SOFI TUKKER’s “Summer In New York” Single Drives ESPN’s New US Open Marketing Campaign
Learn why the dance music superstars - one of whom played college basketball versus Notre Dame on ESPN a decade ago - are featured in a spot shot atop The Rooftop Pier 17 in NYC
Few sports venues rival the raucous and exuberant atmosphere of Arthur Ashe Stadium – the biggest tennis arena in the world – at the US Open in New York – especially the night sessions.
The fans are loud, the music rocking, and the scene totally contradicts the traditional decorum of the sport. It’s thoroughly New York.
To convey that feeling and, in fact, celebrate it in this year’s US Open promo campaign, ESPN Marketing chose the electronic-pop group SOFI TUKKER, the twice Grammy-nominated duo of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern.
By the way, Halpern is a former Brown University basketball star who is making at least his second appearance on ESPN platforms (see sidebar below).
Not only is SOFI TUKKER’s sound appropriate to the occasion, but their recent album is entitled “WET TENNIS.”
“We heard a lot about SOFI TUKKER, both internally and across the industry, and we knew their ‘Summer in New York’ track could be a great fit for the US Open,” said Chris McClure, senior creative director, Grande & Leonard Creative, ESPN.
“We wanted to capture the energy that SOFI TUKKER brings in an authentic way with a music video-style shoot and show off how the song and atmosphere perfectly represent the magic of the US Open.”
Summer In New York (@Dubdogz & @SELVA remix) 💦🎾is OUT NOW!! 🙌
LISTEN NOW: https://t.co/IvXDb0XUaz pic.twitter.com/pQpBPghlXC
— SOFI TUKKER (@sofitukker) July 29, 2022
ESPN filmed the spot atop The Rooftop Pier 17 at New York’s South Street Seaport, home of ESPN’s NYC studios. McClure’s ESPN Creative team transformed the location into a tennis dreamland inspired by the magical realism and ecstatic colors of SOFI TUKKER’S “Wet Tennis” album, tour, and fashion line. The group performs their latest single, “Summer In New York,” in celebration of one of the annual late-summer party that is the US Open. Watch the spot in the video above.
SOFI TUKKER said, “The fact that the US Open is happening during the summertime in New York…feels like fate, given we put out a song called ‘Summer In New York’ on our album ‘WET TENNIS.’
“Putting a fun, colorful spin on classic tennis culture and fashion was one of the goals of this album, and to have the opportunity to do that with the US Open and ESPN is a literal dream come true. We are so grateful and beyond excited for this collaboration.”
Lily Blum contributed to this post.
ESPN’s exclusive coverage of the US Open begins Monday, Aug. 29, launching two weeks of marathon telecasts totaling a record 140+ scheduled hours culminating with the Women’s Championship on September 10 and the Men’s Championship a day later. Every match from every court will be available on the ESPN App with ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts and the matches streaming on ESPN+ and ESPN3. Qualifying coverage starts today. Visit ESPN PressRoom for details.
FORMER IVY LEAGUE BASKETBALL STAR SOFI TUKKER'S TUCKER HALPERN 'RETURNS' TO ESPN
These days, Halpern collaborates with SOFI TUKKER bandmate Hawley-Weld on jams such as 2019’s funky “Purple Hat” and their latest single “Summer In New York,” the song featured in ESPN’s US Open promotion.
But as recently as 10 years ago, the 6-foot, 8-inch Halpern was featured on ESPN for his exploits as a star forward for Brown University. Watch the videos above and below to see Halpern play against future NBA star Pat Connaughton and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 2012.
Halpern was a McDonald’s All-American nominee as a prep in Brookline, Mass., and an Ivy League honorable mention as a sophomore at Brown. He hit this game-winning shot versus Brown’s Rhode Island rival Providence featured in the tweet below.
On December 28th, 2012 Tucker Halpern knocks down the game-winning corner👌against Providence College giving the Bears a 6⃣9⃣ – 6⃣8⃣ victory‼️💥#GoBruno🐻 pic.twitter.com/JQ3zomMhAG
— Brown Men's Basketball (@BrownU_MBB) May 1, 2020
His dreams of playing in the NBA were curtailed when he faced an autoimmune virus during his junior year. But while his hoop dreams ended, his musical talents began to blossom. He collaborated with Brown classmate Hawley-Weld on projects that eventually evolved into SOFI TUKKER, whose music has been nominated for two Grammys and won a worldwide following.
“To be here with ESPN means so much to me personally, because I grew up as as a basketball player,” Tucker told Front Row during a break in the ESPN Marketing shoot in New York. “At one time, I was actually in the SportsCenter Top 10 with a game-winning shot in college. So it’s great to be back.”