Behind The ScenesESPYs

RG III, Danica Patrick, Derek Jeter among stars featured as fans in ESPYS’ ‘Happened’ campaign

Danica Patrick is a part of ESPN's ESPYs ad campaign. (Photo credit: ?)
NASCAR driver Danica Patrick is a part of ESPN’s ESPYS ad campaign. (Credit: Gary Land Photography)

This week ESPN is launching “Happened,” a marketing campaign promoting the 2013 ESPY Awards. Not only is the July 17 show celebrating the greatest sporting moments of the past year, but it’s highlighting that everyone in sports, including the athletes breaking records themselves, are fans at heart. Along with several multi-platform elements, the campaign launched four new TV spots, currently airing on ESPN as well as on social media.

The ads, created in collaboration with creative agency 77 Ventures, feature New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and former NFL icon and new ESPN analyst Ray Lewis talking, as passionate fans, about their favorite ground-breaking moments over the last 12 months. Additional athlete vignettes, featuring Colin Kaepernick, Carmelo Anthony, Landon Donovan and Eli Manning, will appear online and air during SportsCenter leading up to the event.

“Our fans told us they tune into the ESPYS for the highlights, sports’ stories, athletes and awards,” said Josh Rabenovets, director of consumer marketing at ESPN, whose team is spearheading the initiative. “The goal of this year’s campaign was to bring all four aspects to life in a way that showcased the most recognized athletes telling the stories of the year that meant to most them . . . as a fan.”

In Patrick’s 15-second spot, the driver discusses the moments that excited her in the past year, including swimmer Michael Phelps’ memorable 2012 London Olympics showing and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ historic touchdown passing streak.

The 21st annual ESPY Awards will be televised live Wednesday, July 17, at 9 p.m. on ESPN from the Nokia Theatre at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.

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