A year ago this week, ESPN’s Monday Night Football unveiled a brand new look.
Now, the Monday Night Countdown pregame is getting a similar makeover.
Bob Toms, ESPN’s vice president of production enhancements, explains:
“We created a great new logo for Monday Night Football last year. Then, midway through the season we started to question internally whether Monday Countdown should match Sunday NFL Countdown or look like MNF. We ultimately decided to brand all of Monday night as one unique package. We want Monday nights to stand out from every other show because that night is so special to every NFL fan.
“The shield logo gives us the ability to transition into video clips and morph right into graphic elements. It gives us a lot more flexibility than the former logo did. Even the MNF game is going to benefit from this because it will get some new elements now as part of the expansion of the look into Countdown.”
The shield was created internally by ESPN’s Creative Services Design team, overseen by ESPN senior director of creative services Mike “Spike” Szykowny. The Countdown version is a little shorter and stouter than MNF’s. That’s really the primary difference, though a number of renditions were needed before the new look was finalized. ESPN also worked with Big Studios in Toronto to produce the animation package.
In addition to its new look, Countdown will expand to two hours (from 90 minutes) this fall.
The show, which is presented by Applebee’s, will start at 6:30 p.m. ET each week and take fans right up to the MNF kickoff. For the first Monday night games of the season on Sept. 10, Countdown will kick off at 5:00 p.m. ET and lead into ESPN’s double-header with Cincinnati traveling to Baltimore (7 p.m.) and San Diego at Oakland (10:15 p.m.).