Real Superfans Run Amok in Ads for USA Today's Sports+ App

St. Vince, Tony Da Tiger, Crackman and more

Hallelujah, St. Vince is in the house! He wants you to kiss his ring—and it's a mini-Lombardi Super Bowl trophy!

The Green Bay Packers uber-fan, a beloved fixture at Lambeau Field, portrays the Pope in KesselsKramer's raucous campaign introducing USA Today's Sports+ app. Ron "Crackman" Crachiola and "Lionmane" Aaron Latimer (both Detroit Lions diehards) also appear in the ads, along with Cincinnati Bengals booster Anthony Brooks ("Tony Da Tiger") and many more.

High-concept stuff this ain't. Dubbed "Fan Harder," zippy cuts show the fan-atics doing what they do best ... goin' craaaay for their teams:

USA TODAY Sports+ Hero
USA TODAY Sports+ Wisconsin
USA TODAY Sports+ Indianapolis

If that wasn't craaaay enough, the barmy bunch show up on billboards, too.

Launched last month, Sports+, a subscription service, offers scores, stats, chats and sundry coverage from USA Today and other Gannett properties.

"We wanted to position the app as one that can help you become a better fan," KesselsKramer art director Tom Healey tells Muse. "If you get all the insider info straight from the locker room—and USA Today journalists are embedded locally—you can 'perform' better as a fan. You can then hold your own in a bar or water cooler conversation. In other words, we can help you 'Fan Harder.' "

The frenetic visual style "reflects the game, the excitement in the crowd, and the personalities of the fans," Healey adds.

Though the app covers all sports, KesselsKramer chose to concentrate on NFL markets where the offering is currently available: Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

As you might expect, the shoot provided a "fun, wild" experience and "party atmosphere," Healey says. Many of the superfans had met before, so "there was no animosity," he says—though nonstop ribbing about which teams sucked hardest naturally ensued.

The crew saved on wardrobe because the cast brought their own costumes. (So, Vince keeps a mitre in his closet. Good to know!)

More "Fan Harder" work is on tap, with social posts and AR filters in the mix.

For very different takes on fandom, check out this this recent Adidas mockumentary about a faux Arsenal mega-supporter, and ESPN's evocative ads welcoming back the NHL. 

In August, KesselsKramer earned raves for its advertising/art project that placed 52 portraits of creative, non-celebrity locals on the windows of citizenM's new L.A. hotel. Though it may seem a world away from the Sports+ campaign—and executionally, it is—that work likewise celebrates real people pursuing their passions and memorably spotlights a broader community.

CREDITS

Client: USA Today Sports+
Vice President Brand& Network Marketing: Sarab Al-Jijakli
ECD: Spencer Mandell
Director Brand & Network Marketing: Elizabeth Carboni
Brand Marketing Manager: Devangshi Roy
Photographer: Joseph Cultice
Agency: KesselsKramer London & Amsterdam

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