Ad of the Day: ESPN Takes the Sounds of SportsCenter Beyond the Network

Broader push for 'DaDaDa' campaign

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