The NFL teamed with leading studio Nice Shoes to carry out end-to-end post production across four campaigns promoting charitable efforts by the league and its players during the 2017 season: Color Rush, Salute to Service, My Cause My Cleats, and A Crucial Catch. The NFL’s Director of Advertising, Content Marketing Sam Howard sought out Nice Shoes creative editor Dana Bol, with whom he had collaborated on 2016’s My Cause My Cleats campaign, as well as many others. Bol was joined by colorists Sal Malfitano, Gene Curley, and Chris Ryan; finishing artists Jason Farber and Russ Bigsby; and senior producer Rebecca Mitchell, who kept the whole team organized and on-schedule as they delivered four campaigns and nearly fifty spots.
The Color Rush campaign promoted the league’s initiative in which 100% of the proceeds from special edition jerseys are donated to youth programs nationwide. Each spot features a different team jersey worn by a young fan benefiting from the program, showcasing their unique personality and the positive impact football has on their lives.
“What I love about these spots more than anything, is that these kids know they’re being filmed, but their spirit and joy is so authentic,” said Bol. “The director, Grainger David, captured charming, natural performances that help the audience experience the overwhelmingly positive impact from these efforts.”
My Cause My Cleats explores causes championed by players Clay Matthews, Carlos Dunlap, Martellus Bennett, Benjamin Watson, and Malcolm Jenkins, and introduces the custom cleats designed to raise awareness. Each spot focuses on exploring each player’s passion for their cause, with the call for viewers to catch the custom cleats in action during that week’s games. Salute to Service, showcases players’ dedication to honoring veterans, active service members, and their families. Doug Baldwin, Chris Long, Malcolm Jenkins and Delanie Walker spoke about the impact that service members have had on their lives, intercut with imagery of soldiers taking part in game ceremonies. Finally, A Crucial Catch, produced in partnership with the American Cancer Society, is focused on the importance of annual screenings, and expands the league’s cancer awareness initiative beyond breast cancer.
The artists were able to seamlessly pass work back and forth between each other, thanks to the studio’s robust infrastructure, which was valuable in working with the massive scope of the campaigns, as well as when the need arose to adjust the color of a Carolina Panthers jersey from black to Carolina blue in one of the Color Rush spots. Nice Shoes’ Bigsby led a team of Flame artists who rotoscoped and color corrected the jersey, breaking out sections of the jersey across individual artists to ensure that the colors and shadows came across as beautifully as they did in the original footage.
Bol appreciated the trust placed in Nice Shoes by Howard and the NFL as well as the opportunity to help shape three distinct stories for the league.
“With Sam, it’s such a collaborative experience. We value each other’s creativity,” concluded Bol. “I’m honored that he brought us on to work with the NFL on these campaigns that illustrate how the league gives back. It’s great to be a part of telling that story.”
Post Production: Nice Shoes
Executive Producer: Tara Holmes
Senior Producer: Rebecca Mitchell
Creative Editor: Dana Bol (Color Rush, Salute to Service, My Cause My Cleats), Talia Mazzarella (A Crucial Catch)
Assistant Editor: Talia Mazzarella
Colorists: Gene Curley (Salute to Service, A Crucial Catch), Sal Malfitano (Color Rush), Chris Ryan (My Cause, My Cleats)
Finishing Artists: Russ Bigsby (Color Rush, A Crucial Catch), Jason Farber (Salute to Service, My Cause, My Cleats)
Audio Post Production: Sound Lounge