NBA stars are inking major media production deals

Live TV viewership is no longer the sole metric for determining the strength of sports fandoms. Players are finding new ways to evolve their careers to cater to their young fans who are consuming their favorite sports across different platforms and mediums. These NBA stars are crossing into Hollywood and are creating films, shows, and docuseries that will expand their fandoms well beyond the court.


Golden State Warriors player and 2018 NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant started an entertainment company called Thirty Five Media and brands are getting in line to work with him. YouTube and Thirty Five Media are developing sports programming for the online video platform, including the creation of YouTube channels dedicated to specific athletes such as NBA All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves and NFL player Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks. Thirty Five Media is also working with Apple to produce a series called Swagger about Durant’s life.


Cleveland Cavalier Lebron James has become a household name, and—with the help of his production company SpringHill Entertainment—he’s going to solidify his name in Hollywood. SpringHill has at least 10 series and three films on its production roster, including the highly anticipated Space Jam 2 which will star James himself. SpringHill has a docuseries in the works for YouTube’s subscription platform YouTube Red called Best Shot, which stars former NBA player Jay Williams as he mentors eight high school basketball players.


Sony Pictures Entertainment has inked a major deal with Golden State Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry and his new production company Unanimous Media. The coveted media partnership includes a first-look film and TV deal. Sony also has plans to work with Unanimous to expand its future content into different markets such as electronics, gaming, and virtual reality. The multi-year production deal, which will focus on faith and family-friendly content as well as sports-themed projects, will give Unanimous Media the opportunity to innovate across different platforms.