Behind The ScenesESPN HistorySportsCenter

The finishing musical touch to great moments, ‘DaDaDa, DaDaDa’ becomes theme of new SportsCenter marketing campaign

This weekend, ESPN debuted a new ad campaign for its flagship program, SportsCenter, that celebrates fans’ emotional connection with the show and focuses on the iconic sound all fans associate with it.

Entitled “DaDaDa DaDaDa,” the TV spots feature a wide range of professional athletes, amateur athletes and fans who call out their “DaDaDa” moments. A wide range of achievements are shown in the spots as “DaDaDa” moments. “DaDaDa” is meant to signify a significant achievement – something compelling enough to earn its way onto SportsCenter. The idea for the initiative, created in collaboration with creative agency Wieden + Kennedy New York, was developed following a year of research aimed at understanding the role SportsCenter plays in fans’ lives.

“One fan said that the SportsCenter music is like the ice cream truck music for adults — people hear it and come running,” said Aaron Taylor, senior vice president of marketing at ESPN. “That really resonated with us – we wanted to take something that is part of our culture [“Da,Da,Da”] and shine a light on it, and I think that’s what we’ve done here.”

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The iconic theme song behind the show, from which the melody’s six notes are front and center in this campaign, was introduced in 1989 and created by former ESPN music director John Colby, a Grammy- and Emmy-winning composer, producer, music director and keyboardist.

The new campaign precedes SportsCenter’s move into a new state-of-the-art studio in 2014. “DaDaDa” will complement the existing “This is SportsCenter” campaign, which launched in 1995 and includes a library of more than 400 spots.

Front Row also spoke with Chantre Camack, events talent director, special events marketing, who provides interesting behind-the-scenes insights:

• Golfer Bubba Watson posted a #DaDaDa moment of his own before he actually shot the commercial as “practice” that was a direct shout out to us in anticipation of the shoot. Additionally, Watson ran into tennis star Rafael Nadal, who was in Bristol shooting a “This Is SportsCenter” commercial on the same day.

• The Washington Redskins’ portion of the ad was filmed the day of the Monday Night Football preseason game. Some of the plays Robert Griffin III called, as a part of the commercial, were nicknames for members of his offensive line.

• The guy with Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook is actually one of his best friends from home, Donnell Beverly. The two attended Leuzinger High School in Lawndale, Calif. together. Beverly played at UConn from 2007-2011.

• The portion of the ad featuring pitcher Clayton Kershaw was shot on Aug. 23, the day after his Los Angeles Dodgers played the Miami Marlins. In the trailer, Kershaw and his wife were asked what his nickname was and he said he didn’t have one. Kershaw said he didn’t know where “the Claw” came from and everyone in the room figured it came from a combination of his first and last names, nothing to do with his pitching style.

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