Professional athletes these days like to diversify their brands by venturing out into several other sectors. In terms of political engagement, sports stars are more visible now than perhaps they have ever been, with the recent nationwide protests for social justice offering an opportunity for them to lend their voices and influences to the ongoing fight for equality in America.
Their celebrity status also affords them access to all sorts of media platforms. Players today host their own podcasts and streaming shows, and some of the bigger stars host some of their own programs on major television networks — through production arms they themselves own. LeBron James, for instance, helms the highly-popular HBO series, The Shop, via his Uninterrupted.
Like LeBron, Kevin Durant has started his own media company, Thirty-Five Ventures, to develop various projects in film and television, although it suffered something of a setback this week as ESPN announced that it was cancelling his show, The Boardroom.
“The Boardroom,” featuring Durant, Jay Williams and Durant’s agent Rich Kleiman, will not be renewed after being on ESPN+ for two seasons. While there are no public metrics for shows on this platform, ESPN is able to internally identify engagement and its impact on the $4.99-per-month subscription-based service.
“The Boardroom is not being renewed following two seasons on ESPN+,” ESPN said in a statement to The Post. “Thirty Five Ventures are great partners and we look forward to continuing to discuss any future projects.”
The program was designed to offer a peak behind the curtain of how athletes develop their brands through various business ventures outside of the sports world but apparently had not found the audience that ESPN was hoping for. At this point, it remains unclear how Durant and his company’s partnership with the network will move forward in terms of producing future projects.
As he continues to rehab from injury, Durant has kept busy with plenty of other projects, serving as producer for the documentary Basketball County and becoming a minority owner in the MLS’s Philadelphia Union.