ESPN has traditionally aired ads for SportsCenter, its famed highlights show, only on ESPN networks—a strategy that senior marketing director Seth Ader told Adweek last year was "a treat for our viewers to stay tuned during the commercials."
Well, now everyone's getting a treat.
A new SportsCenter campaign that broke on Saturday will air beyond ESPN properties, and takes a different approach than the deadpan "This Is SportsCenter" work, which has been widely celebrated.
The 60-second launch spot, posted below, features a range of athletes, from amateurs to pros, who sing the "DaDaDa, DaDaDa" sound that plays at the beginning of SportsCenter broadcasts—as they perform impressive feats in their particular sports.
"Fans have a strong emotional connection with the show," said Aaron Taylor, ESPN's svp of marketing. "And what we realized is that 'DaDaDa' is emotional shorthand for not only the great moments that happen in sports, but how SportsCenter presents those moments—giving context to them with perspective and personality."
Athletes featured in the ad include Chris Chester, Robert Griffin III, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Alfred Morris, Tyler Polumbus, Trent Williams, Stephen Curry, Landon Donovan, Sam Gagner, Jimmie Johnson, Patrick Kane, Clayton Kershaw, Andrew McCutcheon, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Paul Rabil, Maria Sharapova, Bubba Watson and Russell Westbrook.
The campaign, from Wieden + Kennedy in New York, will include digital creative that will be updated over time to include timely "DaDaDa" moments.
ESPN is looking to boost the profile of SportsCenter, whose ratings have slipped slightly of late as other networks have developed similar formats.
Client: ESPN, SportsCenter
Spot: "DaDaDa DaDaDa"
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York
Executive Creative Directors: Scott Vitrone, Ian Reichenthal
Creative Directors: Stuart Jennings, Brandon Henderson
Interactive Creative Director: Gary Van Dzura
Copywriter: Will Binder
Art Director: Jared White
Head of Content Production: Lora Schulson
Executive Producer: Temma Shoaf
Producer: Kelly Dage
Brand Strategist: Marshall Ball
Account Team: Brandon Pracht, Casey Bernard, Brian Racis, Jonathan Chu
Business Affairs: Sara Jagielski, Lisa Quintela
Production Company: RSA Films
Director: Jake Scott
Executive Producer: Tracie Norfleet
Head of Production: Elicia Laport
Line Producer: David Mitchell
Director of Photography: Crille Forsberg
Editing Company: Mackenzie Cutler
Editor: Gavin Cutler
Post Executive Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld
Editorial Assistants: Ryan Steele, Pamela Petruski
Visual Effects Company: Framestore
Visual Effects Supervisor: Mike McGee
Visual Effects Composite: David Forcada, Ben Cronin, Chris Redding, John Loughlin, Yoon Sun Bae, Raul Ortego, Jessica Laszlo
Visual Effects Producers: Sarah Hiddlestone, Heather Kinal, Sarah Dicks
Telecine Company: CO3
Colorist: Tom Poole
Mixing Company: Heard City
Mixer: Keith Reynaud
Sound Designer: Henry Boy
Producer: Kate Gibson
Song: "Yell It Out"
Artist: The Derevolutions