Four Superfans to Ascend the Billboard on December 27
ESPN’s College Football Playoff “Who’s In” campaign is coming to life this year, through a once-in-a-lifetime experience for four adventurous fans, where they will live atop a billboard together in downtown San Jose, near the site of the National Championship game at Levi’s Stadium. The experience will be livestreamed on ESPN3 and integrated into regular ESPN programming for the 12 days of the project, which will conclude on Jan. 7, to coincide with the National Championship Game.
The fans: Llyas Ross Sr., Nancy Volland, Jeanette Kim and Ruben Hunter represent the four semifinal teams: the Alabama Crimson Tide, Clemson Tigers, Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Oklahoma Sooners.
They will ascend the billboard on Dec. 27, ahead of the two semifinal matchups on Dec. 29: The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic featuring Notre Dame and Clemson; and the Capital One Orange Bowl featuring Oklahoma and Alabama.
To be considered, almost 700 fans submitted video testimonials explaining why they should represent their team. The four chosen will have their fandom on full display – 45 feet in the air on a 40-foot wide by 8-foot deep billboard.
“ESPN wouldn’t be where we are without our fans. This billboard celebrates the unique fandom and passion in college football by putting it on display for the nation to see and engage directly with the fans,” said Emeka Ofodile, VP of Marketing, ESPN. “The College Football Playoff is more than just the game on the field – it’s a unique cultural event, and these fans represent that.”
About the fans:
Alabama – Llyas Ross Sr. from Tuscaloosa, AL
- Proud Crimson Tide fan and three tour U.S. Army veteran
- While deployed in Iraq, would often wake in the middle of the night to don Alabama gear and cheer on his team back home
- Favorite team moment: the recent 4th quarter comeback to win the 2018 SEC Championship game over Georgia
Clemson – Nancy Volland from Mount Dora, FL
- Loyal alumna and fan of Clemson football for more than 40 years
- Favorite team moment: enjoying the 1981 championship game while attending Clemson and enjoying the 2016 championship with her daughter, who was a Clemson student at the time
Notre Dame – Jeanette Kim from New York City, NY
- Proud alumna of Notre Dame and former campus tour guide
- Didn’t grow up with football and didn’t watch it until attending Notre Dame where she fell in love with the atmosphere around the program
- Favorite team moment: storming the field after the overtime victory against Stanford in 2012
Oklahoma – Ruben Hunter from Tulsa, OK
- Former walk-on for the Sooners who graduated from OU in 2017
- Favorite team moment: being a part of the team that defeated Alabama in the 2014 Allstate Sugar Bowl
Throughout their time on the billboard, the fans will participate in activities and challenges to earn cash and prizes, many of which will be based upon fan engagement on social media. After the semifinal matchups, the two fans whose schools faced defeat will depart, and the two finalists will remain on the billboard until Jan. 7. Their devotion will be rewarded with prizes and the opportunity to support their team at the National Championship game, not to mention being named their team’s most adventurous and dedicated fan.
Fans can show their support for these superfans by tuning into the livestream on ESPN3 and by following #ESPNBillboard to join the conversation. See below for the schedule of events:
- Dec. 27 Four fans ascend billboard
- Dec. 29 CFP Semifinal Game: Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
- Notre Dame vs. Clemson at 4 p.m. ET
- Dec. 29 CFP Semifinal Game: Capital One Orange Bowl
- Oklahoma vs. Alabama at 8 p.m. ET
- Dec. 30 Two fans representing eliminated teams descend
- Two remaining fans continue
- Jan. 7 Winner named based upon the National Championship
The campaign was developed by creative agency RED in conjunction with IMG LIVE for experiential production and Catalyst for public relations, all of which are divisions of Endeavor Global Marketing.
ESPN will exclusively air the College Football Playoff Semifinals and the College Football Playoff National Championship for the fifth time in the five years of the new system highlighting a bowl season featuring the entire New Year’s Six and a 35-game bowl slate. The robust postseason slate contributes to an industry-leading season where ESPN carried more than 1,000 college football games on its platforms.