Muse, Dave Matthews Band and Sting have been tapped to headline the 2013 NCAA Big Dance Concert Series, in conjunction with the 2013 NCAA Men’s Final Four, held in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park April 5-7.
The event is produced by the NCAA and Turner Live Events and sponsored by Coke Zero and Capital One, with an AT&T Block Party schedule for April 5 that will announce performers at a later date. Additional performers include Flo Rida, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Ludacris and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. A complete lineup of performances is available at www.NCAA.com/Final-Four.
The Coke Zero Countdown on April 6 will be headlined by Muse, whose single “Madness” is featured in an extensive promo campaign airing across TBS, CBS, TNT, truTV, NCAA.com and additional social media and digital sites. A full-length video for the song is available at www.ncaa.com/musemarchmadness
The campaign could also help extend “Madness”’ already record-breaking reign as the longest-running No. 1 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart. A similar campaign for 2012’s March Madness coverage featured the Black Keys and the band’s song “Gold On The Ceiling,” which enjoyed similar success on Billboard’s Rock charts and Hot 100 last spring. Other performers at the 2012 Big Dance included Jimmy Buffett, KISS and the Black Keys.
“For every sports tentpole we have we always look for a musical ingredient, and that usually starts with a song,” says Craig Barry, senior VP of production and executive creative director for Turner Sports. “Rarely do you find a song that works literally and metaphorically, and when we heard the Muse song we thought, ‘Oh this is amazing because of the chorus but also how lyrically it worked as a metaphor for the game.’ In the past we’ve used more in-your-face, uptempo songs, but this was one was much more majestic and really fit the spot.”
Flo Rida, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Ludacris will also perform during the Coke Zero Countdown. Dave Matthews Band will headline Sunday’s Capital One Jam Fest, with additional performances from special guest Sting and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. The concert series is expected to attract upwards of 140,000 fans over the three-day weekend, and is part of the NCAA’s corporate champions and partners marketing program, which is licensed by Turner Sports and CBS as part of a 14-year multi-media agreement with the NCAA. The concerts are presented free of charge to fans thanks to the sponsors’ support.
“Music is important to the sponsors as a lifestyle entertainment play, and this is truly a crossroads of sports and music,” Barry says. “It resonates with the artists as well, the fact that they’re able to bring their show at this level of such a big production knowing that their fans can experience it without having to pay.”
Forthcoming performers for AT&T’s Friday night Block Party should show the breadth of music and genres being showcased at the Big Dance, which spans country, rock, hip-hop and more. “You won’t find Muse on the same bill as some of these acts a lot of times,” says Barry. “This gives fans an opportunity to see bands who may not be on their list.”