A new recording of Willie Nelson's "I'll Be Seeing You" backs an Ad Council and COVID Collaborative PSA that encourages Americans to get COVID-19 vaccine shots so sporting events can once again draw capacity crowds.
Over a dozen sports leagues and organizations, including the American Horse Council, the NBA, the WNBA, the NHL, the NFL, the PGA Tour, NASCAR, Major League Baseball and WWE, contributed footage.
The ad, created pro bono by Pereira O'Dell, shows such memorable moments as Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff's hug after the 2019 U.S. Open, Jordan Spieth's improbable win at the 2017 Travelers Championship, one of Sasha Banks' WrestleMania entrances and a home run by the New York Mets' Pete Alonso. In each case, audience reactions made a big moment even more special.
"Sports and sports moments hold a special place in the hearts of millions of people across our country and, regardless of who you're rooting for, we're all looking forward to getting back to the arenas, stadiums and moments we miss," said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council, in a statement.
The ad points viewers to the Ad Council's vaccination information portal for the latest news about COVID-19 vaccinations and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Per the Associated Press, the Ad Council's COVID-19 response efforts since March 2020 have resulted in 44 billion impressions, $456 million in donated media value and over 33 million visits to Coronavirus.gov.
"I'll Be Seeing You" was previously included on Nelson's 1994 album Healing Hands of Time. Nelson's new, acoustic take would be heartbreaking, even without being tied to the Ad Council's "It's Up to You" PSAs.
"I'm happy to be part of this new campaign with the Ad Council, COVID Collaborative and these sports organizations to empower millions more to get the answers they need and feel confident in getting vaccinated, like I did," the country music legend said in a statement.
The song dates back to the 1930's. It was written by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal and debuted in the Broadway musical Right This Way. Popular singers Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra made it a hit in the '40s, especially for families with loved ones serving in World War II.
"I'll Be Seeing You" Lyrics
I'll be seeing you
In all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces
All day through
In that small cafe
The park across the way
The children's carousel
The chestnut trees
The wishin' well
I'll be seeing you
In every lovely summer's day
In every thing that's light and gay
I'll always think of you that way
I'll find you
In the morning sun
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
But I'll be seeing you