The sports stars behind athlete content platform, AthletesVoice, have launched a new online TV series, AthleteTV (ATV), in partnership with Facebook.
The video series will be distributed on both Facebook Watch and Instagram TV and will bring a hand-picked group of elite athletes together with a focus on the ‘human behind the headline’ throughout the 48 episodes set to air in Season One.
ATV will create new opportunities for fan, athlete, and brand management during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) global pandemic, allowing audiences the opportunity to ask their favourite athletes questions, see them share their most valued personal possessions and learn how they are staying sane at home.
Episode One, sponsored by P&G’s Pantene, featured Australia’s most-capped netballer, Liz Ellis, along with Boyd Cordner, Helen Housby, Dan Carter, and Michael Cheika.
AthletesVoice CEO, Kerry McCabe, said the launch of ATV will give elite athletes the freedom and safety to be more open and relatable than ever before.
“The reality right now is that our athletes have been stood down without pay or on reduced pay, sports lovers have little to watch, and brands have lost opportunities for engagement with this valuable audience,” McCabe said.
“There are only so many trick-shot challenges, re-runs and greatest ever lists we can all take.
“We decided to work with these stakeholders and Facebook to create and evolve a product to enrich the lives of sports lovers who number seven million plus.
“We want to help fill the content void and support athletes through what will be a quite different sports industry and media landscape in the future.
“The purpose of ATV is to bring athletes, brands and sports lovers together to take on the subjects that matter to all Australians right now and into the future.
“Our inspiring athletes have the power to connect, entertain and unite like no other group in society.
“We’re energised by the opportunity to positively impact their earnings and our brand partners’ communication goals,” he said.
Sydney Roosters co-captain, Boyd Cordner, said being involved in the first show is a chance to get back in touch with followers during the NRL seasons hiatus.
“Being cut off from our followers has been one of the hardest parts of life as a professional athlete during these crazy times, so to be able to welcome the people that matter most to sport into our homes through ATV is a great thing to be a part of,” Cordner said.
Facebook ANZ sports media partnerships lead, Karren Rogers, said now is a perfect time for ATV to engage fans missing out on their sport action due to COVID-19.
“Right now we’re all craving more personal connections in our daily lives,” Rogers said.
“ATV can hopefully serve as a great companion during this time and we’re excited for Facebook Watch and IGTV to help create some much-needed connection around this content,” she said.
According to AthletesVoice, season one of ATV will cover “serious topics to outright silliness”, including family, mental, physical and spiritual health, through to higher education and entertainment, with inspiring athletes exploring “the game of life.”