December 18, 2017 - NEW YORK – Verizon’s go90 in partnership with Granity Studios and Believe Entertainment Group launched “Dear Basketball” today on go90 and across Verizon’s Yahoo Sports, AOL and Complex platforms. The film is a 5-minute animated version of Kobe Bryant’s poetic ode to the game, which generated 50 million views worldwide when first published on The Players Tribune in 2015.
The film brings together three distinct legends, renowned animator and film director Glen Keane, Academy Award-winning composer John Williams, and executive producer Kobe Bryant, to bring to life Bryant’s farewell letter to the game. Keane’s timeless, hand-drawn animation together with Williams’ commanding musical composition and Bryant’s poignant narration, take viewers on one little boy’s journey from hoop dreams to basketball greatness serving to inspire the next generation to follow their dreams.
“Verizon’s go90 welcomes an array of creators, from icons to up and comers, providing them with a flexible canvas on which to share their stories,” says Chief Content Officer for Verizon’s go90, Ivana Kirkbride. “On the heels of its Academy Awards shortlist inclusion for Best Animated Short Film, the piece is a delightful new addition to our sports and entertainment offering.”
“Dear Basketball” offers fans a chance to hear Kobe speak directly to the game he loves. Keane, the creator of some of Disney’s most beloved characters, provides a magical animated window into Kobe’s defining moments set to an expert score from musical master, John Williams, responsible for some of the most acclaimed movie soundtracks of our time. Believe Entertainment Group, Co-Executive Producers of “Dear Basketball,” forged the distribution partnership with Verizon’s go90.
“’Dear Basketball’ is a story about the child within all of us, having dreams and loving something so much that you know when it’s time to say good-bye. Glen Keane and John Williams are masters of their crafts and bring a raw emotion to this story that I never thought possible,” says Kobe Bryant. “We created this film with the sincere hope that it resonates with and inspires fans of all ages, in all walks of life, to be the best version of themselves. Being able to present the short on go90 and across many of Verizon’s media brands gives more people an opportunity to see the film and be inspired.”
A 2017 Tribeca Film Festival Official Selection, “Dear Basketball” recently won Best 2D Hand-drawn Animation and the Special Jury Prize at the 2017 World Animation Celebration.
Watch “Dear Basketball” now on go90, Yahoo! Sports, AOL and Complex and get an exclusive look at the making of the film with a 22-minute documentary exclusively on go90.
:15, :30 and :60 Trailers:
Additional Visual Assets:
BTS videos here and Link to stills
Verizon’s go90 is a streaming video service bringing you the best in live sports and originals. go90 is part of Verizon's portfolio of media brands, which includes OATH brands - AOL, HuffPost, Yahoo View, Yahoo Sports - and COMPLEX Networks and more. Stream now for free from the app on iOS, Android or at go90.com.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York City, has a diverse workforce of 160,900 and generated nearly $126 billion in 2016 revenues. Verizon operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with 114.2 million retail connections nationwide. The company also provides communications and entertainment services over mobile broadband and the nation’s premier all-fiber network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide.
ABOUT GRANITY STUDIOS
Granity Studios, formed by NBA Legend Kobe Bryant, is a multi-media content creation company focused on helping athletes maximize their full potential through creative storytelling. Bryant’s first project, Kobe Bryant’s Muse, debuted on Showtime in February 2015, and in China in August 2015. Bryant served as creator and executive producer on the film. For more content from Granity Studios, visit www.kobebryant.com.
ABOUT BELIEVE ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
Believe Entertainment Group, a New York City-based entertainment company, produces high-profile content for digital and TV distribution, including Dear Basketball, a new, animated short film with Kobe Bryant, scored by John Williams and animated by Disney legend, Glen Keane. Other stand-out Believe series include: The LeBrons with NBA champion, LeBron James; In the Booth with DJ/producer Tiësto that transitioned to linear television on Fuse/FM; Money Where Your Mouth Is with comedian Jay Mohr; Inspired: by Sabrina, an ongoing women’s lifestyle show hosted by HGTV star Sabrina Soto; @EpicEDM, an ongoing original content series featuring top electronic dance music (EDM) artists, festivals and clubs worldwide; and Tiger Beat Entertainment, a millennial-focused pop culture news and lifestyle series with Jennifer Lopez. Believe Entertainment Group’s studio division develops and produces digital-first original series for OTT and digital distribution partners, including: Time Inc., MGM, Yahoo, Comedy Central (Viacom), TruTV and AOL, among others. Believe maintains key distribution relationships with numerous leading media partners, including: Time Inc., Hulu, Yahoo, Fuse, YouTube, AOL and Defy Media, among others. Further, Believe has been at the forefront of building brand partnerships around premium content with some of the world’s leading brands, such as: Intel, Sprite, Nike, P&G, HP, J&J, Microsoft, Marriott, Progressive, Moët & Chandon, Campbell’s, McDonald’s, U.S. Army, Dell, Clorox and more. In 2014, the company signed an investment deal with the British-based broadcaster and studio ITV, who also joined the company's board of directors.
VERIZON’S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: News releases, feature stories, executive biographies and media contacts are available at Verizon’s online News Center at www.verizon.com/news/. News releases are also available through an RSS feed. To subscribe, visit www.verizon.com/about/rss-feeds/.
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