You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Songs for Screens: How ‘Run Wild’ Sprinted Onto EA Sports’ FIFA 2018 Trailer

The infectious rap-rock track is performed by Nigerian-born rapper Thutmose and German singer-songwriter NoMBe.

Songs For Screens is a Variety column sponsored by music experiential agency MAC Presents, based in NYC. It is written by Andrew Hampp, a brand partnership specialist and former correspondent for Billboard. Each week, the column will highlight noteworthy use of music in advertising and marketing campaigns, as well as new and catalog songs that we deem ripe for synch use.

While there may not be a Team USA at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer, there’s no denying the impact that FIFA fans have on launching music from across the world – just ask K’naan, Shakira and Ricky Martin, among many others.

That extends to EA Sports’ wildly popular FIFA World Cup video-game series, which has accumulated more than 21 million players worldwide. To announce its downloadable FIFA 18 World Cup tournament feature, EA Sports premiered a new trailer starring Portuguese soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo that debuted a new song, “Run Wild,” by Nigerian-born rapper Thutmose and German singer/songwriter NoMBe — both signees to Th3rd Brain Records, a label services division of the management company by the same name. In just four days of release, the trailer has already racked up over 10 million views across Facebook and YouTube alone.

The infectious rap-rock track “Run Wild” was submitted by Th3rd Brain’s head of music supervision Michael Gaertner late in the supervision process led by Raphaella Lima, who oversees global partnerships marketing at EA Sports. Though the trailer had already featured a different music placement by the time “Run Wild” came across Lima’s desk, she made an eleventh-hour recommendation to switch things up. “It’s hard to hit that tone where you have something with emotion that’s fresh. With my [team], it’s, ‘Let’s go for AC/DC.’ I’m like, ‘Guys, that’s you and everybody else. It’s not special.’”

Unreleased at the time of submission, “Run Wild” originated as a song for Thutmose’s upcoming debut album before the rapper decided to set it aside to focus on the more hip-hop leaning vibe of tracks like “Ride With Me” and “WuWu.” “I have certain songs that have been a product of my own sound that wouldn’t technically fit, but I make them I love sports and I’ll create anthems to keep myself going for motivational purposes,” says Thutmose. “When the FIFA thing came about, I was like, ‘Yeah, this is one of the few instances where this would make sense. I grew up playing soccer, all my friends play FIFA, so to me it was a no-brainer – just push the button.”

NoMBe, whose rock and soul-influenced debut They Might’ve Even Loved Me dropped in March, joined the track as part of an upcoming collaborative EP with Thutmose and jumped at the opportunity to premiere the song simultaneous with the trailer’s premiere on April 30. “We had this organic connection with the music department at EA Sports. They’re just honest music lovers who don’t really care where a song comes from. They just care about making something really big, so if it’s something unreleased and really new they can be a discovery tool. In a lot of ways it’s really preferable to putting a song out on your own.”

Though FIFA isn’t as big in North America as it is across the globe, Th3rd Brain’s Gaertner sees the trailer as the ideal launching pad for both U.S.-based artists. “Thutmose and NoMBe are both immigrants, and their song is being used for the World Cup , which is basically a celebration of this event where the whole world comes together,” he says. “Synch fees are great, and at the end of the day we’re trying to help our artists live their life, but this early in the game we just really care about the exposure and getting them out there. We’ll probably drive more sales outside of North America than in North America.”

And the relationship between EA Sports, Thutmose and NoMBe won’t end with the “Run Wild” synch. “The brand has a desire to implement Thutmose and NoMBe into multiple games and events that we have coming up,” says Lima. “This trailer has definitely opened the doors to different titles once the fall comes, and hopefully continue to grow and do more in ways that we’re just really building together.”

More Gaming

  • Ninja to Call 'Thursday Night Football'

    Ninja to Call NFL 'Thursday Night Football' Game on Twitch Free Live-Stream

    Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is Twitch’s most popular live-streaming gamer. Now he’s taking his play-by-play skills to the NFL — although it remains to be seen how many of his millions of followers are actually interested in his commentary on gridiron action. This season, Amazon-owned Twitch has provided free live-streaming feeds of the NFL’s “Thursday Night [...]

  • Sega Classics Bundle Hits Fire TV,

    Sega Classics Bundle Hits Fire TV, No Console, No Controller Required

    Sega and Amazon today announced a collaborative effort that delivers 25 of the most popular Sega Genesis games in a single bundle to the Fire TV. The $15 Sega Classics bundle, runs directly on the Amazon TV and can be played with the Fire TV remote or a supported Bluetooth controller. We spent a bit [...]

  • IndieMegabooth Brings Curated Indie Games to

    Indie Megabooth Brings Curated Indie Games to Kartridge

    Kartridge, an indie games storefront from the makers of the long-running gaming web portal Kongregate, is partnering with Indie Megabooth (IMB) to bring curated indie releases from the IMB Alumni Network to the platform, the company announced Thursday. The Indie Megabooth Spotlight will bring new recommendations to Kartridge every quarter, games that are hand-picked from [...]

  • ESL and Intel's Partnership Extended for

    ESL and Intel's Partnership Extended for Three More Years

    MTG’s Turtle Entertainment, owner of ESL, and Intel Corporation announced an extended partnership through 2021 via a press release Thursday. ESL is the world’s largest esports company, according to a press release. The alliance between the two companies will bring new esports competitions to Asia, in which they will premiere new technology for the industry [...]

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    'Fortnite' Season 7, Week 2 Challenges Guide

    Season 7’s week-two challenges are live in “Fortnite,” and that means new ways to earn Battle Stars and experience. By collecting more Battle Stars and upping their tier, up to a season maximum of 100, players can earn limited-time rewards like cosmetic outfits and XP boosts. (Collecting 10 Battle Stars will unlock one additional tier.) Weekly [...]

  • GOG.com Winter Sale Brings Free and

    GOG.com Winter Sale Brings Free and Discounted Games

    GOG.com announced its winter sale Thursday, which will offer several games for free or discounted prices, according to a press release. With three weeks left in 2018, GOG.com is finishing the year off right with deals on 2000 games for its Winter Sale, according to a press release. The Winter Sale starts Thursday at 9 a.m. [...]

  • Tony Hawk on Why He Brought

    Why Tony Hawk Brought His Signature Skateboarding Game to Mobile

    Famed skateboarder Tony Hawk returns to gaming with the launch this week of “Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam,” and yes, it’s a mobile game. But Hawk tells Variety that the time is ripe for his signature gameplay to land on smartphones. “The time has come,” he said, “I haven’t done a game for a few years and I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content