Huge Opportunity in The Perfect Place
With an expansive oasis of great weather, proximity to abundant production resources and college students, as well as boasting a Bulls team that was in last year’s top ten, the University of South Florida at the Tampa campus was chosen by the HABANA Avenue production team to be the locale for the ESPN College GameDay opener. The show, which is to be hosted by Chris Folwer, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso airing Saturdays starting this Fall, called for an opener with a fresh, high-energy, and youthful vibe.
Big & Rich on Set at USF in Tampa, Florida
ESPN wanted a musicfest-a-palooza staged for the open so Warner Bros. Nashville country luminaries Big & Rich were enlisted to do the honors. The band, performed “Coming to Your City.”
“This is not a mere local band,” remarked HABANA Avenue President and FounderSteven J. Levy. “With Tampa station WQYK being the first to air Big & Rich’s music, and the region being the third largest market, everyone was excited to be a part of it.”
All of these elements along with the phenomenal local mobile staging company, MB Pro Sound & Staging, made Tampa a perfect fit for the shoot.
Shot in one of the USF athletic fields, the outdoor fest scene is one of three parts. Other elements will include behind-the-scenes footage of the College GameDay crew and college football clips.
“Big & Rich were only available for one day,” recounted HABANA Avenue’s John Mullins, “so we had to shoot within a limited time frame. We needed to shoot at least 1,000 students when the school session was out.” He added that radio calls, a live broadcast, blogs and CraigsList were all utilized to generate a local buzz in order to get enough people to show up.
“The USF campus was a great spot to draw a lot of people without having to over-spend on talent,” said Levy. “Clients know they can depend upon the HABANAAvenue team for creative thinking, resourceful decision-making and staying within budget.”