SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) today launched The Vertical with Woj, a new basketball-centric digital destination run by Yahoo NBA insider, Adrian Wojnarowski. Part of Yahoo Sports, fans will get a unique look inside the NBA as Adrian and his team of world-class journalists, insiders and experts share a constant stream of breaking news, in-depth storytelling, front office deals, global draft analysis and the sneaker game. The Vertical will be the premier destination for all things NBA across desktop and mobile. State Farm® is one of the first brands to connect directly with basketball fans as a premier sponsor of The Vertical.
“We are excited to launch this project with Woj and a powerhouse group of writers, editors, analysts, producers and contributors,” said Bob Condor, Vice President for Yahoo Sports Media. “Fans will quickly regard it as essential to following their favorite NBA teams and players.”
The Vertical will feature an array of leaders in the industry to tell the full story around the NBA and its culture, including Chris Mannix, Michael Lee, Shams Charania, Bobby Marks, a 20-year NBA front office executive, Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz of DraftExpress.com, Nick DePaula of NiceKicks.com, Tim Grover, longtime trainer of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, and former player Brian Scalabrine. Joe Garza, who has been a member of the Yahoo Sports team since 2012, will direct the site’s day-to-day content and coverage. Johnny Ludden, Yahoo Sports’ Editor-in-Chief, will oversee The Vertical’s content strategy and mission working closely with Garza and Woj on a shared vision.
“Every day on The Vertical, we will be committed to pulling the curtain back on the NBA and delivering our audience exclusive, compelling content, ” The Vertical editor Adrian Wojnarowski said. “We will be a 24-hour, seven-day a week news and storytelling operation. We will be relentless in pursuit of dominating the landscape of basketball media. That will be our charge every day.”
The Vertical features custom integrated advertising opportunities for brands to connect with basketball fans across screens. State Farm has a history of engaging fans around their favorite sports experiences, and sponsoring The Vertical is the latest in these efforts. State Farm will connect with consumers through high-impact display and pre-roll video ads, as well as branded integrations around video content on The Vertical. The State Farm campaign will also capitalize on events such as All-Star Weekend to reach sports fans on The Vertical, and extend its campaign through pre-roll video, native video and display ads across additional Yahoo properties.
“State Farm has used storytelling to tell its brand story through advertising and to shine a spotlight on the amazing people we encounter in the communities in which we live and work,” said Ed Gold, State Farm Advertising Director. “With an all-star editorial team and a unique take on sports storytelling, The Vertical offers a chance for us to continue great brand storytelling through effective advertising that’s relevant for this audience.”
In addition to The Vertical, Yahoo Sports recently launched a podcast in December called “The Vertical Podcast with Woj,” in partnership with DGital Media. The audio series began with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as the first guest, and publishes new episodes each Wednesday, along with regular breaking news reports. On January 27, as an extension to Adrian’s podcast, DGital Media and Yahoo Sports launched “The Vertical Podcast with JJ Redick,” a new audio offering featuring current Los Angeles Clippers guard J.J. Redick. The podcast will publish new episodes each Tuesday, with a lineup of guests that will bring fans of all sports closer to the weekly goings-on in the NBA than ever before.
Adrian Wojnarowski is the Editor of The Vertical He is the authoritative voice on the NBA, combining an unparalleled ability to deliver breaking news, investigations and insightful commentary. He is the author of the New York Times best-selling book, “The Miracle of St. Anthony." He is a 1991 graduate of St. Bonaventure University and native of Bristol, Connecticut. Follow him on Twitter @WojVerticalNBA.
Chris joined Yahoo Sports from Sports Illustrated where he covered the NBA working on features and profiles for players including Chris Bosh, Kawhi Leonard, Emanuel Mudiay, and LaMarcus Aldridge. Chris also covers boxing and won multiple Boxing Writers Association of America awards for feature writing. In addition to The Vertical and Yahoo Sports, Chris is an NBA analyst/sideline reporter for CSN New England and host of The Chris Mannix Show, which beginning February 8th will air M-F from 3-7 ET on NBC Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisMannixYS
Michael has covered teams and the league for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Washington Post and Yahoo Sports for nearly 14 years. Before coming to Yahoo, Lee spent 11 years at the Washington Post where he served two stints as the newspaper’s Wizards beat writer and national NBA writer. Lee has also covered two Olympics, the MLB playoffs, World Series and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. A lively writer whose stories often provide nuance, sophistication and humor, Lee was honored with the National Association of Black Journalists' sports story of the year in 2009 and has been recognized several times by APSE. Follow him on Twitter @MrMichaelLee
Shams is a 21 year old based in Chicago, IL who joined Yahoo Sports in 2015 as an NBA reporter and columnist. He’s an up-and-coming writer who Woj dubbed the “best young basketball reporter on the planet.” Before joining Yahoo, he spent three years at RealGM.com. Follow him on Twitter @ShamsCharania
Bobby worked with the New Jersey and Brooklyn Nets for over 20 seasons starting as an intern and working his way up to vice president of basketball operations. There he assisted Nets General Manager Billy King in the areas of salary cap management, scouting, player personnel, preseason and regular season scheduling and the day to day business of basketball operations. Follow him on Twitter @BobbyMarks42
Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz
The founders of DraftExpress.com, the industry leader for all info revolving around the NBA Draft. They've been covering the Draft on a year-round, full-time basis since 2003, and are viewed as the most respected and credible outlet in the space by NBA teams and other industry members. The DraftExpress team is present at every major tournament, camp, workout, Combine or other type of gathering featuring present or future NBA prospects, whether in the US or worldwide. Follow them on Twitter @DraftExpress & @Mike_Schmitz
Nick is the Creative Director of Nice Kicks, leading efforts over all published content and a massive platform reaching 1.9 Million Instagram followers, over 1 Million Facebook fans and over 600,000 Twitter followers. He is also a brand & athlete marketing consultant for the world's top industry leading brands and a feature writer for SLAM Magazine. Prior to Nick Kicks, he was at the Sole Collector Magazine for 7 years as both Editor-In-Chief and Creative Director. Follow him on Twitter @_NDP
Tim is the CEO of ATTACK Athletics, Inc., founded in 1989. World-renowned for his legendary work with elite champions and Hall of Famers, including Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Charles Barkley, and hundreds other NFL, MLB, NBA, and Olympic athletes, he is the preeminent authority on the science and art of physical and mental dominance and achieving excellence. He recently expanded the ATTACK operation into China, training Olympic gold-medalist hurdler Liu Xiang and Shanghai Sports Institute. Follow him on Twitter @AttackAthletics
After an 11-year NBA career that included four trips to the NBA Finals and a championship, Brian Scalabrine has transitioned into a successful career as a broadcaster and often-irreverant analyst. Scal is a popular commentator on Boston Celtics games for Comcast SportsNet New England, and a co-host on a daily Sirius XM NBA radio show. Follow him on Twitter @Scalabrine
Yahoo is a guide focused on informing, connecting, and entertaining our users. By creating highly personalized experiences for our users, we keep people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the world. In turn, we create value for advertisers by connecting them with the audiences that build their businesses. Yahoo is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and has offices located throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC) and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions. For more information, visit the pressroom (pressroom.yahoo.net) or the Company's blog (yahoo.tumblr.com).