Archive for the ‘Ohio State University’ tag

Raising the Roof at the Heisman House

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They say all good things have to come to an end, but we say not before one last hurrah. Which is exactly what ESPN and psLIVE did with the Nissan Heisman House on its final tour stop in Dallas. The 10-stop tour visited major universities throughout the season, helping bring the advertising campaign to life, but the final event happened at the Championship Tailgate Party prior to the National Championship Game.

Over 10,000 consumers made their way to the Heisman House, where they snapped photos with the Heisman Trophy, sat in a (digital) car with a Heisman winner, and tossed footballs in our virtual QB Challenge cage. A steady stream of top talent and past Heisman winners, from Herschel Walker to Troy Smith and Joey Harrington, graced our threshold. All were interviewed on our ‘Late Night in the Middle of the Day’ set, hosted by ESPN Sportscenter’s Neil Everett.

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The only two-time Heisman winner, Archie Griffin, also stopped by to film a segment played on ESPN and ESPNU during pre-game coverage as well as a :30 vignette that will air on ESPN this week. The Championship was the perfect place to close another great season of the Heisman House tour.

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ESPN and Aloe Blacc: A True Night of Champions

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As the inaugural match for the new College Football Playoff format, we knew the 2014 National Championship Game (Oregon Ducks v. OSU) would be history-making by default. But we also knew that ESPN was part of college-football history, so we set out to prove it with its night-before-the-game VIP party called “Night of Champions.”

1200+ VIP guests were treated to specialty cocktails and photos with the National Championship Trophy, the All-State Field Goal and the ESPN the Magazine news desk. Along with interactive sponsor activations, guests were entertained by DJ Krakernuttz and a Campus DJ Spin-Off Championship, in which each school’s best DJs battled for bragging rights – and a record contract.

But the night’s biggest moment came when a local high school marching band wove its way through the crowd to the main stage, illuminated by a National Championship bracket showcasing each team’s season-long video highlights. While marching to ESPN’s SportsCenter theme song, the band made way for the evening’s top act: Grammy- and BET-nominated artist Aloe Blacc and his 12-piece band.

Everyone danced and sang through the early morning hours. It was historic.

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(insert band joke here)

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osu-marching-band-haloPhoto Credit: thesavoia.com

I’ll be honest – there aren’t many things I find very exciting in the world of sports, especially NOT in the genre of college football.  However,  while browsing the most popular videos on YouTube this week,  I stumbled across this viral sensation (sandwiched between a series of tearful dog / owner reunions and an epic skydive from space) featuring the Ohio State marching band.  Amassing over 12 million views, this halftime masterpiece commemorates pop culture’s most beloved video games via insanely precise formations and accompanying theme music.

From the nostalgic PAC-MAN and Mario to the cultish Halo and Zelda, the meticulous choreography managed to make a huge impression at the oft-dreaded halftime show, where most attendees are normally heading to the bathroom, grabbing a beer, or searching for a hot dog. The band did so not by selecting a provocative subject, staging a “wardrobe malfunction” or even investing in a high-tech/ big budget spectacle. Rather, these band geeks chose to celebrate something they themselves probably loved and backed it up with the hard work required to pull off a stunt like this. The result: not only an amazing piece of content that gamers, sports aficionados, and haters (cough, cough) alike can enjoy, but also an appropriate lesson for us marketing folks.

As cheesy as it sounds – in an industry sometimes beleaguered to identify the next greatest, hippest, besets never-been-done before-thing – sometimes a little fun and creativity really IS enough to capture the world’s attention. This particular old school throwback resulted in a moment infinitely authentic and real – and as we all know, here at MKTG INC, we’re for real. ;)

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