This past weekend, ESPN kicked off the 20th season celebration with a special Week Zero telecast live from The Home Depot’s world headquarters in Atlanta, GA. and ESPN’s studios in Bristol, CT.
For this special salute to one of the longest-running sponsorships in sports, ESPN partnered with The Home Depot and Octagon to create a GameDay-like environment in Atlanta, featuring many of the show’s regular fixtures including ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Demo Field, Jumbotron, and other production elements to help bring the show to life.
In honor of The Home Depot’s annual employee appreciation week, more than 4,000 of The Home Depot’s associates were also invited on-site to join the show and take part in some staple GameDay activities.
“Working with The Home Depot and ESPN over the past two decades to build one of the most recognizable sponsorship collaborations in sports has been truly remarkable,” said Matt Chelap, Senior Vice President, Octagon Marketing. “College GameDay simply would not be the same without The Home Depot, and the incredible efforts by ESPN. We’re proud to be a part of this historic partnership, and look forward to continuing to celebrating the platform and college football with fans for many years to come.”
“Being a part of college football’s greatest moments week to week has been such an honor for The Home Depot for the last 19 seasons,” said Melanie Babcock, Vice President of Integrated Media at The Home Depot. “This partnership has not only brought on great opportunities to showcase our home-improvement expertise, but it brings pride to our associates who get to see the brand on the biggest stage during the football season.”
In addition to being appointment TV for millions of viewers each weekend, the on-site experience has grown to become a must attend event for students at every university the show visits, and a bucket list item for fans. The larger College GameDay Built by The Home Depot campaign has also driven some memorable TV spots, and produced a collection of consumer touchpoints. From the The Home Depot’s orange College GameDay bus, to The Home Depot hard hats handed out to fans on-site, to thousands of VIP guests, clients, and The Home Depot associates who have been hosted on-site, the storied partnership between ESPN and The Home Depot has become the archetype for sponsorship models across sports.
Over the last 20 seasons, College GameDay Built by The Home Depot has visited more than 70 schools and universities, originated from 91 cities, and welcomed more than 1.6 million fans on site.
In celebration of the 20th Anniversary campaign, Octagon also built a collection of additional activations set to debut during the college football season, including the utilization of a custom The Home Depot 20th season logo, which will be used on various in-show and on-site elements throughout the season; weekly vignettes that will look back at some of the great moments from College GameDay over the past two decades; distribution of 20th season gear including the iconic orange hard hats; and a thank you message from College GameDay talent at the end of the season.