Rocío Higuera suntrust// Stephen Curry will be the subject of the next Facebook Watch series - EntornoInteligente /

Stephen Curry will star in a new Facebook Watch series. (Christopher Leach) By Ben Strauss Ben Strauss Sports and Media Reporter Email Bio Follow February 11 at 12:05 PM A year after the most famous quarterback on the planet starred in his own Facebook documentary series, the world’s most recognizable point guard is getting the same treatment.

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Facebook plans to announce Monday — in conjunction with Stephen Curry’s production company, Unanimous Media, and director Gotham Chopra — a new six-episode docuseries entitled “Stephen vs The Game.” The series will air this spring on Facebook Watch , the company’s on-demand video service. It comes after Facebook’s “Tom vs Time,” a similar project focusing on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

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The new series follows Curry over the past year, beginning during last year’s playoff run and subsequent championship with the Golden State Warriors, continuing during the offseason and then concluding during the current season. The series will showcase behind-the-scenes footage of Curry’s life off the court: his training, his family, his faith, plus some home video from his youth basketball career, too

“We believe that athletes are their own media companies,” Dan Reed, Facebook’s vice president of global sports and media partnerships, said in an interview. “And via social platforms like ours, we’re really focusing on athletes being able to take advantage of this medium in ways that weren’t possible before.”

[ ‘This era of athlete is unafraid’: Stephen Curry speaks up in D.C. ]

Reed said that there are approximately 700 million sports fans on Facebook and that the vast majority of connections on the site are between fans and individual athletes; more, in fact, than between fans and teams and fans and leagues combined

“This is a really powerful trend that’s happening and Stephen is one of the leaders in the space,” Reed said

Curry is already active on Facebook, becoming the first pro athlete to use Facebook’s birthday fundraising tool (in his case, to raise money to help fight malaria). After he appeared to express skepticism about astronauts landing on the moon earlier this season, he broadcast a conversation with astronaut Scott Kelly to his more than 23 million Instagram followers about the importance of science

The documentary series also represents the expansion of Curry’s own media empire. He founded Unanimous last year in partnership with Sony; the company’s first project is “Emanuel,” a documentary that chronicles the events of the 2015 shooting of nine African Americans at a bible study class at a church in Charleston, S.C. It will have a small theatrical release this year

Unanimous is producing an upcoming feature film, “Breakthrough,” about a boy who drowns and is dead for nearly an hour before his mother’s prayers help revive him. Curry is an executive producer

Stephen’s mission is to use his platform to inspire as many people as possible,” said Jeron Smith, a co-founder of Unanimous who previously worked on digital initiatives in the Obama White House. “This is the way to reach people.”

Stephen Curry training during the shooting of the Facebook Watch series Stephen vs The Game. (Christopher Leach) Each episode will run around 15 minutes. Chopra, the director, said he has between 60 and 70 hours of raw footage. In Brady’s series, Chopra filmed the quarterback at home with his family and training with teammates in the offseason, including working out with wide receiver Julian Edelman and then palling around on ATV’s in Montana. Curry’s series will follow a similar format, though one thematic difference, Chopra said, was where the two stars are in their careers

“With Tom’s age, there was a natural tendency to look back on his career,” Chopra said. “With Stephen, he’s peaking right now, so there’s this feeling of this is happening in real time.”

Chopra described spending the night with Curry on the opening night of this NBA season when the Warriors received their third championship rings. After the game, he traveled back to Curry’s home and watched Curry unwind, as he and a few family members sipped wine and reflected on the evening

There was a normalcy to it,” Chopra said. “Like he and his wife are just grasping what has happened to them in the past few years. It’s this moment where you’re drinking wine and it feels very normal, except there are these three NBA championship rings on the table.”

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Reed described the project as a funded partnership between the three entities. Ads that will run during the series are the primary revenue source. Asked whether he could achieve the level of authenticity he desired in a film where the subject is a partner on the project, Chopra said, “Yes, it’s absolutely possible. This is not some investigative piece. We’re not looking for controversy. But we have to talk about vulnerabilities. My observation is there is something kind of therapeutic for the subject. They want to share some of the stuff — it’s not the ultra-personal stuff — but the season has ups and down and I think it becomes maybe not therapy, but it’s confessional.”

Chopra, who also directed a film in partnership with LeBron James for Showtime called “Shut Up and Dribble” about athletes and their political voice (his company, Religion of Sports, also produces the versus series), said he has not discussed a third season of the series with Facebook. He said Egyptian striker Mo Salah, who plays for Liverpool in the Premier League, interests him as a subject

The NBA is this cultural machine for America,” he said, noting Facebook’s global reach. “Cultural and political forces are meeting here and I look out at the world and see the Premier League, with Brexit happening at the same time that these international players are coming in. I think Mo Salah is a fascinating guy.”

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