NBA 2K League Podcast: Q&A with Head of Content & Media Matt Arden
Jordan Kelley, Content Director, BrandStorytelling.tv
The end of 2020 saw the launch of The Official NBA 2K League Podcast - a component podcast for the professional esports league co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., maker of the ever-popular series of NBA 2K games. The podcast features conversations with some of the most popular personalities and players in the league. Host Scott Cole (the voice of the NBA 2K League) puts his focus on the biggest stories in esports from the NBA 2K League and makes them the center of the podcast.
Brand Storytelling caught up with Matt Arden, NBA 2K League Head of Content and Media, to learn more about bringing the podcast to life and how investing in this extension of the league can help audiences get to know some of the rich stories behind the league's best players:
How long has the 2K League Podcast been in the works?
We’ve always wanted to launch an official NBA 2K League podcast to bring fans closer to the most recognizable voices in the NBA 2K League. We knew it was something our fans wanted, and podcasting was a medium we were eager to tackle. There were a few independent podcasts about the league popping up, but we felt it was important for us to tell the amazing stories of the league on a consistent basis.
We had planned to launch the podcast early last year, but once the pandemic hit we had to shift focus to making sure we could play and broadcast remotely. Now that we’ve done that and have some time this offseason, we’re excited to be able to get the podcast off the ground.
What is the primary focus of the Podcast?
The primary focus is to uncover the bigger stories we don’t have time to tell during live game broadcasts or in some of our shorter content segments. This podcast will provide a deeper dive into the personalities and stories that make our League so special. From a player using a generator to qualify for the League after a devastating hurricane, to starting their own fashion lines, to facing tragedy and triumph, the DNA of this League is rooted in bright, powerful and thoughtful people.
Who is responsible for producing the podcast?
Our internal creative production team produces every episode. It’s the same team that is responsible for our content and broadcasts, and we’re supported by our colleagues in Marketing and PR to help us promote it. It’s an in-house effort along with the voice of our League, Scott Cole.
How does the Podcast help round out the 2K League’s content offering?
We feel the podcast complements our entire content strategy by providing an opportunity for people to learn more about us in a much more personal and casual setting. The content world has been so focused on quick-hitting digital content for some time now. It’s been nice to take a breath and embrace long-form storytelling. We understand audiences are looking for deeper engagement overall, which is why podcasts have really taken off. We’re happy to be trying something new and learning about a new platform, all while sharing some of these incredible stories.
Why do you feel it is important to provide this additional avenue of information/communication/entertainment as it relates to the game, league as a whole?
We think it’s important to be more engaging than just the X’s and O’s of our game. What makes our League truly special are the people that make it happen. The NBA 2K League has some of the most engaging, entertaining, and impressive players in esports. They have incredible stories that deserve to be told, and this Podcast will be the perfect outlet for them.
About Matt Arden
Matt Arden is Head of Content & Media for the NBA 2K League, where he leads the creative direction of all NBA 2K League content, overseeing the development and execution of the league’s content strategy, creative, and distribution across all platforms. He also oversees relationships with media distribution partners, analyzes data to make continual improvements to the league’s live broadcasts, manages third-party content agencies, designs content concepts and activations for marketing partners, and plays an integral role in identifying international broadcast opportunities for the NBA 2K League.