LeBron James Through His Company Spring Hill Productions Announces New Animated Web Series, 'The LeBrons,' to Promote Positive Messages to Youth; Show Will Help Support Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Believe Entertainment Group to finance, sell and distribute the 10-episode digital series and partner with Spring Hill Productions on brand engagement and all business efforts for the show
Hewlett-Packard and Intel first to sponsor 'The LeBrons' and contribute to creative development
NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- LeBron James through his production company, Spring Hill Productions, and Believe Entertainment Group today announced they will launch a new, original animated series exclusively for the Web entitled "The LeBrons," a family entertainment show designed to provide positive messages to today's youth. A portion of proceeds from the series will be used for the purchase of HP computers powered by Intel® Core™ processors, to be donated to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in support of its education initiatives. Believe Entertainment Group, a New York-based digital entertainment company, will finance, sell and distribute the 10-episode digital series and partner with LeBron James and Spring Hill Productions on sales and all business efforts for the show, including engaging brands and delivering the show to James' massive social network and LeBronJames.com.
"The LeBrons" will live on a YouTube channel at youtube.com/thelebrons and will be heavily promoted and distributed through LeBron's Facebook and Twitter channels as well as a dedicated section of LeBronJames.com; additionally, the show will be syndicated across targeted sites on the Web through Digital Broadcasting Group (DBG). The characters in the show will feature Nike's Young Athletes footwear and apparel. HP and Intel will be lead technology sponsors of the series. Physical production for "The LeBrons" will be managed by Dru Dog Productions, and the show is slated to launch in early 2011.
As LeBron's first foray into digital entertainment, "The LeBrons" will have plenty of humor, fun and wit, and is also designed to relay a series of positive messages in every episode that stem from a problem faced by modern families, or a current social event. The show will tackle a wide variety of subjects, including family, teamwork, friendship, giving back to the community, staying in school, staying out of trouble, and more, all done in an edgy, fresh and relatable way.
"'The LeBrons' provides me with an opportunity to reach kids through entertaining and meaningful messages about how important it is to do well in school, respect their parents and friends, and be involved in the community," said LeBron James. "This is a great way to show youths of all ages how to be a good person, no matter what their circumstances are, and by launching it online I'll be able to reach everyone who follows me on the Internet, especially LeBronJames.com, Twitter and Facebook. I'm so excited for 'The LeBrons' to start, and I can't wait to watch it with my family."
LeBron's online community is highly active; he boasts over 4.8 million 'likes' on Facebook, and has generated more than 1.2 million followers on Twitter within his first several months on the service. With this engaged audience in mind, Believe Entertainment Group has created unique ways for advertisers to get involved with "The LeBrons" through brand integration and sponsorship, which will include custom animation and exclusive partnerships with the show.
"LeBron's fans are just as active on the Web as they are in the stands," said Dan Goodman, Co-Founder of Believe Entertainment Group. "By tapping into LeBron's massive social network we're addressing the audience on their terms and how they want to watch." Co-Founder Bill Masterson added, "As LeBron delves into the online world through the series, we're excited to help him interact with his fans in new ways. LeBron is a mega-star, yet he is also relatable to his fans, down to earth, and full of creative ideas that will help make his message resonate with audiences of all ages."
As lead technology sponsors, HP and Intel provided technology enabling the development and production of the show. From an Intel perspective, the series logically coincides with the company's recent announcement of the 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ processor family, which delivers a rich, immersive, visual experience for consuming digital media such as "The LeBrons," according to Mark Vaiciulis, Intel senior marketing manager.
The idea for the creation of the show began with a series of Nike television commercials introducing four characters that represent four different sides of LeBron James' personality: KID, WISE, BUSINESS and ATHLETE. LeBron decided to create the new series loosely based on these characters, told through the point of view of KID, that will take place in Akron, OH, LeBron's hometown. The neighborhood will be a character itself, as it depicts LeBron's real life childhood stomping grounds and serves as the nurturing but sometimes difficult backdrop of youth trying to find their way in the world. In addition to The LeBron Family characters, the show will introduce a host of all new friends and supporting cast. With outrageous storylines and flawed, relatable characters, the series will provide entertainment content that can be enjoyed by both parents and kids alike.
Additional details on distribution and advertiser partnerships for "The LeBrons" will be announced soon.
About LeBron James and Spring Hill Productions
LeBron James, 2009 and 2010 NBA Most Valuable Player, is an internationally recognized basketball superstar who plays for the Miami Heat. Selected to the NBA All-Star team every year after his rookie season, as the overall No. 1 pick in the 2003 draft, LeBron has electrified fans across the globe with his dazzling play and record-breaking achievements. He is the youngest player in NBA history to win Rookie of the Year honors and reach 15,000 career points. LeBron served as a co-captain of the Team USA basketball team that won the Gold Medal with an undefeated record at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Off the court, James is actively involved in a wide range of philanthropic endeavors. LeBron is an avid supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America and through a national initiative the LeBron James Family Foundation donated 1000 HP computers to the organization in 2010. He continues to give back to the city of Akron and in 2010 LeBron has donated 1000 HP computers to Akron Public Schools "After-School Program" as well. LeBron James hosts the annual State Farm King for Kids Bike-a-thon, whose proceeds are donated to the Akron Area YMCA and the Akron Urban League. In addition, James and the LJFF have installed playgrounds in New Orleans, Phoenix and Dallas, as part of an initiative that began in 2008 during the NBA All-Star activities.
In 2008, LeBron James and his business partner, Maverick Carter created Spring Hill Productions and executive produced More Than a Game, a documentary which chronicles LeBron and his teammates at St.Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio and their seven-year journey which culminates with a national high school championship. More Than a Game debuted to critical acclaim at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2008 and was runner-up for the People's Choice award to the eventual Academy Award winner Slum Dog Millionaire. The film opened domestically in the fall October of 2009 and was nominated for a 2010 Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary.
About Believe Entertainment Group
Believe Entertainment Group is a digital entertainment company focusing on premium entertainment experiences through direct partnership with elite talent and leading brands delivered through a variety of digital outlets such as web, mobile, VOD, social media, gaming, and more. In April 2010, Believe Entertainment Group announced an alliance with Paramount Digital Entertainment (PDE) working together on the hit digital series The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers (The LXD), created by Jon M. Chu (Step Up 2: The Streets and Step Up 3D) and distributed through Hulu. Recently, Believe Entertainment Group expanded its partnership with MommyCast, the Webby Award winning multi-medium show for moms, and announced the launch of MommyCast Latina, a first-of-its-kind, original HD web show specifically for the Latina mom. Formerly, Dan Goodman and William H. Masterson III, Co-Founders of Believe Entertainment Group, have launched previous digital entertainment projects including Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy with Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and meinspace.com, an online effort to support Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno, as well as original short form content with the world famous improv troupe, The Second City among others. Their extensive experience in advertising and marketing has led to brand and distribution partnerships with well-known, respected brands such as Burger King, Procter & Gamble, Priceline, Johnson & Johnson, State Farm and Microsoft among others, as well as key distribution relationships delivering scalable audiences for their projects including YouTube, Google, Hulu, Digital Broadcasting Group, MySpace, FLO TV and more.
For more information on Believe Entertainment Group contact:
Gretchen Wagner: gwagner@BelieveEnt.com
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) has changed and saved lives, enabling young people to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, some 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve 4.2 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in neighborhoods throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide, providing young people 6-18 years old with guidance-oriented character development programs conducted by trained, professional staff. Key programs emphasize leadership development; education and career exploration; community service; technology training; financial literacy; health and life skills; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and family support. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.
For more information on Boys & Girls Clubs of America contact:
Frank Sanchez: 404-487-5907
SOURCE Believe Entertainment Group