Stump the GPS: ESPN’s “Many Roads to the Playoff” campaign debuts


Artist Brendan Donnelly and ad agency Wieden+Kennedy worked with ESPN to create a visual road map to the College Football Playoff.
Artist Brendan Donnelly and ad agency Wieden+Kennedy worked with ESPN to create a visual road map to the College Football Playoff.


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This past weekend, fans were introduced to ESPN’s third installment of its College Football Playoff “Who’s In?” campaign.

This year’s iteration features dozens of teams and mascots meeting at a crossroads that could lead to the ultimate destination – the College Football Playoff Semifinals and National Championship.

Upon the conclusion of the best college football kickoff weekend ever, Front Row asked Emeka Ofodile, senior director of sports marketing, about the concept and execution of the first creative elements in the roll-out of the “Who’s In?” campaign this year.

We worked with the artist Brendan Donnelly and our ad agency Wieden+Kennedy to create a fun visual road map of what is always a big chaotic season. Brendan brings an awesome ability to tackle a wide range of illustrations with wit and a unique point of view.
– Emeka Ofodile, ESPN’s senior director of sports marketing

How was the concept of “There Are Many Roads to the Playoff” conceived and why did you feel it was a good fit for the “Who’s In?” campaign?
If we’ve learned anything these last two years, there isn’t only one road to the Playoff. Ohio State found the right road in Year One. Then Alabama in Year Two. There are many roads to the playoff and each season, it’s all about finding the right one. “Who’s In?” is a perfect foundation because it will serve as our rallying cry for fans as they follow their teams’ journey as they face twists, turns, and roadblocks along their way to Tampa.

How did you find the artist that captured what you had envisioned for the map?
We worked with the artist Brendan Donnelly and our ad agency Wieden+Kennedy to create a fun visual road map of what is always a big chaotic season. Brendan brings an awesome ability to tackle a wide range of illustrations with wit and a unique point of view. It’s a vast landscape on the road to the playoff and Brendan was able to help us tell that story in what we think is a cool visual way to kick off the season.

Did you intend for the map to be intricate?
The road to the playoff is intricate. There are ever-changing routes charted out by fans and their teams in being the four semifinal teams at the end of the season. With that, the goal of this map was to tell the bigness of the journey while celebrating the special culture of College Football.

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