College Game Day

FAA Approved Drones For Networks

Few Have FAA Approval To Fly Drones for Your Productions…

HABANA does. We offer:

  • + Promax & Emmy Award Winning
  • + Network Veterans
  • + Short & Long-form Experience
  • + Multiple Aircraft
  • + FAA Approved

What we’ve helped produce…

  • ABC Saturday Night Football (Maroon 5)
  • ESPN College Football Championship (Fall Out Boy)
  • ESPN College Football GameDay (Big & Rich)
  • ESPN College Basketball GameDay (Macklemore)
  • ESPN Monday Night Football (Hank Williams, Jr.)
  • NBC Sunday Night Football (Faith Hill)
  • NBC Super Bowl (Faith Hill)
  • DISCOVERY Shark Week
  • ABC NBA Finals (3D Mapping Experience)
  • ABC NBA Playoffs (Cee Lo Green + Nicole Scherzinger)
  • FOOD NETWORK Iron Chef
  • FIFA World Cup Soccer (U2)
  • FIFA World Cup Women’s Soccer (Katy Perry)
  • ESPN X Games Oakley  (Shawn White)

HABANA is FAA Approved, nimble, and operated by media veterans.

Let’s tell a story together.

Big & Rich are 'Coming To Your City' for ESPN College GameDay

You Know The Song

And most likely every word. That Big & Rich song you hear before, during, and after every college football game on ESPN? 

Shooting the spots surrounding ESPN’s College GameDay is no easy task – it requires a keen understanding of the needs of artist management companies, the personalities of the artists involved, the environment and crowd management of live entertainment, and of course, a thorough understanding of a broadcasting network the size of ESPN. Luckily, Habana happens to love the stuff.

Just Outside Nashville

The spots for ESPN College GameDay were filmed this year on the expansive re-purposed lawn of a historic Tennessee mansion.  Staging a set up that rivals a stadium-sized audience and live music concert is no small feat.  Complete with state-of-the-art LED video walls to make the entire stage feel like it was immersed in a football stadium, even we were impressed with the outcome.


SO nice, they played it twice.

In 2011 HABANA was hired to shoot the opening sequence of ESPN’s Saturday Night Football program. The spot featured country music sensation Big & Rich, and highlighted epic college football moments from the past years. The project was ambitious, requiring over 300 extras and an entire set to be designed and built within a week. Finding an exciting concept that would limit time sensitive content was a challenge, but the team was able to create something both high energy and timeless.

We Put In The Work

The consistency of the program turned out to be a tremendous advantage and in 2013, ESPN again decided to run the original Big N Rich spot with updated play action content and college football highlights.

Creating something special from a simple idea is always a challenge. However, when a great team comes together and the content is well planned and executed, something truly amazing can be born. The HABANA Avenue team is incredibly proud that this original piece of content has been able to be reused and re-purposed for several years. It truly is a testament to the care and talent given to each and every HABANA Avenue project. We look forward to creating more content that stands the test of time.

ESPN BasketBall College GameDay Covered by State Farm

Yeah, We Shoot Hoops Too!

Through the years the College GameDay opening sequence for ESPN’s College Football program has been a cornerstone of the popular broadcast. Hearing the theme song and seeing Big & Rich center stage, marks the beginning of the excitement for many.

So, it was no surprise when ESPN called Habana to produce a unique opener for their Basketball College GameDay show. This time, the challenge of creating an amazing show open was compounded by an extremely short production schedule, and a location recently ravaged by the largest recorded storm to ever hit the U.S. east coast, Hurricane Sandy.

ESPN had already chosen on the breakout group Macklemore to bring their high-energy sound to the GameDay opener. However, due to a taxing tour schedule, the group had only a few days available to create and shoot the sequences needed. With those limitations in mind we were left,

Working With a Time Crunch

Habana was left with only 9 days to find a venue, secure local labor and art direct a unique opener.

The continued aftermath of Hurricane Sandy left many of the venue options in the North East still without power, fuel, or worse, under mandatory evacuation. In addition, with an incredibly short production schedule, labor was going to need to work overtime.

"One of the biggest challenges while working in New England, is coordinating with unions. Thanks to our great resources, nationally and locally, we were able to execute on a short deadline." - Steven J. Levy, Habana AvenuePresident and Founder

ESPN knew that the grueling schedule and the obvious logistical issues would be a difficult challenge for any production company. They knew that careful pre-planning and precise execution were needed to pull off this project.

Special thank you to Director Chris Mantzaris for his creative vision, Rick Paiva and his team for their leadership, and of course, Macklemore for the fresh track.

HABANA Strikes it Big & Rich for ESPN College Gameday Show

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.”

Source: David Steinberg – Millimeter Digital Content Producer The Briefing Room