ESPN has officially tapped Timbaland and Justin Timberlake to curate music for Monday Night Football – including pre-game shows, promotional spots, and the live broadcasts themselves.
The Disney-owned sports network emailed DMN today about the partnership, which is expected to span seven total weeks beginning with a season-opening showdown between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets on September 11th.
After that, Timbaland and Timberlake (who possesses a stake in Timbaland’s Beatclub music platform) will select the tracks for a week-six Cowboys-Chargers match-up, a week-11 meeting between the Eagles and the Chiefs, and a week-16 Ravens-49ers game, besides a week-18 doubleheader as well as the postseason’s wild-card and divisional rounds.
All the while, “the users and A&R team” of Anthem Entertainment-backed Beatclub will support Timbaland and Timberlake “in the music creation for the season,” ESPN signaled. To “kick off” the union and the NFL season, the duo and Nelly Furtado have teed up a release entitled “Keep Going Up,” which is set to debut this Friday and has already appeared in a 30-second promo for the Bills-Jets opener.
Addressing the collaboration with Timbaland and Timberlake, ESPN senior director of sports marketing Curtis Friends emphasized the longstanding connection between music and football.
“Football and music go hand-in-hand, like the iconic Timbaland and Justin Timberlake duo, who collaborate on music to near perfection,” said Friends, whose comments come about one year after Apple Music was announced as the Super Bowl Halftime Show’s sponsor and approximately two weeks after John Legend joined the $2 million round of sports-focused media site Fantasy Life.
“ESPN’s Monday Night Football music curatorship is popular with fans given the access this partnership provides to new and unexpected combinations of music with sport,” he finished. “We’ve had Diplo, DJ Khaled, Drake, and Marshmello and this fifth season, for the first time, we have two curators in Timbaland/JT we know will energize all us fans for this NFL football season.”
Last year, Amazon Music followed Thursday Night Football games with live performances from acts including Lil Baby, Lil Wayne, Megan Thee Stallion, and Kane Brown. And more recently, the NFL expanded its multi-year agreement with Ntertain Studios and Miami-headquartered Neon16, the roster of which includes Bad Bunny producers Albert Hype and Jota Rosa.