MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--USA TODAY Sports Media Group, a subsidiary of Gannett Co, Inc. (NYSE: GCI), and Mars Reel, a leading provider of premium coverage of the most exciting athletes and teams in high school basketball, have formed a content distribution partnership which includes USA TODAY High School Sports’ online and social platforms, reaching a combined audience of 60 million annually.
USA TODAY High School Sports began distributing Mars Reel’s short-form content in late 2017. Currently, this includes 60 original videos per week. Under the terms of the partnership, this commitment will increase in volume and will also extend to additional content formats, featured across USA TODAY Sports platforms. In addition, the partnership will co-produce new series, including “Top 5 Dunks of the Week” and “The Unknowns,” a series that will focus on rising stars, both set to launch in the Spring/Summer 2018.
“Our high school sports sector has grown exponentially over the past year and with partners like Mars Reel, we will leverage differentiated highlights and create unique branded video content for our voracious high school basketball fans,” said Chris Pirrone, General Manager, USA TODAY Sports Media Group. “Founders Brandon and Bradley Deyo’s passion for high school sports combined with their creative vision for reaching young millennials dovetails well with our strategy of creating differentiated content for our highly engaged and vertical audiences."
Brandon and Bradley Deyo founded Mars Reel in 2010 as they seized upon the opportunity to deliver content customized for the way young millennials consume video: in short highlights on social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat. Across these platforms, Mars Reel video content is currently seen by 25M unique viewers per month.
“Our partnership with USA TODAY Sports has allowed us to significantly expand our reach and attract a whole new base of high school basketball enthusiasts,” said Bradley Deyo, co-founder and COO, Mars Reel Media. “As we continue to expand our distribution network, we are particularly excited to be working with the team at USA TODAY Sports to produce unique, story-driven content. Our goal is to feature more and more of this type of video, increasing both watch time and engagement with viewers, as well as deliver value for brands and advertisers.”
Mars Reel recently launched its first documentary series, “Mars Reel Chronicles,” which features vlog-style episodes from up-and-coming basketball stars as they share their excitement for the game, practice and workout regimes, academic school and home life demands, and goals for the future. The series is available across all of Mars Reel’s social media platforms.
About USA TODAY Sports Media Group
The USA TODAY Sports Media Group encompasses all sports initiatives across USA TODAY Sports and Gannett's more than 120 well-known local media brands. It also includes the sports photography wire service USA TODAY Sports Images; leading high school sports destination USA TODAY High School Sports; the social news hub For The Win, and the hundreds of sites within USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties such as TheBigLead.com and mixed martial arts site MMAJunkie.com, among others. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).
About Mars Reel Media
Mars Reel Media is building a sports network for high school and amateur sports. The company's objective is to deliver programming that is molded and specifically crafted for young millennials via the channels they love. The company was founded on the thesis that young people fundamentally consume sports differently from adults.
With an initial focus on high school sports, Mars Reel is already a leading provider of premium coverage of the most exciting athletes and teams in high school basketball. Mars Reel also boasts a roster of well-known and respected investors and advisors across the sports, media, entertainment, and technology sectors. The company was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA.