ESPN Battle of the Bands

College bands received a dose of action-adventure, thanks to ESPN and the makers of the hit summer film “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

Seven of the nation’s top college marching bands competed in “Battle of the Bands and the Quest for the Crystal” on Camera crews filmed each band in a stand-still performance of the classic John Williams theme to “Indiana Jones.” Fans were able to watch the videos online and vote for their favorite.

Each band received $5,000 just for participating. The winner, Louisiana State University (LSU) was featured on College Game Day and received $25,000 from Paramount and Lucasfilm Ltd. LSU altered the arrangement, dressed the “Golden Girls” in Indiana Jones-themed costumes, added horn and body movements, and featured a surprise appearance by football coach Les Miles.

Other participating bands included Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Florida, University of Southern California and Texas. Bands were chosen based on their notoriety and the success of their football team. The “Quest for the Crystal” actually alludes to the crystal football championship trophy.

In addition, voters had the chance to win a trip to the televised college bowl game of their choice or a copy of the Indiana Jones DVD box set signed by Harrison Ford. The contest was a cross-promotion for the Indiana Jones DVD release.

According to Joe Knaus, ESPN’s manager of co-marketing, ESPN is open to more programs such as this and marching band coverage in general.

“Obviously we appreciate what they do, and we’re very open to covering them,” Knaus says. “They’re the unsung heroes; those kids are out there working very hard, and they’re a big part of college football.”

To view the videos, visit contests/indianajones/voteBand.

About author

Elizabeth Geli

Elizabeth Geli is the assistant editor of Halftime Magazine and a journalist/communications professional in Southern California. Her 11 years at the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Marching Band included time as a flute player, graduate teaching assistant, and student advocate. She holds a bachelor's degree in Print Journalism and master's degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from USC.