Religion of Sports — the media company founded by Tom Brady, Michael Strahan and Gotham Chopra — has partnered with NBC Sports regional networks for a new one-hour documentary addressing the issue of mental health in sports.
Thursday’s announcement fittingly came on World Mental Health Day, and the joint project will launch in November to coincide with Men’s Health Awareness Month.
“HeadStrong: Mental Health and Sports” is executive produced by six-time NFL Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall.
“This project hits home for me,” Marshall, who is currently an NFL free agent, said in a statement. “Through ‘HeadStrong,’ I hope to use my voice to encourage others to talk openly on this subject.”
“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,” Chopra continued. “The ability to focus, block out the noise, and calibrate oneself amidst the intense pressure of competition is an absolute requirement for success.
“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.”
“HeadStrong” is a multi-platform content initiative that will air on NBC local and national platforms.
“Mental health issues have been pushed to the forefront of our national conversation,” Ted Griggs, president, Group Leader and Strategic Production & Programming, NBC Sports Regional Networks, added. “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.”
According to the official release, 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.
Religion of Sports is a Sports Emmy-award winning Sports Media Content company co-founded by Brady, Strahan and Chopra and also guided by Ameeth Sankaran. 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