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REEL CHICAGO – TeamWork’s Big Ten PSA Campaign Kicked Off on NCAA Football, to Air for a Year

REEL CHICAGO – TeamWork’s Big Ten PSA Campaign Kicked Off on NCAA Football, to Air for a Year
September 9, 2008 brian

TeamWorks Media takes its seven-year-old partnership with the Big Ten Conference to a new level, with a massive PSA series bowing during the opening games of the NCAA football games over the Labor Day weekend.

The PSAs air under the banner “Big Life. Big Stage. Big Ten.” – airing for the next year on ABC, ESPN and the Big Ten Network.

The “Big Life” spots move beyond the Talib Kweli-fronted “Big Stage” spots TeamWorks made for the Big Ten in past years. They highlight alumni both within sports, like Jesse Owens and Magic Johnson, and in other arenas, like Neil Armstrong, Ang Lee and Gerald Ford.

“We wanted to showcase the overall brand attributes of the Big Ten, not just related to one sport,” said TeamWorks VP Mike Sears, who oversaw the campaign.

“It shows that when you go to a Big Ten school you have a chance to do big things in your life.”

Another PSA set features current Big Ten football players speaking of alumni they admire from their respective schools. The third set includes kids across the country citing Big Ten heroes they want to emulate.

Over five weeks in July and August, two sets of TeamWorks directors and freelance crews traveled to each of the Big Ten school and to remote locations, to accentuate the geographic diversity of Big Ten fans.

TeamWorks posted the spots in-house on four Avid Nitrous suites linked by their new Avid Unity MediaNetwork. ProtoCulture did motion graphics for the campaign.

Eight-year-old TeamWorks has a staff of 26, including employees of online media subsidiary Nology Interactive.

TeamWorks has shifted its focus in the past year to acquisition and development of material they own, or have an exclusive license on, according to CEO Jay Sharman.

>They signed with Creative Artists, which represents TeamWorks with reps from the agency’s sports, alternative TV, theatrical, business development, and digital media divisions.

>The company is in late post-production on a documentary about the Jersey City national high school basketball champion team from St. Anthony High School, and their coach Bob Hurley, Sr.

“They had a perfect record, but they’re still trying to keep the doors open,” Sharman said. “They’re an urban Catholic school that uses tough love to get their kids to go to college. It’s not just a high school sports doc – it’s transcendent.

“There are so many amazing storylines to it. I’m thrilled to be doing it as a documentary, because if it was a theatrical film people wouldn’t believe it was true.”

TeamWorks also is in talks with several networks about broadcast next year.

TeamWorks continues marketing and production partnerships with ESPN, Converse, Levy Restaurants, Crown Imports, St. Pauli Girl, and Pacifico.

“I often get asked, especially being in Chicago, if we’re being impacted by the economy,” Sharman said. “It’s a resounding ‘no’ at this point. We’ve got a business model predicated on finding and acquiring and developing good content.

“If we were reliant on corporate marketing budgets as our only source of revenue, we’d probably be feeling a more direct impact from the economy.” -Ed M. Koziarski