The soundtrack to any event is extremely important in providing a first-class fan experience. Traditionally, college football production hasn't included a sports DJ or a limited source of canned music. Typically, universities rely on the school band, cheer team and student section to provide the gameday soundtrack. As production in collegiate athletics continues to evolve, we've seen a hybrid style of using a sports DJ to complement the school band growing in popularity. Game directors and athletic departments have noticed the impact canned music from a DJ can have when building on in-game momentum or developing a true home field advantage.
Here is my, "if I only DJ'd one college football game in 2014, here's what I'd play" playlist:
Player Warm-Up Songs
Player warm-up songs are songs that should be played during formal player warm-ups. I deem this time as theirs. The mood of the music should be game face.
1. "0 to 100" - Drake (edited version)
2. "Bright Lights" - Gary Clark Jr.
3. "Nonstop!" - Kolombo & Sharam Jey
4. "We Dem Boyz" - Wiz Khalifa (edited version)
5. "Stop Breaking Down" - The White Stripes
6. "Wild for the Night" - A$AP Rocky (edited version)
7. "Man of the Year" - Schoolboy Q (edited version)
8. "The Game" - Common (edited version)
9. "I'm in the House" - Steve Aoki (edited version)
10. "Believe Me" - Lil Wayne (edited version)
Oldies but goodies:
1. "Club Foot" - Kasabian
2. "Ambitionz Az a Ridah" - 2Pac (edited version)
3. "Where is My Mind?" - The Pixies
4. "Dangerous" - Busta Rhymes (edited version)
5. "Lost at Birth" - Public Enemy (edited version)
6. "In the Air Tonight" - Phil Collins
One challenge I've come across year after year is player music requests that are too explicit (even the edited versions) to play in-stadium. So, rather than playing those songs, I download instrumental versions and play them as music beds during PA reads that fall into the formal player warm-up period. Here are a couple examples:
1. "Black Skinhead" - Kanye West
2. "Freaks and Geeks" - Childish Gambino
3. "Goldie" - A$AP Rocky
4. "Triumph" - Wu-Tang Clan
5. "M.A.A.D. City" - Kendrick Lamar
Hot songs can carry momentum for the duration of a timeout and help build on fan momentum. Typically these songs are feel good or celebratory type of songs. Here are a few good examples that should be added to your music library.
1. "Get Up" - Bingo Players & Far East Movement
2. "It's You" - Duck Sauce
3. "Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
4. "Boneless" - Steve Aoki
5. "Bad" - David Guetta
Oldies but goodies:
1. "Sandstorm" - Da Rude
2. "Galvanize" - The Chemical Brothers
3. "Zombie Nation" - Kernkraft
Bumps are songs that we cue to the end of a timeout after some sort of crowd rouser. These songs are intended to build the energy for a big moment or upcoming play. Here are some good examples to build a home field advantage.
1. "Outta Your Mind" - Lil Jon
2. "Animals" - Martin Garrix (edited version)
3. "Turn Down for What" - DJ Snake & Lil Jon
4. "Higher Ground" - TNGHT
Oldies but goodies:
1. "Party Up" - DMX (edited version)
2. "Jump Around" - House of Pain (edited version)
3. "Hysteria" - Muse
4. "300 Violin Orchestra" - John Quintero
A well soundtracked game is sure to improve your overall fan experience. Outside of the songs I've highlighted here, there are plenty of opportunities to be creative in theming out your presentation. Take a good look at how you're currently theming your in-game prompts, promos and sponsor activations to ensure the soundtrack is fresh and fits the brand(s) you're working with. A great audio experience is built in pre-production - not on game day. Build cues for every possible in-game scenario, so that when the time comes, your DJ is a click away from responding with the perfect song or sound effect. Game presentation is an art form and the beauty is in each detail.
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