ESPN’s Creative Content Unit (CCU) annually plays a big role in ESPN and ABC’s NFL Draft presentation. In 2019, this specialized ESPN production group filmed more than 30 pieces with Jason Fitz and some of the biggest names in country music around Nashville that helped add local flavor to the three-day telecast. The CCU had equally ambitious plans for Las Vegas this year, then everything changed due to the coronavirus.
Forced to shift gears in recent weeks, the CCU now plans to incorporate fan-generated videos into the upcoming NFL Draft (April 23-25) – and they are looking for fan submissions.
“The NFL Draft is a shared three days to come together. What better way to present that than by bringing the fans into the broadcast?” said John Bartmon, ESPN post producer.
He added: “Fans can’t be there in person this year, but if we tap into that fandom, everyone that has a favorite team and has that sense of hope, let them share that with us and we can share that with the viewing audience.”
In the video above, ESPN Radio and SportsCenter on Snapchat host Fitz (a die-hard Raiders fan) helps demonstrate the kind of short #NFLDraftHope video that fans can submit for consideration to ESPN at https://espnevents.com/NFLDraftHOPE/. (See sidebar and .PDF below for video instructions and tips).
The “fan bumps” will be incorporated throughout the three-day telecast on ESPN, ABC and NFL Network, coming in and out of commercial breaks and when each of the 32 teams are “on the clock.”
“Who doesn’t want to get a chance to say ‘J-E-T-S’, or tout their Super Bowl-winning Chiefs, or tell their beloved Bengals what having the No. 1 pick means?,” said Bartmon. “This is the fans’ chance and we are so excited to have the opportunity to do this for NFL fans across the country.”