The recent debut of the second season of “The Sixth Sense” exemplifies Uninterrupted’s mission of sharing authentic athlete stories by using strong brand partners.
The digital sports network’s game show, modeled on the show “The Dating Game,” tests teammate relationships, like the episode released last week with the Houston Rockets’ Chris Paul and Gerald Green. The series is a partnership with State Farm, an insurance agency with deep connections to the NBA.
Uninterrupted President and COO Devin Johnson said the series plays on State Farm’s message that agent and client relationships are deeper than just business.
“From our perspective, we wanted to play into teammates and how they work well together on and off the court,” Johnson said. “We’re always looking for teammates that have great relationships on and off the court, and the first season featured strong characters and personalities with great relationships.”
The first season of “The Sixth Sense” featured the Warriors’ Draymond Green and Nick Young, the Pacers’ Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner and the Pistons’ Andre Drummond and Stanley Johnson.
This season, Uninterrupted looked to deepen the relationship by capitalizing on State Farm’s relationship with Chris Paul and the Atlanta Hawks’ home, State Farm Arena. The second season is the current extent of the Uninterrupted and State Farm relationship, but Senior Director of Client Solutions Matt DeMartis said the partnership is definitely scalable in how it fits within the company’s philosophy.
“We thought a way to make the partnership more fruitful was finding those deep insights and double down on State Farm assets,” DeMartis said. “As an athlete empowerment brand, we felt this is a natural alignment and a nice marriage of messaging.”
State Farm Arena was used as the setting for a future episode between the Hawks’ John Collins and Trae Young, which DeMartis said helped the players feel more at ease and offered a look at State Farm’s first-year sponsorship of the arena.
Each episode also includes questions related to the NBA calendar, like Christmas-related questions for Green and Paul, which helps State Farm further cement the NBA tentpoles by owning significant basketball moments, like the upcoming NBA All-Star Game.
As Uninterrupted is about amplifying athlete lives beyond sports, the renewal of sponsorships — like State Farm — is a reflection that the content is achieving the goal, Johnson said.
“At the core of what we do is launch great content and great shows and find partners who develop it with us,” he said. “These are the shows we look to nurture.”
DeMartis mentioned Chase and Patron as two other partnerships Uninterrupted is excited about this year.
For Chase, “Kneading Dough” lets Maverick Carter explore athlete financial stories. The first season included chats with athletes such as LeBron James, Serena Williams, Lindsey Vonn, Ben Simmons, Nneka Ogwumike, Rob Gronkowski, Magic Johnson, and Michael and Martellus Bennett. Another 10 episodes are on the slate.
“Chase had a real issue that needed to be solved, making financial literacy more comfortable to talk about,” DeMartis said. “Athletes have a lot of influence and really deep stories about their financial responsibilities and making money at a young age with growing careers.
“The athletes really want to tell those stories.”
Likewise, the Uninterrupted partnership with tequila brand Patron for “Patron Pairings” takes athletes into the kitchen to help tell their life stories by whipping up food special to them and pairing it with tequila drinks.
Serge Ibaka made a dish from the Republic of Congo, while Iman Shumpert and his dad shared a heartfelt moment while making a margarita.
Uninterrupted has an extensive athlete relations team that gathers the stories and finds the right brand partner fit to help tell the athlete stories and deepen connections.
“We like to always find the athlete connections and bring them to life,” DeMartis said. “It’s finding the right forum.”