APM Reimagines Soundtracks for Detroit Pistons, NY Jets, and More
The Detroit Pistons recently kicked off their third season at Little Caesars Arena. An electric energy and buzz filled the crowd and was contagious from the moment the lights went down, the team’s APM Custom music intro went on, and the players were introduced. Diane Ferranti, Vice President, Programming & Production – Broadcasting and Game Operations, noted that every year is different, but this season they were looking for more of a rock vibe with high energy and lots of movement.
“It is very important that the track takes you to a place that gets you hyped for the game,” she says. “There has to be a build and it has to end with a huge crescendo, big hits, and cues that allow for impact in the video and the light show.”
“From the moment that the lights go out you can hear the fans’ anticipation,” Ferranti explained. “It lets you know that something big is about to happen and literally cues you on when to stand up and cheer.”
Ferranti first became aware of APM at the IDEA Conference several years ago. The team began looking at the music library and that led to a discussion about custom tracks. The Pistons started looking for a track that could be licensed for a brand commercial and ended up liking it so much they began to look for ways to tie that into their live in-arena show.
“Every great live show starts with a great track,” she added. “We identified the elements that we would like, elements that would give a great canvas not only for the video, but for the light show as well.”
Multimedia Diversity Matters
APM Custom spread across a multitude of sports and media landscapes. Over the years, they have worked with ESPN on reimagining the Monday Night Football theme and composing original tracks for the Scott Van Pelt Show. Connie Red, Director of Custom Music Development at APM Music describes these moments as the basis for what was to come.
“One MNF version we created had a red-carpet Hollywood premiere sound that we recorded at Abbey Road Studios with an 87-piece orchestra,” Red says. “We also provided MNF genre variations including, Hip-Hop, EDM, EDM / Hybrid, Blues Rock, Latin Rock, and Latin Reggaeton / Pop. We knew we had the talent to provide custom scores to sports entities and with the help of Matthew Gutknecht, we were introduced to a number of sports teams.”
To date, APM has composed three seasons of high impact opens for the Detroit Pistons, created a unique sound design for the Arizona Coyotes, a score for a NASCAR that hit the highs and lows needed for a 1990s spoof that depicted the fast-paced world of racing featuring the return of Kyle Busch, and produced a re-record of the Baltimore Ravens fight song with a marching band and vocal ensemble.
“As with all of our clients, each discussion and request are uniquely different,” Red says. “The differences lie in the audio references and the specific end use of the custom piece. The creative call between APM Custom and our client is always fun as we explore ideas and share video and audio clips that best describe their vision.”
Collaboration Proves Crucial for NY Jets
Another NFL client and return customer are the New York Jets. APM has recorded three different versions of an APM library track for their web series One Jets Drive. Chris Gargano, Vice President and Executive Producer with the Jets, looked at many similar companies while at NAB a few years back, but it was the company’s customer service that caught his eye.
“They seemed to understand what we wanted in a music partnership by way of everyday needs,” Gargano says. “We take pride in the production value of all of our content and that of course, includes our music selections. To that end, we thought we needed to extend the reach of One Jets Drive. By collaborating with APM in the creation of three versions of our title track “Pain Can’t Stop Me”, it provided us songs for teases, trailers as well as emotional and dramatic features.”
When creating their APM Custom music Gargano and his team were looking for a range of emotions. They wanted to have the ability to keep the tone of the original song identifiable in the new tracks but agreed that the creativity in the new songs needed to create a different range of emotions.
“The organization was very pleased with the results,” he says proudly. “The fans seem to really like the way we have woven in the songs into our storytelling. These types of shows are not only identifiable by the strong cinematography, great writing, and access, but the music as well. Music is very important.”
Ferranti agrees, tells those considering APM: “Do it,” she exclaimed. “It allows you to really build out the intricacies of the show. Think about where you want to start, how you want to build, and where it takes your fans.”