This year’s Open Championship, golf’s third major event of the season, is returning to Royal Liverpool Golf Club near the seaside city of Liverpool, England, which presented ESPN’s sports marketing team a creative opportunity to tie into one of Liverpool’s most famous elements: The Beatles.
“Birdiemania,” ESPN’s ad campaign for The Open Championship, launched in mid-June to promote the network’s four-day coverage of the event with a commercial (above) designed to pay homage to classic news coverage of the Fab Four.
All four rounds of the Open Championship will be live on ESPN beginning Thursday, July 17. First and second-round play airs 4 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET, with third-round play on Saturday, July 19, airing 7:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Final-round play on Sunday, July 20, airs 6:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The new commercial features iconic black-and-white footage of screaming Beatles fans juxtaposed with the world’s top golfers including Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Tiger Woods and defending event champion Phil Mickelson.
“The pandemonium that swept America is now sweeping over Royal Liverpool as the fans prepare for the Open Championship,” said Maurice Jennings, associate director of Sports Marketing for ESPN, in explaining the commercial’s concept.
In the spot, created by Click 3x, fans wave and cheer at the airport to welcome the arrival of the golfers to Royal Liverpool. Fans reach out to McIlroy as he approaches the tee and cheer for Scott and Woods as the golfers smile and acknowledge their screams.
As Mickelson sinks the winning putt, fans erupt with excitement in complete admiration.
“ESPN tapped into the enthusiasm and nostalgia of Beatlemania to create the modern day ‘Birdiemania’ that celebrates the uniqueness of The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool,” said Jennings. “The [spot] amplifies the golfers’ celebrity factor and creates anticipation for the event.”