Sport Religion of Sports sets up “Simone versus Herself” series, drops “Man in the Arena” Tom Brady trailer, and announces new hires
Tom Brady and Donald Trump: Revisiting the 'uncomfortable' friendship between Bucs QB, ex-president
Trump has made friends of many people in sports, including the longtime NFL quarterback. Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, however, made Brady "uncomfortable."The Buccaneers quarterback sidestepped the topic on Monday when a reporter asked if Brady had gotten a pass for his support of Trump because he is a white athlete.
It’s been a busy year so far for Religion of Sports, the Gotham Chopra/Tom Brady/Michael Strahan-fronted company that’s spawned, docuseries on athletes like and , , with the likes of and , and more. , the company the hire of veteran TV industry figure Ryan Stowell to lead their scripted department. This week, RoS made three more big announcements, relaying news of a Simone vs. Herself Facebook Watch docuseries on gymnast Simone Biles, revealing details on the upcoming Man in the Arena Brady docuseries, and announcing two new hires. First, here’s information on the Biles series (coming to Facebook Watch this summer), via a ROS release:
Why Tom Brady is one of America’s most polarizing athletes
Love him or hate him, NFL fans can’t quit Tom Brady on the verge of his 10th Super Bowl appearance.To some, Brady is the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, with the legendary resume and hardware to prove it. Others see a cheater, a shameless a brand builder who benefitted from playing for a football dynasty, who refused to take a personal stand on anything to avoid alienating fans, his consumers.
Simone vs Herself will follow the journey of one of the greatest athletes of all time as she seeks to further challenge herself and what is possible as a gymnast. A 19-time World Champion and four-time Olympic gold medalist, Simone has already reached the mountaintop. But as the series will reveal, there are peaks left to scale while balancing adversity – from adjusting to a postponed Olympics to conquering the challenges that come with success and the weight of enormous expectations. While the sport of gymnastics is filled with talented athletes, and competing on the world stage is a unique accomplishment in and of itself, this is the journey of Simone in pursuit of being the very best she can be.
Simone Biles made an unexpected appearance at Super Bowl LV - in cutout form
The Chiefs and the Buccaneers competed for the Lombardi Trophy Sunday, but Biles cutout wore a Houston Texans jersey in support of her hometown team.Well, sort of.
“Our Versus series with Facebook Watch has always been about pulling apart the elements that power the GOATs. There’s really no one in the world more apt for that description than Simone Biles – she’s in a class by herself,” said Gotham Chopra, co-founder of Religion of Sports. “Facebook Watch has been an incredible partner and platform to bring this unique series to an engaged audience, and we are excited to premiere it in 2021.”
“My gymnastics career has been filled with a lot of ups and downs despite what a lot of people may think, and, in a lot of ways, my career has felt like I’ve been trying to prove myself to others,” said Simone Biles. “My mom has always encouraged me to be the ‘best Simone I can be’ and I now have a true appreciation for what that really means, which is one of the big reasons I wanted to come back for Tokyo. I want to challenge myself to be the best Simone I can be for me and, no matter the outcome, share with my fans the process and approach I am taking along the way in the hope that it may help inspire others to be the best version of themselves too.”
All American gets a new spin-off on The CW centering on Simone Hicks
The CW's hit series All American is continuing its third season with new episodes on Monday nights, though next season fans may get a spin-off as well. The network will air a 'planted pilot' for a spin-off series entitled All American: Homecoming following Geffri Maya's character Simone Hicks, according to Deadline.The backdoor pilot will air as a regular episode later on in the third season, with All American showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll writing the script.
That will mark RoS’ third “Versus” series, followingand . And those documentaries have both been done well and have attracted a lot of attention, and Biles seems like a great fit as a third subject there. Meanwhile, speaking of Brady, here’s this week’s new trailer on the upcoming Man in the Arena on him, headed to ESPN+ this fall:
Religion of Sports also announced two notable hires this week, bringing in EJ Lauretta and Melissa Radzimski. Here’s more from a RoS release on them:
EJ Laretta was previously VP of Partnerships at Red Bull North America where he led partnerships with brands such as BFGoodrich, Activision, Kia Motors, Adidas and others. In his role at RoS, EJ’s primary responsibility will be to drive revenue by generating strategic partnerships both domestically and globally.
Melissa Radzimski was previously a senior producer at the Emmy Award-winning media company, Great Big Story, where she and the social team won a Shorty Award for “Best Instagram Presence”. In her RoS role, Melissa will oversee the company’s digital strategy and helm a production team that focuses on short-form documentaries made for social media platforms about the intersection of sports and culture.
How Buccaneers built a Super Bowl roster for Tom Brady: Patience in draft, punch in free agency pay off
Jason Licht's three-year run in the draft and free agency is an NFL general manager's dream, culminating in the signing of Tom Brady, the Buccaneers' final missing piece.Before Brady arrived to turn Tampa Bay into a wild-card team turned NFC champion, it had missed the playoffs for 12 consecutive seasons, going back to the end of the Jon Gruden era. The Bucs went through three more head coaches until Bruce Arians was hired in 2019.
…“Religion of Sports always is focused on our voice and point of view – using different mediums and avenues to answer the question ‘Why Sports Matter’,” said Ameeth Sankaran, Religion of Sports CEO. “We are excited for EJ and Melissa to join and help us expand the amount of content and the partners we work with to further evangelize the message.”
“I passionately believe in Religion of Sports’ mission, which is to tell meaningful and inspirational stories using sports as the language,” said EJ Laratta. “RoS is in a unique position to help brands compliment that investment with (award winning) storytelling that resonates far beyond avid sports fans.”
“I’m so excited to be a part of the Religion of Sports family, to help grow our digital platforms, and engage with the RoS community,” said Melissa Radzimski. “Some of the best sports media companies focus on highlights or viral moments; while we will always be part of those conversations, we strive to go even further by leveraging the power of RoS’ storytelling to social media and digital audiences.”
We’ll see what’s ahead for Religion of Sports, and for these particular projects. But they certainly have lots of high-profile projects in the pipeline.
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Read CNN's Fast Facts on NASCAR to learn some background information about the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing.Here's a look at NASCAR, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.