Cubs fans try to snap the curse.
Starting June 8, ESPN is kicking off ESPN25 -- the network's 25th Anniversary celebration, which has been dubbed "The Season of the Fan." The summer-long event will feature special programming with a big focus on fandom, thanks -- in large part -- to New York creative/production boutique The Concept Farm.
The shop, which is the agency of record for ESPN's customer marketing and sales division, has spent the last six months amassing a database of footage and photographs of actual fans, which will be used in promos for ESPN25 through September 7, when the network celebrates its official anniversary. "Our m.o. was that everything we do will feature fans and be about the fans in one way or another," says Farm partner Gregg Wasiak.
For six weeks last year, the Concept Farm deployed five mobile crews to collect interviews of fans in the 24p digital format. As Wasiak explains, "our teams, as fans themselves, just rolled out into the fray and slowly but surely we got all this footage -- all this rich, beautiful footage of fans talking about the last 25 years in sports."
The footage, in turn, will be mined for campaigns across all media, including print ads featuring mosaics of fan photos, an online "matrix" of photos and bios, radio and some 500 broadcast promos that will air on the network between now and September. The promos range from 60-second montages -- set to sports anthems like Gary Glitter's "Rock & Roll" and Queen's "We Are the Champions" -- to 30-second profiles of flamboyant fanatics to 15- and 10-second clips of regular fans simply introducing themselves. "This is a true representation of the people who make the network live," Wasiak says of the project. "We wanted to say thank you to the fans for making this possible."