Alumni Pros Global Sports (APGS) has announced a partnership with David Steward II’s Lion Forge Animation studio (The company that was responsible for the Oscar-winning short, Hair Love). The collaborative effort makes Lion Forge Animation the official partner and producer of all animated content that will come from the minds of the hundreds of professional athletes who are within the APGS network.
According to Deadline, the arrangements between the two companies will be comprised of Alumni Pros Global Sports co-founder Robert Smith and Lion Forge Animation’s Head of Business Development Jimmy Thomas. The content produced will span long and short-form episodic series as well as features, shorts, and hybrid content.
“With Dear Basketball, Kobe Bryant demonstrated the power of animation and how a player’s legacy can live on beyond their playing days through their digital likeness,” stated Jerome Williams, founder of Alumni Pros Global Sports and retired NBA power forward. “Today, athletes and brands around the world recognize animation as the next frontier of name, image, and likeness. Our partnership with Lion Forge gives athletes, particularly minority athletes, the unlimited potential to explore new avenues of storytelling and expand their creative horizons through animation.”
Lion Forge Animation was the powerhouse behind the Oscar-winning short animation film, Hair Love, which was directed by former pro athlete Matthew A. Cherry. They also produced the Andre the Giant graphic novel, and MMA Fighter Rampage Jackson’s comic book. Lion Forge Animation is presently one of the only Black-owned animation studios in the world.
Alumni Pros Global Sports is a collective of professional athletes which looks to assist the athletes in managing their intellectual properties. Its group includes media network PlayersTV.
Some of APGS’s advisors and investors include NBA Hall of Famers Julius “Dr. J” Erving, George Gervin, Spencer Haywood, Allen Iverson, Dikembe Mutombo, and Mitch Richmond, NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, and current NFL players Brandon Copeland and Tahir Whitehead.
Lion Forge Animation founder David Steward II said: “The impact, influence, and star power of athletes is accelerating rapidly and will continue on this trajectory as NIL rules, NFTs and new entertainment platforms expand creator economies fueled by content. APGS has been ahead of the curve in recognizing the value of athletes’ individual brands, their creations, and the connectivity to their fans.”