About 10 years into its business plan, APM scored a huge win by getting the rights to market the NFL Films music library. Ninety albums and 25 years later the relationship is still going strong. The footballers also use APM catalog music — the ESPN “Monday Night Football” theme, “Heavy Action,” is “the most well-known sports theme in the United States,” Taylor says. But mostly they provide music to APM which markets the catalog to local sports teams, videogames, TV shows and elsewhere.
The 90 NFL albums represent about 5,000 tracks. Custom music director Connie Red has worked closely with the NFL from day one, charged with the task of bringing order to the massive catalog of many thousands of hours. “We had Tom Heddon, who was then the NFL music director, preselect best 200 tracks for us to put on CD” (circa 1994), “and when we listened I thought, ‘This is really cool!’ It had a Spaghetti Western vibe.” The first release was called “The Magnificent Eleven.” “They had their own music library but no staff or company in place to market it,” Red says, noting APM fit the bill like a glove.
By contrast, Major League Baseball’s deal with APM to create custom music and is now at about 200 tracks. “Through MLB we supply about 80% of the teams, and also do MLB.com,” APM president Adam Taylor explains. The company also provided the opening and closing themes to “This Week in Baseball.” There’s an opening theme and a closing theme, and they’re both ours — funnily enough, written by Brits.” The hipster-sounding tracks — “Jet Set” and “The Gathering Crowd” — were selected from the KPM catalog. “KPM defined the sound of British television in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and it’s also left a mark on American sports.”