Nelly, ESPN unveil 'The Champ' video

Updated: December 20, 2011, 11:30 PM ET
ESPN.com

For the first time, ESPN has produced a video of an entire original song for use during its coverage.

"The Champ," written by Nelly specifically for the network's game and studio shows, is being featured during ESPN's exclusive coverage of 33 college football bowl games.

ESPN filmed a full-length video of Nelly performing the song (above) to accompany various game highlight montages surrounding the telecasts.

"'The Champ' brings together two of my favorite things -- music and sports. I've watched football and ESPN my whole life so to do this song was a real privilege. I hope it gets champions everywhere hyped for their big day!" Nelly said in a news release.

The song and portions of the video incorporating college football highlights will be featured in various ways during game and studio telecasts across ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com, including as part of pregame, halftime and postgame reports; as the networks go to and return from commercial breaks; in highlight montages; and for promotions of upcoming programs and show segments.

The full version of "The Champ" is now available for purchase as a single (iTunes | Amazon).

Nelly, a Grammy-winning, multiplatinum hip-hop artist, actor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, was a standout member of the St. Louis rap collective the St. Lunatics before embarking on a successful solo career with Universal Motown Records. His first single called "Country Grammar," featuring a familiar nursery rhyme hook, was followed up with a debut album of the same name that spawned three hits, spent seven weeks atop the Billboard 200 chart, scored three Grammy nominations, and sold an astonishing 9 million copies worldwide.

Ranked No. 3 on Billboard's definitive list of the best-selling artists of the 2000s, Nelly has sold more than 30 million albums/singles in fewer than 10 years and is tied with Elton John for the most consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart by a male solo artist.

ESPN's bowl coverage began Dec. 17 and will conclude with the Allstate BCS National Championship (LSU versus Alabama) on Monday, Jan. 9, at 8:30 p.m.