Thursday Night Football Is the Only Thing That Matters in High-Octane Campaign Helmed by ‘I, Tonya’ Director

Wieden + Kennedy and Fox Sports cater to the hardcore fans

Why focus on anything but football? Fox Sports
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Just over one year ago, Wieden + Kennedy painted college football fandom as a war of rival tribes in its debut campaign for Fox Sports. The exhaustive work ultimately encompassed 17 spots, including an anthem, two ads dedicated to specific games and 14 deep dives into the cultures of particular schools.

This week the agency joined the pros with a series of spots promoting Fox’s Thursday Night Football lineup, promoted by Bud Light and starring the 2018 NFL season’s top matchups.

Much like the earlier work, these new spots frame individual week-to-week matches as epic battles, with clan loyalty seeping into every moment of a fan’s life.

Anthem “Now It’s a Game” highlights the quality of the match-ups on Fox’s lineup.

The rest of the ads in the series dig into those games, week by week, team by team and mega-fan by mega-fan. First, a dentist’s work finding a decayed tooth can’t compete with an intense interest in the Vikings/Rams game.

Similarly, one mechanic is so dedicated to his Patriots that an exasperated customer can’t help but play second fiddle to Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

The most forceful explanation of one game’s significance may come from this diner waitress, who takes only a few seconds to explain why the Giants vs. Eagles will “come down to the wire.” (We might mention that Philadelphia won the Super Bowl last year while New York went 3-13, but she was on a roll.)

Three additional spots adopt the perspectives of two schoolkids on a bus, a couple stuck with a very talkative cabbie and a Cowboys fanatic who very clearly deserves to be in first class.

Production company MJZ enlisted acclaimed director Craig Gillespie of I, Tonya fame to deliver the energy these spots demanded.

“The spots’ fast-paced editing reflects the hard-hitting energy of Thursday Night Football,” Gillespie said. “We wanted to do something that felt creatively unique and different, but is also authentic to the voices of people who love the game—fans, players and broadcasters—in their everyday environments.”

“This is year one of the broadcast on FOX, and we wanted a campaign that was distinctive to our voice, but also true to what we plan to deliver to NFL fans as the network home of this franchise,” added Robert Gottlieb, Fox Sports evp and head of marketing.

Stay vigilant, football fans.


Agency: Wieden+Kennedy New York
Client: Fox Sports, Thursday Night Football
Campaign: “Now It’s A Game”

Fox Sports
EVP, Marketing: Robert Gottlieb
SVP, Marketing: Bill Battin
VP, Creative: Blake Danforth
VP, Marketing: Keith Hritz
Senior Brand Director: Keri Gajewski
Creative Director: Javier Castillo
Director of Production: Claudina Mercado
Production Assistant: John Tyler Osborn
Associate Producer: Andrew Harwood

W+K New York
Executive Creative Director: Karl Lieberman
Creative Directors: Gary Van Dzura, Laddie Peterson
Copywriters: Matt Herman, Matt Mulvey
Art Director: Lawrence Melilli
Head of Integrated Production: Nick Setounski
Executive Producer: Alison Hill
Producer: Jacob Lincoln
Fox Talent Producer: Dom Tunon
Group Account Director: Mike Welch
Account Director Matt Angrisani
Account Supervisor: Liz Lindberg
Project Manager: Yann Samuels
Director of Business Affairs: Patrick O’Donoghue
Business Affairs: Lindsey Timko
Traffic: Sonia Bisono

Production Company: MJZ
Director: Craig Gillespie
Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
Line Producer: DebTietjen
Director of Photography: Joost Van Gelder

Editorial Company: Spot Welders
Editor: Haines Hall and Paul Sabater
Post Producer: Dustin LaForce and Carolina Padilla

Managing Partner: David Glean
Managing Director/Executive Producer: Carolina Padilla
Editor: Paul Sabater and Haines Hall
Assistant Editors: JC Nunez, Austin Lewis, Luke McIntosh, Alexa Vallejo, Tim Forster
Producer: Dustin LaForce and Carolina Padilla
Finishing: Bonfire
Conform: ​Brendan O’Neil
Managing Director: David Glean
Creative Director: Casey Price
Flame Artist: Renée Tymn
Executive Producer: Scott Friske
Producer: Dustin LaForce

Telecine Company: Company 3
Colorist: Tom Poole
Producer: Alexandra Lubrano

Mix Company: Sound Lounge
Mixer: Tom Jucarone
Senior Producer: Becca Falborn

Sound Design Company: Sound Lounge
Sound Designer: Marshall Grupp
Senior Producer: Becca Falborn

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.