Warner Bros. is investing $15.8 million in NBA superstar LeBron James’ video project, known as Uninterrupted.
The company announced Wednesday that it will take an equity stake in the venture which provides a platform for athletes to create videos in which they can speak directly to fans. As part of the deal, Warner’s Turner Sports unit will handle sales for Uninterrupted, which James formed with business partner Maverick Carter.
Turner Sports has been hosting Uninterrupted videos on its popular Bleacher Report website. Launched earlier this year, athletes use Uninterrupted to disseminate information about themselves without the filter of a team spokesman or journalists. For example, the site currently features New England Patriots star tight end Ron Gronkowski providing his own update on the injury to his knee sustained in the Sunday night game against the Denver Broncos (“I’m just week-to-week,” he says).
Athletes can make the videos with their smartphones if they choose. But Uninterrupted will also distribute highly-produced digital series and documentaries.
“The best thing about Uninterrupted is there are so many creative opportunities for athletes to tell their stories,” James said in a statement, adding that his goal is to make the endeavor “a place for athletes to go to connect with fans and share their stories in a different way.”
While Turner Sports will have what the partners called a “preferred content relationship," Uninterrupted is expanding to other platforms, signing a multi-year deal with go90, Verizon’s mobile streaming media app. Facebook is currently featuring Uninterrupted’s original series “Striving for Greatness” which went behind the scenes with James during the current NBA season