ESPN has formed a new content unit, Exit 31, which will combine the resources of ESPN Films, Grantland and the upcoming FiveThirtyEight under one umbrella.
The new group's focus is to expand storytelling beyond traditional content areas that complement what ESPN does. The group's name derives from the exit off Interstate 84 that leads to ESPN's headquarters in Bristol, Conn.
The new content unit will facilitate collaborations across ESPN properties, which will be led by Marie Donoghue, senior VP, global strategy, business development and business affairs.
There are already six projects that will fall under the new Exit 31 banner. Those include Grantland's in-progress web series The Finish Line—which chronicles Steve Nash's return to the Los Angeles Lakers from injury—ESPN Films' 30 for 30 Soccer Stories and the recently-announced docuseries Inside: U.S. Soccer's March to Brazil, which follows the men's national team leading up to this summer's World Cup.
FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films will collaborate on FiveThirtyEight Films, a series of short- and long-form films that will incorporate data analytics. A new Grantland Video Podcast Network will be created as well.
FiveThirtyEight, which was acquired by ESPN last year, will launch its new version on March 17. The site's editor-in-chief Nate Silver made that announcement Saturday at SXSW.
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