The Lakers and Celtics play Game 4 of the NBA finals Thursday night in Boston. This is the 12th time these two teams have faced off for the championship, in a classic rivalry as familiar as the pop songs that make up stadium playlists.
Lisa Estrada is the person in charge of choosing the music played during Lakers games. She says she’s well aware that she has inherited a great tradition of innovation.
" ‘Hit the Road Jack’ when people foul out — we started that years ago," she says. "I think we might have even started that at the Forum."
Fans can thank the Lakers and other sports pioneers for discovering that songs like "We Will Rock You" make natural pairings with fade-away jumpers and entrances from the bullpen. But you can thank corporate synergy for the fact that you still hear them.
Sharyn Taymor worked for ESPN in the mid-’90s, when the company was making its first forays beyond television. She was its point person for an out-of-left-field collaboration with the hip-hop and dance record label Tommy Boy — an album of sports anthems called Jock Rock.
Jock Rock pulled together the classic rock songs that were being played at a few influential venues. Soon, the album made its way to just about every coliseum and auditorium in the country.