“Not A Sports Show” Debuts on the Free Video Streaming Service on March 25, Hosted by Actor & Comedian Lil Rel Howery
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AnheuserBusch–Anheuser-Busch, the country’s leading brewer and home to America’s most iconic beverage brands, and Panay Films today announced the upcoming release of their dynamic new talk show – “Not A Sports Show.” Hosted by actor, comedian and writer Lil Rel Howery (Get Out, Judas and the Black Messiah), the show will feature Howery interviewing current and former professional athletes in a six-episode run. Anheuser-Busch partnered with Panay Films to develop and produce the project in association with Stampede Entertainment. Episodes will be available on Ficto, the free video streaming service and interactive short-form content company.
“Not A Sports Show” was created for 21+ sports lovers who are curious to know more about the personal lives of the athletes they love watching compete. Set in a relaxed bar atmosphere, Howery and his guests will kick back for refreshing conversations about anything and everything, and not just the game. From their greatest fears to their greatest triumphs, guests share their worst dates, personal beliefs, family life, and much more about themselves beyond their athletic achievements, all while having some fun. Lil Rel gets the athletes out of their comfort zones with lively activities, including a lie detector test, chili tasting, recreating a karate film, an improv nickname game and more. Watch the trailer here.
About the experience, Howery notes, “I got to hang with some of my favorite athletes, have great conversation and drink some beer. I can’t wait to do it again with our partners at Panay Films, Anheuser-Busch and Ficto.”
Each episode will be dedicated to an interview between Howery and a featured athlete. The show’s first episode will be a two-part interview with former Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce, followed by the release of new episodes every Thursday through April. Guest stars include:
- Chiney Ogwumike: Los Angeles Sparks WNBA player and first Black female ESPN host
- Joc Pederson: MLB All-Star and World Series champion
- Kenny Smith: 2x NBA champion and Inside the NBA analyst
- Melvin Ingram: 3x NFL Pro Bowler
- Paul Pierce: NBA champion, finals MVP and former Boston Celtics star
- Sabrina Ionescu: 2x John Wooden Award winner, 2020 first overall draft pick and New York Liberty WNBA player
- Shannon Sharpe: 3x Super Bowl champion, NFL Hall of Famer and co-host of Skip and Shannon: Undisputed
- Shaun White: snowboarder, skateboarder, 15x X-Games gold medalist and 3x Olympic gold medalist
Known for its brands’ award-winning advertising campaigns, Anheuser-Busch’s work with Panay Films to push into mainstream programming marks a shift for the company as it continues to reinvent the way it shows up in audience’s lives and feeds. Panay Films developed the “Not A Sports Show” platform to give 21+ fans a dose of entertainment and Anheuser-Busch’s brands a vehicle for organic, meaningful connection. “Not A Sports Show” was executive produced by Andrew Panay, Lil Rel Howery, Adam Glass, Brian Klugman, Nate Tuck, Jared Iacino and Spencer Gordon in partnership with Greg Silverman of Stampede Entertainment. Walt Becker directed.
“One of the key pillars of our consumer-centric marketing strategy is to make our brand connections relevant to people, rather than focusing on visibility alone,” said Marcel Marcondes, CMO, Anheuser-Busch. “Our brands are meaningful enough in culture to be part of the content, and so in ‘Not A Sports Show’ it was great to see how coming together over a beer allowed us to get to know the more human side of our favorite athletes.”
“Innovating and maintaining relevance among our consumers requires that we go beyond traditional approaches and craft meaningful content that’s part of the fun, instead of part of the ‘interruption’ of a typical ad,” added Spencer Gordon, VP Digital, Anheuser-Busch. “Working alongside talented filmmakers who share our vision and passion for authentic storytelling was very exciting and we can’t wait for everyone to watch the show.”
“We had so much fun working with Spencer and the A-B team, finding ways to translate the brands’ values into a widely appealing entertainment property,” said Andrew Panay, CEO of Panay Films. “Even though our approach to solving brand challenges comes from different places, we share a common thread: a history of comedic storytelling and an ability to reach wide audiences, be it through advertising or film.”
In their first-ever partnership with Anheuser-Busch, Ficto CEO and founder Mike Esola says, “We’re excited to be part of the re-invention of streaming content with a partner like Anheuser-Busch who regularly sets new standards for branded content and creativity.” Esola continues, “We’re pioneering some new models at Ficto, where genuinely great content can be infused with the creativity from best in class brand partners to create a show that appeals to today’s millennial mobile audiences.”
For more than 165 years, Anheuser-Busch has carried on a legacy of brewing great-tasting, high-quality beers that have satisfied beer drinkers for generations. Today, we own and operate more than 120 facilities, including breweries, wholesaler distribution centers, agricultural facilities and packaging plants, and have more than 19,000 colleagues across the United States. We are home to several of America’s most recognizable beer brands, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA and Stella Artois, as well as a number of regional brands that provide beer drinkers with a choice of the best-tasting craft beers in the industry. From responsible drinking programs and emergency drinking water donations to industry-leading sustainability efforts, we are guided by our unwavering commitment to supporting the communities we call home. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com or follow Anheuser-Busch on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About Panay Films
Panay Films is a full-service film production company and creative agency. Founded by film producer Andrew Panay, the company tells stories across film, TV, branded content and advertising. Its team is comprised of Hollywood creative minds and visionaries who use their filmmaking talents for a range of creative projects and pursuits. Known equally for their feature film work and their ability to work with corporations to solve marketing challenges, Panay Films applies strategy, storytelling and design to content across all screens and channels. For more information, follow Panay Films on LinkedIn.
Based in Los Angeles, Ficto is a free streaming service offering audience participation in its shows and is currently available to download on iOS and Android. Ficto’s shows have unique features including two-way engagement, livestream, location activations, and audience submissions. Ficto’s programming is centered on niche audiences and fan bases who are often underserved. For more, visit: https://ficto.tv/.