ESPN has reimagined its iconic Monday Night Football theme tune in September to provide a fresh sonic approach to the new 2023/24 NFL season in the form of a reworking of the Phil Collins classic ‘In The Air Tonight’.
A trio of musical superstars from very different genres – rap legend Snoop Dogg, country superstar Chris Stapleton and ace drummer Cindy Blackman Santana amp up the classic track to form a new opening titles anthem for the sports broadcaster.
The icy percussive tune has been reimagined through a campaign developed by ESPN’s creative content unit and Grammy-award winning record producer Dave Cobb.
The Disney owned broadcaster released a trailer of the new track on 18 September.
The network’s PR around the release states that it chose the tune based on its ‘long history as a football hype song’.
ESPN even made a previous feature about the track and in that program said that Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin played ‘In the Air Tonight’ before his team won Super Bowl XLIII.
“It was fascinating to me to see how one song could get you in that mode to go kick some tail,” said two-time SB champion and Steelers legend Hines Ward.
Fans of ESPN’s much-loved Monday Night Football ‘Heavy Action’ theme have nothing to fear as it remains on the show’s sonic roster and follows the new open as well as being played during games.
As the boundaries between entertainment genres continue to disappear, the role of music in sport is becoming ever more important. Notable music led sports campaigns in recent times range from FIFA 2023’s official ‘Do It Again’ anthem and soundtrack to EA’s 2022 ‘Ultimate FIFA Anthem’.
Sixteen year ago, Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’ propelled one of the most famous campaigns of all time, with commercials from Cadbury using the original 1981 track.
You might have hear it a billion times before, but it’s still better than ‘Sussudio’.