Football’s ability to inspire and unite is a reoccurring theme in a new campaign created by Mrs. K for Al Jazeera Sport. The visually striking project fuses film and motion design, to speak to the passion of the global community of European professional football fans.
Following a worldwide search, Al Jazeera selected Colorado-based Mrs. K for an extensive campaign to brand and promote the network’s new broadcast of the UEFA Champions League – the playoffs and Superbowl of European soccer. The campaign includes three promos and seven show packages airing throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“We had enjoyed Mrs. K’s past work and were very interested in seeing how they would approach the branding and promotion of our new UEFA Champions League broadcasts,” notes Mohammed Al Bader, Head of Art & Creative Department at Al Jazeera Sport. “We were very excited by the designs that they presented and the concepts were perfectly positioned for both Champions League and Al Jazeera Sport.”
“Throughout the entire project we were given unprecedented creative freedom from Al Jazeera,” says Director Jeanne Kopeck. “They loved our original pitch and after our meetings in Qatar, they trusted us to execute everything in a mostly unsupervised form. It was an amazing experience from beginning to end.”
The spot concepts required a global feel, so with the project’s limited schedule, Director Jeanne Kopeck had to pick live-action locations carefully. She chose South Africa based on the extraordinary quality of its production crews and passion for the sport, Dubai for it’s Arabic talent and authentic locations, and the US for stadium shots and a “British Pub.” She and longtime DP Andrew Turman elected to shoot 35mm film for its unsurpassed ability to capture human emotion, and Kopeck asked for real kids to be cast from the townships in Soweto to bring an authenticity of experience to the “Dreams” spot.
The motion-graphics intensive program packages were shot Stateside and involved green screen mixed with extreme-high-speed shooting on the ITRONIX camera for player action and dynamic fluids. In order to successfully orchestrate the massive graphics and animation effort, Mrs K. brought on a number of additional designers and animators, selected based both on past collaborations and expertise.
Mrs. K Creative Director Mitch Monson, who concepted, designed and managed the program packages, explains: “Since Al Jazeera wanted to keep a very human quality to all of the pieces, a great ‘in-camera’ sensibility was required. There was a lot of integration between live action talent and the 3D imagery that we designed for the packages.”
Speaking to the incredible challenges of completing all of the show packages in seven weeks, Monson concludes, “Delivering in such a short time period was the biggest part of the challenge. Fortunately, with teams in LA, Denver, Minneapolis, New York and London all working simultaneously, we were able to multi-task, and get everything delivered on time.”
To guarantee the seamless integration of the graphics packages into the programming schedule, Monson traveled to Milan to personally supervise their initial implementation.
For work review and final deliverables, Mrs. K set up an exclusive online micro-site. This gave the Al Jazeera teams in Doha, Madrid, Milan and London immediate access to all of the work being created for the project.
According to Mohammed Al Bader: “The team at Mrs. K understood our needs and was a pleasure to work with. We are so excited about the Dreams promo, that we will be airing it, not only on the Al Jazeera Sport Channels, but on the other Al Jazeera Networks, and are buying additional time on outside networks as well.”
The promos and packages began rolling out earlier this month and their use will culminate in the broadcast of the UEFA Cup Finals.
“We hope the campaign will help audiences to see more than just sport; that they will also find a more human, emotional, inspirational perspective to the work,” concludes Kopeck. “We feel this will lead to a stronger connection to Al Jazeera and an understanding of its unique vision, global perspective and the exceptional coverage it brings to viewers.”
About Mrs. K:
Who is Mrs. K? She’s as much a real person as anyone in this business. She’s practical, plain-spoken and wildly creative. She makes stuff up and then she makes it happen. She is guided by the simple belief that good design, strong storytelling and a full belly are the most important virtues. Physically Mrs. K has offices in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and the Great Plains of Minnesota. Spiritually she lives wherever people hunger for beautiful imagery and a great hunk of pie.
“A Match to Remember”
“Champions League Studio”
“Qatar League Studio”
“Spanish League // La Liga”
“Italian League // Serie A”
“Preview and Review”
Client: Al Jazeera Sport
GM, Al Jazeera Sport: Mr. Nasser Al Khelaifi Art & Creative Director: Mr. Mohammed M. Al-Bader Head of Graphics and Promotion: Mr. Jabar Al Nuimi Designer, Graphic and Promotion Section: Mr. Ahmed Khamis
Production/Design Company: Mrs. K
EP: Peter Thron
Director/Sr. Creative Director: Jeanne Kopeck Design/Sr. Creative Director: Mitch Monson
DP: Andrew Turman
Producer: Lauren Worth
Line Producer: Erin Ward
Project Managers: Toby Keil & David Hofflich
Copywriter: Merrit Pulliam
AndImages: “Champions League”
Thornberg and Forester: “A Match to Remember”
Chris Averbeck: promo titles
Chris Toland: “Spanish League,” “Qatar League,” “Born Champions”
Don Grady: “Warriors All,” “Dreams of Champions”
Paul Hartwig: “A Match to Remember,” “Italian League”
Edit & Finish: Splice Here/Minneapolis
Editor: Herman Nieuwoudt
Color Correction: Company 3 “Warriors” and “Dreams”