‘HeadStrong: Mental Health and Sports,’ a Multi-Platform Project Featuring 1-Hour Documentary, to Launch Nationwide in November
Additional Men’s Health Issues to also be Featured in Recognition of Men’s Health Awareness Month
STAMFORD, Conn. – October 10, 2019 – NBC Sports Regional Networks today announced a partnership with Religion of Sports – the Sports Emmy-winning media company founded by Tom Brady, Michael Strahan, and Gotham Chopra – to develop and produce Head Strong: Mental Health and Sports, a comprehensive multi-platform content initiative on mental health as well as men’s health issues. The joint project, which will launch in November to coincide with Men’s Health Awareness Month, is highlighted by a one-hour documentary that will be presented nationwide across NBC Sports Regional Networks and other NBC local and national platforms. Six-time Pro Bowl receiver and Founder of House Of Athlete Brandon Marshall serves as an executive producer.
HeadStrong: Mental Health and Sports will explore a wide range of topics surrounding mental health, including anxiety, depression and addiction, and the factors that have led to increased risk among athletes at all levels of competition. With approximately 20 percent of Americans experiencing mental illness in a given year, there will be a special focus on the successful stories of diagnosis and treatment that have allowed those facing mental health problems to overcome adversity. The documentary will also explore what can be done to help more athletes persevere, including prevention and education, as well as the positive impact made by high-profile athletes sharing their personal stories.
“Mental health issues have been pushed to the forefront of our national conversation,” said Ted Griggs, President, Group Leader and Strategic Production & Programming, NBC Sports Regional Networks. “Thanks to athletes like Brandon Marshall, Kevin Love, Michael Phelps, and Missy Franklin, and executives such as NBA commissioner Adam Silver, we know that our sports heroes face mental health challenges, just like so many others. We hope this project will advance that conversation and show people that resources and assistance are available to everyone.”
“Over the last few years, in working closely with a number of elite athletes, it’s become clear to me that more than their physical gifts and relentless training, it’s the ‘mental game’ that separates the very best,” said Religion of Sports Co-founder Gotham Chopra. “The ability to focus, block out the noise, and calibrate oneself amidst the intense pressure of competition is an absolute requirement for success.” Chopra adds, “That a few bold athletes are now speaking openly about the challenges around mental health is inspiring, and as storytellers who pride ourselves on being able to explore human potential, this project and partnership with NBC Sports Regional Networks is not only a great challenge for us, but a really important one we’re incredibly proud to be a part of.”
“This project hits home for me,” said Brandon Marshall. “Through HeadStrong, I hope to use my voice to encourage others to talk openly on this subject.”
The initiative will extend well beyond the one-hour documentary with a variety of elements across multiple platforms to raise awareness on mental health and men’s health issues. A series of short-form digital videos and other content, such as articles and podcasts, will be published across NBC Sports Regional Networks’ digital platforms throughout the month of November. Also included will be topical events and engagement activities held in NBC Sports Regional Networks’ markets leading up to the documentary premiere.
The initiative follows NBC Sports Regional Networks’ successful documentary project last year on youth sports, entitled Fair Play, and the 2017 initiative
TOMBOY, which focused on gender issues in sports. Both Fair Play and TOMBOY were produced by NBC Sports Regional Networks and were televised nationwide on NBC Owned Television Stations and NBCSN.
–NBC SPORTS REGIONAL NETWORKS–
About NBC Sports Regional Networks
NBC Sports Regional Networks is home of the Authentic Fan and part of NBC Sports Group’s portfolio of nine regional networks that delivers more than 2,200 live sporting events and original content to more than 35 million homes. Aligned within Eastern and Western Divisions, the NBC Sports Regional Networks are: NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Philadelphia +, NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Washington + and SNY; and NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago and NBC Sports Northwest. For more information on NBC Sports Group properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios, headshots and logos, please visit www.NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com.
About Religion of Sports
Religion of Sports is a Sports Emmy-award winning Sports Media Content company co-founded by Tom Brady, Michael Strahan and Gotham Chopra (CCO) and also guided by Ameeth Sankaran (CEO). The company produces content ranging from short form video to podcast to feature films that answer the core question “Why Sports Matter”. Content includes its flagship Religion of Sports series, Shut Up & Dribble on Showtime, the Emmy-winning docu-series Tom vs. Time with Tom Brady for Facebook Watch and most recently Stephen vs The Game with Stephen Curry also for Facebook Watch. www.religionofsports.com
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