Acclaimed Director Peter Berg Directs ESPN’s Latest College Football Playoff Campaign

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Acclaimed Director Peter Berg Directs ESPN’s Latest College Football Playoff Campaign

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Today ESPN began airing the next chapter of ESPN’s College Football Playoff “Who’s In?” campaign. This year’s campaign celebrates fans and pays homage to their integral role in the game of college football. The initial kickoff spot, featuring acclaimed director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Ballers, Lone Survivor) and cinematographer Bradford Young (Solo: A Star Wars Story, Selma, Arrival), captures the passion, traditions and dedication of the fans who embody the soul of college football. Berg, an avid sports fan and a true fan of college football, shot the campaign in three days with 225 extras representing 23 different school programs. NF’s The Search provides the soundtrack.

The campaign hopes to shine a light on what fans bring to the game – the allegiance and insanity that contributes to the cultural event that is the College Football Playoff. The campaign illustrates that, without fans, college football might be just a game.

“I am a huge college football fan and was thrilled to have to opportunity to channel my passion into this project,” said Peter Berg, Director. “This campaign has brought together all of the great elements that make up college football – true avid fans from all over the country who love their teams alongside team mascots brimming with excitement and in turn creating a truly authentic vibe.”

Added Laura Gentile, SVP of Marketing, ESPN: “We needed this to feel epic. Peter captured the pageantry and energy fans bring to the game of College Football. Our aim is to connect deeply with fans, especially as their teams begin the journey to the National Championship Game.”

The 23 schools represented in the initial kickoff spot include:

·         Alabama (with Big Al) ·         Oregon (with the Duck)
·         Auburn ·         Penn State (featuring The Blue Band)
·         Clemson ·         Syracuse (with Otto the Orange)
·         Florida ·         Texas
·         Georgia ·         Texas A&M (featuring midnight yell leaders)
·         LSU (with Mike the Tiger) ·         UCF
·         Miami ·         University of Houston (with Shasta)
·         Michigan ·         USC (featuring the Song Girls)
·         Michigan State (with Sparty) ·         Washington (with Harry the Husky)
·         Notre Dame (with the Fighting Irish Leprechaun) ·         Washington State
·         Ohio State (with iconic fan The Big Nut) ·         Wisconsin
·         Oklahoma (with Boomer and Sooner)

The campaign will run across ESPN and ABC platforms during the course of the full college football season, with new spots in rotation as the season progresses. McKinney served as the creative agency.

ESPN celebrates the 150th season of college football beginning this Labor Day Weekend, featuring top-tier match ups and the most games of any network in week 1, and will continue throughout the season. With the addition of Alabama and Georgia’s season openers, a series of marquee non-conference games, and high-impact conference showdowns from across all 10 FBS conferences, a dynamic early season college football slate will be delivered across ESPN’s networks and streaming platforms.

Full Credits follow.

Agency: McKinney

Client: ESPN

Campaign: “Who’s In?”



Laura Gentile: SVP, Marketing

Emeka Ofodile: VP, Sports Marketing

Pallav Tamaskar: Senior Director, Sports Marketing

Willis Hulings: Associate Director, Sports Marketing

Margaret Davis: Manager, Sports Marketing

Alexa Dettelbach: Associate Manager, Sports Marketing

Willi Anderson: Coordinator, Sports Marketing

Caroline Tilton: Coordinator, Sports Marketing



Chief Creative Officer: Jonathan Cude

Group Creative Director: Lyle Yetman

Creative Director(s): David Sloan and Jordan Eakin

EVP, Director, Content Production: Regina Brizzolara

Senior Producer: Nick Brenton

Integrated Producer: Kara O’Halloran

Business Affairs Manager: Miriam Hughes

Chief Strategy Officer: Walt Barron

Strategy Director: Kevin Murray

Account Director: Ryan Gardiner

Account Supervisor: Maggie O’Donnell

Account Manager: Meghan Moloney


Production Company: Film 47

President: Vic Palumbo

EP: Helga Gruber

Director: Peter Berg

Producer: Kevin Baird

DP: Bradford Young


Editorial:  Exile Edit

Editor:  Max Koepke

Assistant Editor: Ling Chua

Producer: Grace Hammerstein, Charlotte Delon

EP: Sasha Hirschfeld


VFX:  The Mill

EP: Heath Raymond

Producer: Bugs Russell

VFX Supervisor – Gavin Wellsman


ESPN Music Supervision:

Music Director: Kevin Wilson


Mix: Sound Lounge

Audio Engineer/Mixer: Justin Kooy

Producer: Alicia Rodgers



Kristie Adler

Kristie is Director of Communications for ESPN's Digital, Distribution, Strategy, Business Development, Sales, Marketing and Research divisions. She graduated from Penn State University and is based in New York City.