Vice Media Pacts With NBA for Digital Programming (Exclusive)
'The Way We Ball' will feature the home courts of NBA players including Emmanuel Mudiay, Joel Embiid and Jamal Murray.
Basketball is coming to Vice Media this fall.
The youth media company has inked a deal with NBA Digital, the joint venture of the NBA and Turner Sports, to produce original mobile and digital programming about the sport. As part of the deal, the media company's Vice Sports channel will produce projects meant to reach an international audience.
The multiyear deal kicks off with The Way We Ball, an unscripted series about the home courts where players including Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid got their start. It will premiere on Vice Sports and will also be available via other NBA and Vice channels.
"The NBA has done a great job of positioning itself at the forefront of global sports, both on and off the court, and as we continue to expand our content offering in the sports space, it's an incredibly exciting league to partner and grow with," said Vice Sports publisher Will Kiersky. "Exploring global youth culture and sports through the lens of NBA players will make an amazing series."
Jeff Marsilio, vp global media distribution at the NBA, added, "We've already begun shooting and feel that this is exactly the type of content that will engage existing fans while attracting a new wave of basketball lovers."
The deal comes less than two months after Vice laid off some of the staff at Vice Sports, including Editor-in-Chief Jorge Arangure, as it refocused the brand around video. It was part of a larger effort at Vice to expand its video efforts internationally — through deals with Canal+, Sky, Times of India and others — and into scripted programming, through the creation of Vice Studios.
Vice Sports previously inked a deal with the IOC to create an Olympics channel focused on telling the stories of the athletes who compete in the international event.