LeBron James joins Drake in Canadian sports media deal

Rapper and Lakers forward join forces to bring Uninterrupted platform to Canada

LeBron James, left, and Drake at the premiere of the STARZ original series “Survivor’s Remorse” on Sept. 23, 2014 in Los Angeles. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Sayles - Invision

Drake and LeBron James are joining forces to reshape the sports media landscape in Canada.

The music superstar and the Los Angeles Lakers forward announced on Tuesday a partnership to bring Uninterrupted, a digital platform for athletes, to Canada. Drake is a part owner and promoter for the platform which James began in 2015, while Scott Moore serves as chief executive officer and Vinay Virmani works as chief content officer.

Moore, who resigned as network president of Sportsnet in October, says Uninterrupted Canada will not be competing with his former employers, TSN, or any other traditional media outlets.

“I think it’s complementary, but it’s also a bit of a disruptor,” said Moore on Tuesday. “In trying to describe it to people it’s not a TV channel, it’s not a website, it’s not a Twitter feed. It’s a brand, it’s a content ecosystem that can appear anywhere.

“It might appear in a podcast, it might appear on Instagram, it might appear on YouTube, it might appear on a television channel. But it’s the content ecosystem and the brand itself that drives the content.”

Uninterrupted Canada will focus on the interests of athletes outside their field of play. When the Drake-James partnership was announced it was also confirmed that Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka would have a fashion-based property on the platform and that Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman — who was traded to New York by the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday — will have a motivational series.

Although it has clear ties to the NBA, Moore believes that many NHLers will also be interested in working with the company.

“Hockey players are dying to show their personalities,” said Moore. “I’ve seen this change over the last four or five years where hockey players have started to become their own brands, to let their personalities come through. You’ve seen it in Toronto with guys like Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews, in Vancouver with Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson.

RELATED: ‘Break from Drake’ – Milwaukee radio station bans rapper’s music during Raptors-Bucks series

“Many professional athletes, regardless of their sport, want to build their brands. Want to have an opportunity to speak quote uninterrupted. That’s the beauty of this platform. It gives them the voice to do it.”

Drake will contribute his musical talents to some major projects, either creating original songs, as a producer, or as a consultant. But he and James’s primary contributions will be their impressive network of personal and professional connections.

“Obviously, it’s a gigantic advantage. The doors that open when you have two partners like that, the people that want to be involved with the platform when you’ve got two partners like that, the possibilities are endless,” said Moore. “In Canada, where there is no other brand like this, we’ve got a little bit of green field for a bit. I’m sure there will be others.

“You’ve got the biggest musician in the world and, arguably, the biggest professional athlete in the world, it makes for a strong brand, that’s for sure.”

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Central Alberta Buccaneers punch ticket to AFL Final

28-20 win over Fort Mac sets up likely date against Calgary Wolf Pack

Lacombe Chamber annual Scholarship winners unveiled

Successful applicants for 2019 are Bryna Figursky and Aden Grose

Lacombe’s Morrison House Cafe to close Aug. 30

Morrison House recently celebrated 100 years in Lacombe

WATCH: Lacombe Days parade rolls through city

Hundreds turn out for annual tradition

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

First Nations women finally to be treated equally under Indian Act: Bennett

Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action thanked the feds

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

What could be next? Five questions in the SNC-Lavalin saga

Will police lay charges? Will report resonate with voters? Will Jody Wilson-Raybould get re-elected?

Alberta government strikes panel to advise on wage cut for alcohol servers

Panel is tasked with consolidating existing studies on the effects of a minimum-wage increase

‘Tips on steroids:’ Social media both a help, hurdle for Canadian police investigations

More than 1,000 tips were received by police in the hunt for fugitives Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky

Most Read