In 2014, it was Kevin Hart and Dave Franco going full bonkers to launch Madden Season with the bitterest of celebrity rivalry. Last year, Franco returned with a Madden movie trailer that made The Terminator look like Terms of Endearment. Now, to mark the start of maybe the longest running annual video game tradition among sports fans, it’s Denver Broncos linebacker and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller finding his own, ahem, purpose in trying to convince gamers to put him in their starting line-ups.
Yep, despite the multiplicity visual effects, that is Miller’s real voice belting out the pigskin gaming adaptation of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” called “Start Me.” Jessica English, EA’s global campaign lead for Madden 17, says the idea was to have top NFLers vying for Madden players’ attention to be picked for their Madden NFL 17 team. “We wanted to find fun ways to pay that idea off, that was a good balance between leaning into these athlete’s abilities on the field and how those translated into gameplay strategy in Madden,” says English. “We landed on the idea of music videos and these NFL athletes actually singing to Madden players about their skills. Easy for Von . . . he was MVP of Super Bowl 50, has a 99 overall player rating in Madden–oh, and he has some LEGITIMATE dance moves.”
Miller, who recently displayed his dancing skills on Dancing With the Stars, finds his inner Belieber here, and from the sounds of it, there will be others to follow in his pop adaptation footsteps. Cam Newton singing “Hello“? J.J. Watt belting out “Work“? The possibilities are endless.
Despite the escalating standards of silly EA Sports has set for itself over the last few years, English says that while they always aim to disrupt and turn heads towards Madden, one-upping themselves is not the objective. “We knew this year that we had to change what we were saying to our Madden players to be more representative of how they are playing Madden–less about head-to-head rivalry and more about building, collecting, flexing football smarts and winning!” she says. “What we didn’t change was how we said it, keeping our tone fun, irreverent, surprising, and continuing to insert Madden into pop culture in a way that makes sense for the brand.”
See the original music video below.