O’Melveny Represents New Sports Content Studio game1July 20, 2020 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sports content studio announces initial slate of projects, including projects with James Harden, Danica Patrick, Queensboro Football Club and David Villa, and Deshaun Watson
LOS ANGELES—July 20, 2020—O’Melveny is representing game1, a new, cutting-edge sports content studio, which announced its initial slate of projects being developed and produced in partnership with top professional sports teams, leagues, athletes, and media companies.
game1’s A-List of initial partners includes Houston Rockets All-Star guard James Harden, barrier-breaking racecar driver Danica Patrick, the Queensboro Football Club and their global soccer superstar owner David Villa, and Houston Texans Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson.
As outside counsel to game1, O’Melveny advises game1 in connection with its day-to-day operations and various commercial matters, including production and other entertainment deals, as well as corporate and financing matters.
Led by partners Greg Economou, Basil Iwanyk and Michael Smith, game1 will develop premium sports content in all forms – scripted and unscripted film and television, digital, audio, and branded content – in collaboration with the entertainment industry’s premier storytellers, creatives, and talent. The studio, based in Los Angeles and New York, intends to connect the dots between Hollywood film industry actors, writers, directors, and producers, and curated sports-based intellectual properties and brands.
“We’re honored to play a role in helping game1 bring its vision for elevated sports content to life, including through these important initial partnerships,” said O’Melveny partner and Sports Industry Group co-chair Charles (Chuck) Baker, who is leading the firm’s work for game1 along with counsel Eric Geffner. “It’s very exciting to work closely with game1 leaders Greg Economou, Basil Iwanyk and Michael Smith as they strive to become the most prolific developer of sports content in Hollywood.”
“It is such an honor and privilege to have O’Melveny in our corner as we strive to reinvent the sports content landscape,” said Greg Economou, Co-Founder & Partner of game1. “The insight and connectivity that Chuck Baker and the entire OMM team have provided to date has been incredible and proven invaluable to us.”
In addition to Baker and Geffner, the O’Melveny team representing game1 includes the firm’s head of Entertainment and Media, Bruce Tobey, partners Chris Del Rosso and Alexander Anderson, and associates Alexandra Piarino and Rob Catmull.
O’Melveny’s Sports Industry Group handles many of the legal matters that draw coverage in sports pages everywhere—billion-dollar acquisitions and dispositions of professional sports teams; cutting-edge media and licensing arrangements; stadium development, financings, and naming rights; sponsorships and endorsements; strategic joint ventures; and high profile litigation and other disputes.
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Game1 issued the following press release:
GAME1 ANNOUNCES NEW ELEVATED CONTENT PARTNERSHIPS AND PROJECTS WITH A-LIST SPORTS TEAMS, LEAGUES, AND ATHLETES
Sports content studio has established nearly 40 content partnerships within the sports industry, including James Harden, Danica Patrick, Queensboro Football Club and David Villa, Deshaun Watson, and more
LOS ANGELES, July 20, 2020 – The new cutting-edge sports content studio, game1, today announced its initial slate of forthcoming projects to be developed and produced in partnership with professional sports teams, leagues, athletes, and media companies. Led by partners Greg Economou, Basil Iwanyk and Michael Smith, game1 develops premium sports content in all forms – scripted and unscripted film and television, digital, audio, and branded content – in collaboration with the entertainment industry’s premier storytellers, creatives, and talent.
“game1 is about three things: sports, culture, stories,” said Smith. “And we are most passionate about stories that transcend wins, losses, and championships. Now more than ever there is a hunger for content that spotlights the intersection of culture, race, gender, politics, and sports. We’re here to help satisfy that appetite in a major way."
Included among game1’s ever-expanding list of projects and partnerships are:
- A strategic partnership with Houston Rockets All-Star guard James Harden that includes a docuseries showcasing the origins and explosion of the summer basketball scene in Los Angeles, and a digital series entitled SIGNATURE MOVES, in which Harden and fellow superstar athletes reflect on the inspiration, invention and implementation of game-changing moves such as Harden’s step-back 3-pointer;
- A collaboration with barrier-breaking racecar driver Danica Patrick on a news-magazine television series tackling gender issues in sports, entertainment, business, and politics, while highlighting the journeys of Patrick and other trailblazing women;
- A reality show with Queensboro Football Club – and their global soccer superstar owner David Villa – featuring the launch of the United Soccer League expansion team in Queens, NY;
- An all-access, in-season docuseries with Houston Texans Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson that will give viewers an unprecedented look into life as the face of a franchise, the first project in an overall development deal between Watson and game1; and
The company’s feature film slate also includes:
- NATIONAL CHAMPIONS, from writer Adam Mervis, a co-production between game1 and Iwanyk’s Thunder Road Pictures. Originally a play by Mervis, he is adapting NATIONAL CHAMPIONS for the screen, with Deshaun Watson attached as an executive producer.
- RIDE by Victoria Rose, in partnership with Mark Ciardi (Miracle, Invincible, The Rookie); and
- TWO-A-DAYS by Kyle Harimoto, produced in partnership with Paul Schiff and Tai Duncan.
“Content is more important than ever, especially as it relates to the sports world,” added Iwanyk. "Our goal is to be the most prolific maker of sports movies in Hollywood. Some will be made in-house, others through partnership with outside producers. We are making an aggressive financial investment in this space."
In addition to traditional content, game1 has been extremely active in the branded content and brand partnership space, engaging with a host of national agencies and brands on an array of projects.
“We recognize that brands are beginning to evolve in the way they play in the content space, transitioning from pure advertisers to becoming part of the fabric of that content, and in some instances, investors and IP owners of content as well,” concluded Economou. “We have already developed several brand partnerships that run that gamut.”
ABOUT THE PARTNERS:
Greg Economou, Co-Founder, is a longtime leader in the sports industry especially in the areas of branding, marketing, communications, sponsorship, media, and content sales. In addition to owning and selling two consulting agencies – SME Branding and BRANDTHINK – Economou has served in senior executive leadership positions at the National Basketball Association, Charlotte Hornets Sports & Entertainment, The Madison Square Garden Company, Guggenheim Media/Dick Clark Productions, and Ticketmaster/Live Nation.
Basil Iwanyk, Co-Founder, is the founder of Thunder Road Pictures, one of the most prolific and respected independent film companies in Hollywood. Thunder Road is known for producing blockbuster films including A STAR IS BORN, THE TOWN, WE ARE MARSHALL, WIND RIVER, along with the JOHN WICK, SICARIO, and THE EXPENDABLES franchises. Thunder Road’s films have been nominated for Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Producers Guild Awards, Writers Guild Awards, Directors Guild Awards, and AFI Awards, and have also appeared at Cannes, Sundance, Toronto and Berlin Film Festivals.
Michael Smith is one of the sports industry’s most versatile, creative, and accomplished storytellers, best known for having been one of ESPN’s marquee talents. In his 15 years at “The World Leader in Sports,” he served in a variety of roles and worked across the network’s platforms – including as a reporter, commentator, host, and anchor. Respected from locker rooms to owners’ boxes and beyond, Smith brings a long list of both sports and entertainment industry relationships throughout his stellar 20-year career in media.
Designed to create and own high-end original sports-based content, game1 is changing the landscape of sports storytelling through the creation, production, and distribution of premium, cinematic content in the form of scripted and unscripted film and television, digital, and audio, and branded content. The studio, based in Los Angeles and New York, will connect the dots between Hollywood film industry actors, writers, directors, and producers, and curated sports-based intellectual properties and brands. For more information, please visit game1.com and join us on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.