SHOWTIME Sports is the latest media distribution partner for Ones Basketball League (OBL). The start-up league founded by Basketball Hall of Fame member, Tracy McGrady, showcases an elite and highly skilled, one-on-one hoops competition during this inaugural six city tour season. SHOWTIME® will use award winning SHOWTIME Sports to digitally distribute this original sportsbiz concept via a revealing, behind-the-scenes and all-access documentary feature story as seen through the eyes of visionary, McGrady. Several weeks ago, my son Kellan and I went to the Atlanta OBL event in nearby Chamblee at Core4 Elite Development Academy where me met Tracy and Dikembe Mutombo! The Sports Techie community blog believes in this new sport business venture. OBL also recently partnered with SLAM Media, Playmaker and Heart and Hustle Productions’ as the Houston company’s initial production and content partners. Highlighting the fine line between filming the players’ skill sets and the actual games blended together with all the tournament drama during matches and even off-court, seems to be the driving force to draw a global audience in. There is still no live OBL streaming, however, I spoke to an investor/advisor that told me it will happen, sooner than later. I really liked all the venue technologies in place to make it so, especially the DJs. Showtime content is king as is the winner of the OBL.
“The production and creative team at SHOWTIME Sports knows how to build and tell stories like no one else, and the detailed background and exciting drama we have already started to capture with OBL makes this content partnership a perfect fit for us,” McGrady said. “The team at SHOWTIME shares our excitement for putting a spotlight on one-on-one basketball and all of the great action, rich stories, and hyper-competition that flows from the game.”
SHOWTIME Sports will also produce short-form digital content for distribution across its social networks from the remainder of the inaugural OBL season through the league’s Las Vegas Championship in July.
“The early results of our proof-of-concept season look good, we love what we see on the court, and so does SHOWTIME,” said Jeffrey Pollack, OBL strategic advisor. “This content partnership with SHOWTIME Sports came together quickly and further validates Tracy’s vision for shining a bright light on the essence of basketball and celebrating the vibrant talent and culture that fuels the one-on-one community.”
Proof of Concept
The two-day, regional, 32-player round-robin knockout tournament features ballers 18-years old and up not currently under an NBA contract nor can he (or she in 2023) have not been on an active NBA (WNBA) roster for more than 164 games (equivalent to two NBA regular seasons). What is different from other 5-on-5 or 3-on-3 tournaments is the way players are selected. Each participant must submit an open-sourced VIDEO submission while OBL operations staff listens to the advice of hoop insiders about who the most worthy players are to invite. OBL discovered this league presents both best-in-class talent and basketball players staying under the radar, or even undiscovered by most fans.
The winner of each regional tournament final earns a healthy $10,000 cash prize plus a Finals invitation. The Finals in Vegas is made up from the best 21 players representing the top three from each region, all competing for the ultimate dream, an opportunity to win the $250,000 grand prize, be crowned “Ruler of the Court” and trash talk opponents standing in their way to winning it all.
Regional winners from the first three events include: Glen Rice Jr. (Marietta, Ga.), Antonio Hester (Miami), and Tiras Wade (Tampa) from the Atlanta regional; John Jordan (Houston), Matt Kiatipis (Austin by way of Canada and Simon Fraser University), and Myron Taylor (Killeen, Tex.) from the Houston regional; and Mario Smith (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Yoshi Craig (Chicago), and Grant Anderson (Chicago), who took the top three places this past weekend in the Chicago regional.
New York City This Weekend
As you can see below, there are three more events with NYC on the clock this Saturday and Sunday in Brooklyn.
The regional tournaments scheduled for the rest of the OBL season are:
New York City, May 28-29
(Major R. Owens Community Center hosted by New Heights, Brooklyn, NY)
The DMV, June 4-5
(The St. James, Springfield, VA)
Los Angeles, June 18-19
Learn more Ones Basketball League info at: https://www.oblhoops.com/.
Sports Techie, my friend Steven Sather used to be the Business Development Director for Street Ball Partners out of Dallas in the 90’s. They invented Hoop It Up, the 3×3 basketball tour now owned by NBA legend Kevin Garnett. The business of competitive basketball events has been around for at least 30-years. Yet, a premier one-on-one tournament has not cornered the market, until OBL came along.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tracy and letting him know in elevator pitch time that I blogged about the OBL thanks to Joe Favorito, and I was the former moderator for WetPaint and the Houston Rockets official online community back when TMac and Yao Ming ruled the NBA courts.
The Atlanta regional was super fun to attend. My son and I met many of the local players, including the winner from Houston. The player below was the first person we meet when we entered CORE4, nice man.
Perhaps my favorite moment and memory of the 2022 Atlanta OBL was Hall of Famer Dikembe talking a picture with Kellan while doing his iconic finger waggle, truly priceless and an instant classic.
Hey New York City, the weekend countdown begins with OBL brackets ready to display all outcomes.
I wonder what former and present NBA and collegiate players, and celebrities will attend?
Will the winner be a relatively unknown ‘king of the court’ or will it be someone that is well known around the NYC basketball court scene?
Remember this OBLers – offense wins games, defense wins championships. Do not settle for three-point shots. And finally, win and lose with class, leave the nasty trash talking at home.
Hope to see you in Vegas for the Finals!
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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