teams vying for a bid to the College Football Playoff.

The first spot in the series, titled “Crossroads,” showcases fans and mascots intersecting at a roadside gas station as they begin their journey to the Playoff. The station will be featured throughout the season as the hub of the campaign, symbolizing the crossroads of the college football universe, and the many roads to the Playoff and the national championship.

The campaign represents the third year of the “Who’s In?” thematic, which was launched in year one of the new College Football Playoff era. Several more spots as well as digital, print and social elements will run through the crowning of the national champion in January 2017

“If we’ve learned anything these last two years, there isn’t only one road to the Playoff.  Ask Ohio State year one.  Ask Alabama year two.  There are many roads to the Playoff and each season, it’s all about finding the right one,” said Emeka Ofodile, Senior Director of Marketing for ESPN.

The ads incorporate several of the official College Football Playoff sponsors as well as the following mascots:

·         Clemson University Tiger
·         Florida State Garnet and Gold Guys
·         Louisiana State University Tiger
·         Michigan State Sparty
·         Mississippi State Bulldog
·         Notre Dame Leprechaun
·         Ohio State Brutus The Buckeye
·         Texas A&M Yell Leaders
·         Texas Christian University (TCU) Horned Frog
·         University of Alabama Big Al
·         University of Arkansas Razorback
·         University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Bruin
·         University of Florida Gators – Al and Alberta
·         University of Georgia Bulldog
·         University of Houston Cougar
·         University of Mississippi Black Bear
·         University of Missouri Tiger
·         University of Oklahoma Boomer
·         University of Oregon Duck
·         University of South Carolina Gamecock
·         University of Southern California (USC) Trojan
·         University of Tennessee Smokey Dog


Other schools represented include University of Michigan, Auburn University, Stanford University, University of Washington, UCLA, University of Kentucky and Vanderbilt University. “Who’s In?” was created in collaboration with Wieden + Kennedy New York. Full creative credits follow.

As an offshoot of the campaign, the network also released a Playoff map, featuring many of the teams looking for their road to the National Championship.

ESPN has exclusive coverage of the College Football Playoff beginning with the 2016-2017 season and featuring the four top teams as selected by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.

ESPN’s best college football kickoff weekend ever will include seven marquee matchups over Labor Day Weekend (Sept.1-Sept.5) which feature eight top 10 teams and four matchups of ranked teams among its more than 40-game must-see schedule during Field & Stream Stores Kickoff Week.

CREATIVE CREDITS – Wieden + Kennedy:

TV SPOT:   ESPN CFP: “Crossroads”




Executive Creative Directors Karl Lieberman
Creative Directors Brandon Henderson, Erwin Federizo
Copywriters Will Binder
Art Directors Jed Heuer
Executive Producer

Sr. Producer

Temma Shoaf

Jessica Griffeth

Head of Integrated Production Nick Setounski
Account Team Mike Welch, Matt Angrisani
Project Manager Kristin Daly
Business Affairs Manager Tana Prosper
Head of Business Affairs Sara Jagielski
Traffic Sonia Bisono, Andy Hume


Production Company MJZ
Director Phil Joanou
Director of Photography Chris Soos
Executive Producer Kate Leahy
Producer Paul Manix


Editorial Company Final Cut
Editor Michael Dart Wadsworth
Assistant Editor Frank Barnes
Post Producer Jen Sienkwicz
Post Executive Producer Sarah Roebuck


VFX Company The Mill
EP Chris Kiser
Sr. Producer Nirad “Bugs” Russell
Lead Compositor Jimmy Bullard
2D Assist Rob Mead, Alex Miller, Vi Nguyen, Ari Garber, Caio Sorrentino
Shoot Supervisor Eliza Pelham Randall
Coordinator Carlos Zalapa


Music Co Ring the Alarm
Executive Producer Daron Hollowell
Creative Director Brent Nichols
Producer Jack Catlin


Company The Mill
Design Laura Nash



Mix Company Significant Others
Mixer T. Terressa Tate
Producer Alek Rost
Asst. Engineer Chas Langston


Color Company Color Collective
Colorist Alex Bickel
Color Producer  Claudia Guevara



Ardi Dwornik

I oversee all facets of ESPN’s corporate communications for Tennis and Combat Sports.
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