By Barry Janoff
August 16, 2012: NFL Network said that its mission to make the 2013 season, “For the fans, by the fans.” And it is taking a big step in that direction by featuring as part of its Thursday Night Football opening segment videos uploaded by fans performing Cee Lo Green’s new fan anthem, “I Love Football.”
The song, which is set to The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop,” will anchor the 90-second introduction to each Thursday night game, with different fan-sourced videos shown specific to each week's NFL match-up.
The activation is being produced by New York-based @radical.media in conjunction with the NFL and NFL Network.
The "Fanthem" will premier prior to the first TNF game of the season on Sept. 13 when the Chicago Bears visit the Green Bay Packers, with videos from Bears and Packers fans singing the chorus along with Cee Lo, who in addition to his music and business success is one of the judges/coaches on NBC's The Voice.
People who want to submit their videos to be considered for the opening montage are being directed to a dedicated Web site. NFL Network said that "fans whose videos are included in the final show open will automatically be notified by e-mail so they can share the news with others and tune into the broadcast. (Full details here.)
“We are excited to introduce ‘Fanthem,’ which will increase our interaction and engagement with Thursday Night Football viewers far beyond the game telecast,” Mark Quenzel, NFL Network svp-programming and production, said in a statement. “Our fans come first and we expect the incredible passion for their teams to show in their ‘Fanthem’ submissions via NFL.com, NFL Mobile and social media.”
According to Justin Wilkes, president of media and entertainment for @radical.media, “This project for NFL Network represents what @radical.media is all about. Integrating fan-sourced videos into live television reinvents the standard show opening we’re used to watching before every football game and gives fans the attention they deserve for their team dedication.”
“Our fans come first and we expect the incredible passion for their teams to show in their ‘Fanthem’ submissions via NFL.com, NFL Mobile and social media.”
After the Bears at Green Bay, NFL Network's Thursday Night Football schedule is followed by the New York Giants at the Carolina Panthers (Sept. 20), Cleveland Browns at the Baltimore Ravens (Sept. 27), Arizona Cardinals-St. Louis Rams (Oct. 4), Pittsburgh Steelers-Tennessee Titans (Oct. 11), Seattle Seahawks-San Francisco 49ers (Oct. 18), Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Minnesota Vikings (Oct. 25), Kansas City Chiefs-San Diego Chargers (Nov. 1), Indianapolis Colts-Jacksonville Jaguars (Nov. 8), Miami Dolphins-Buffalo Bills (Nov. 15), New Orleans Saints-Atlanta Falcons (Nov. 29), Denver Broncos-Oakland Raiders (Dec. 6) and Cincinnati Bengals-Philadelphia Eagles (Dec. 13).
“It’s finally that time again . . . and I really love my football,” Cee Lo said in a statement. “The NFL always brings us the biggest and brightest entertainment spectacle in sports and now with ‘Fanthem,’ NFL Network gives loyal fans the chance to participate! I’m honored to help create such a historic, pop-culture moment and interactive fan experience.”