Is ESPN Ready for Monday Night Football's Return? Check!

Ad arrives as network's parent makes peace with Charter

With the dispute between Disney and Charter Communications resolved, Mouse-owned ESPN has begun checking boxes ahead of Monday Night Football's return.

Working with longtime partner Arts & Letters Creative Co., the network launched a star-soaked spot that turns on the notion of fans' pre-game lists and rituals.

ESPN | Ready. Check. Football

"We started with a simple truth: every fan anticipates and prepares for the start of the football season," says ESPN senior director of sports marketing Curtis Friends. "So, for this year's 'Ready For Football' campaign, we had fun along with fans building the ultimate checklist and showcasing how the football world gets ready."

Prep includes finding jerseys, picking fantasy team names, sending group texts, firing up BBQ grills (with check-mark-shaped meats) and more.

It's relatable but celeb-driven, too, with appearances by Justin Jefferson, Dan Campbell, Monday Night Football presenters Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, Manningcast duo Peyton and Eli Manning, and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

It's a cute way to weave the game into the fabric of pop culture, with just enough quirkiness to stand out. (We'll take extra mustard on our check-dog, please!)

The New York Jets host the Buffalo Bills in tonight's season debut.

There's been a stampede of pro and college football ads, promos and tie-ins of late. Yes, there are always a lot come September, but the pocket feels more jammed than ever in 2023.

They range from PepsiCo's "unretirement" epic with Tom Brady and Dan Marino to the NFL's Keegan Michael Key entry skewering the "scripted" meme. Also of note: Nissan's remodeled "Heisman House" and YouTube's debut work for NFL Sunday Ticket. (Speaking of which, the league itself called a foul on DirecTV's ads with Travis Kelce for "deceptive advertising" surrounding Sunday Ticket access.)

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