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ESPN and Turkish Airlines collaborate on new documentary series

ESPN and Turkish Airlines collaborate on new documentary series

ESPN and Turkish Airlines announced today an innovative production partnership and multi-platform sponsorship deal.  The collaboration is centered on Basketball Capitals presented by Turkish Airlines, a new documentary series profiling the culture and passion for basketball within the world’s most iconic cities.

The new, multi-faceted partnership takes viewers on a journey through four premier destinations that Turkish Airlines serves: Madrid, Berlin, Istanbul, and Athens. Basketball Capitals is developed and executive produced by ESPN’s International Marketing Solutions in collaboration with Academy-Award® winning production company 100bares and Euroleague Basketball.  The series helps illustrate the strong relationship Turkish Airlines has with European sports through first-hand accounts and profiles of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague teams that call these destinations home, including Real Madrid, Alba Berlin, Besiktas JK Istanbul, Fenerbahce Ülker Istanbul, Galatasaray Medical Park, Anadolu Efes Istanbul, Olympiacos Piraeus, and Panathinaikos Athens.

Illustrating the cities further will be special in-content vignettes, titled Turkish Airlines City Voices, providing viewers another look at what makes each city a sought-after travel destination.

“Basketball is a global sport and we’re pleased to extend our commitment with the Euroleague and work with ESPN on the creation of Basketball Capitals,” said Faruk Çizmecioğlu, Chief Marketing Officer of Turkish Airlines.  “The series provides the perfect opportunity to showcase the basketball fandom in some of the great cities in Europe, where we proudly serve over seventy destinations.”

Basketball Capitals is the next iteration of ESPN’s ‘Capitals’ franchise that is entering its third season in Latin America and illustrates football culture in the greatest cities around the world. The franchise is the company’s most successful original content series in the region with an audience of over 20 million viewers.


“Great sports stories are often about cities,” said Esteban Apraez, Senior Director, ESPN International Marketing Solutions.  “The four cities featured in Basketball Capitals have been uniquely shaped by sports and the fans that live in them. The series illustrates our approach to successful branded content, which is guided by a simple philosophy—create great content that can help deliver a powerful brand message that is about more than just how often a product appears on screen.  Basketball Capitals aligns beautifully with Turkish Airlines aim of connecting people to some of the world’s great cities.”

Added Mr. Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO: “It is a true honor that both Turkish Airlines and ESPN selected Euroleague Basketball and its participating teams to give this particular vision of European basketball, through a breakthrough branded content series that bring us the opportunity to promote and show the quality and passion our fans feel for our sport”
Basketball Capitals will be featured across a multi-faceted, multi-platform execution that includes:
·    Documentaries -  Four 30-minute original documentaries premiering on all ESPN networks in EMEA (ESPN UK, ESPN America, ESPN Classic, ESPN Middle East/Israel, ESPN Atlantic) on May 14th.
·    City Voices presented by Turkish Airlines – Eight special in-programme branded vignettes that give viewers an additional look at what makes each city a sought-after travel destination.
·    Syndication – Documentaries will be distributed and syndicated to other TV partners and will be available for exclusive in-flight viewing in Turkish Airline flights and airport lounges.
·    Comprehensive Multimedia Marketing – A full multimedia marketing campaign, featuring special co-branded creatives and digital media, will launch across ESPN networks and sites in April.  Additionally, trailers and promotional materials will appear in various stadiums during games leading up to and during the Euroleague Final Four.
·    Digital Hub – Launching in early April, will house series details, news, features, and bonus content.
·    ESPN Basketball coverage - Ahead of the documentaries premiering, Turkish Airlines commercial TV spots will be featured on ESPN TV networks’ coverage of key basketball content such as the Euroleague, NBA and NCAA March Madness across EMEA, as well as in other ESPN programming.

Basketball Capitals Overview—- premiering May 14th

In a city divided by the Manzanares River, an underlying passion for Real Madrid Basketball unites.  The cousin of the European football powerhouse and perhaps the most successful basketball team in European history, Real Madrid has won more than sixty titles including two separate streaks of seven and ten consecutive championships in the Spanish League. The city’s passion for the game permeates its culture and has helped develop some of the world’s top players.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German capital has seen ongoing social and cultural changes, reflected in Berlin’s connection with basketball and Alba Berlin, which continues to grow at a rapid rate and establish the city as a hub for the sport.

In the ancient city of Istanbul is at the crossroads of the world, where cultures meet and basketball rivalries run deep. Teams including Fenerbahçe Ülker, Beşiktas, Galatasaray, and Anadolu Efes compete for supremacy and passionate fans swarm to the stadiums to support their favourite clubs. Istanbul’s strong basketball structure has developed top players on the world stage, including Hedo Türkoğlu and Ömer Aşik, and continues to be a hub for talent.

The birthplace of the modern Olympic Games in 1896, sport has been a central pillar of life and culture in Athens for ages.  In the sport of basketball, Greece has been the birthplace of exceptional talents who have achieved on a world stage, and the country’s capital is home to a passionate rivalry between clubs Olympiacos Piraeus and Panathinaikos Athens.