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ESPN Kicks Off College Football Season with “Fight to the Finish”

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Today, ESPN began airing “Fight to the Finish,” a college football Kickoff-focused promo that is part of the overall “Who’s In?” campaign. The spot, which also has an SEC-specific version starring Paul Finebaum, presents an animated world representing the biggest names and heavy favorite contenders for the 2018 College Football Playoff, all within a scale replica of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, home of the 2018 CFP National Championship Game. “Fight to the Finish” will air on ABC and ESPN networks, while the SEC-specific version will run only on the SEC Network. This spot is just one of the tactics kicking off the marketing efforts supporting Kickoff Weekend.

Click the links below to view both versions, as well as a behind the scenes look at the production:

“Fight to the Finish”

SEC Network Version

Behind the scenes

Producing the spots involved a unique process of custom animation and life-like modeling. Each character was modeled in 3D, printed in plastic resin, filed, primed, coated and painted, painstakingly finished, and costumed to specifications. Bevo, the University of Texas mascot, was hand modeled and cast in a custom-built mold that took several weeks to complete.

The Kickoff spot includes the following coaches/mascots/notable alumni:

  • Dabo Swinney (Clemson)
  • Nick Saban (Alabama)
  • Herschel Walker (Georgia)
  • USC Trojan Drum Major
  • Bevo + Silver Spurs (Texas)
  • Ohio State Drum Major
  • Charles Woodson (Michigan)
  • Oklahoma Superfan
  • Jimbo Fisher (Florida State)
  • Louisiana Monroe Superfan
  • Chris Petersen (Washington)
  • Notre Dame Leprechaun
  • Florida Gator Mascot
  • Pistol Pete Mascot (Oklahoma State)

The SEC Network spot includes Paul Finebaum and helmets representing the 14 schools in the SEC.

ESPN’s college football kickoff weekend schedule (Thursday, Aug. 31- Monday, Sept. 4) will be unprecedented as, for the first time in the sport’s storied history, the preseason’s top team opens the season vs. an opponent ranked in the top 3. The year-long anticipation was set in stone when Florida State and Alabama were ranked No. 3 and No. 1, respectively, in the Associated Press Top 25. ESPN opens the 2017 college football season with the best schedule of any network, including the MegaCast production for Ohio State at Indiana tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

Creative Credits
ESPN:
Rob Temple – Sr. VP, Sports Marketing
Emeka Ofodile – VP, Sports Marketing
Pallav Tamaskar – Director, Sports Marketing
Willis Hulings – Manager, Sports Marketing
Margaret Davis – Associate Manager, Sports Marketing
Alexa Dettelbach – Coordinator, Sports Marketing
Sarah Connors – Coordinator, Sports Marketing
Agency: 72andSunny NYC
Production Company: Psyop
Director: Todd Mueller
Producer: Adriane Scott-Kemp
VFX supervisor / 2D lead: Lane Jolly
Stop Motion Animation: Screen Novelties
Producer: Chris Finnegan
Animation Supervisor: Kelly Mazurowski
DP: Eric Adkins

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