First Take

First Take Debuts from NYC Seaport District Studios with New Look and Sound

ESPN’s highly rated show First Take debuted from its New York Seaport District studio this week with a new look and sound, thanks to the folks from ESPN’s Creative & Studio Direction team, which worked in tandem with ESPN production and creative agency Block & Tackle to give the show an updated look that incorporates New York City as a focal point.

The aesthetic is meant to bring a sophisticated, yet gritty, feel to the visuals for the show. A new color scheme draws on some of the original orange, black and white tones of the previous graphics and logos, transitioning to copper and gray shades to give the show a more enriched and present look. Photography shot across New York that illustrates the edgier side of the city with architecture, basketball hoops, and subway signs.

The new open for First Take relies on the original beat of the previous open, but also incorporates a DJ battle between DJ Rhetorik (who works with the artist LOGIC) and DJ TJMizell (son of Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay), and is interspersed with quotes from commentators Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman.

“We wanted to keep to the DJ spinning genre,” said Marissa Mangino, ESPN creative producer. “We shot on a soundstage in Brooklyn, which took about three or four days to build. We had turn-tables on set and wanted to keep things fast-paced, whipping back and forth like a battle, while incorporating talent.”

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