Bleacher Report Flexes Original Content Muscles With ‘The Champions’

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The Champions

First, it was “Game of Zones”, then it was “Gridiron Heights”, and now it’s “The Champions”, a digital animated spoof show with all 800 Champions League players (and their managers), living in a fancy chateau, similar to “The Bachelor” mansion.

As Bleacher Report has evolved its original content offering, brothers Adam and Craig Malamut have been able to capitalize with cartoon-spoof shows.

Given the success of both “Game of Zones” and “Gridiron Heights”, who have racked up 64.4 and 21.3 million views respectively on YouTube alone, the brothers saw an opportunity to capitalize on the fact that Turner, Bleacher Report’s parent company, now owns the TV rights to the UEFA Champions League.

SEE MORE: Bleacher Report Takes Content Creation Abilities Beyond the Walls of the Internet

The idea, which actually came from comedian Andy Haynes, will be brought to life through 13 episodes, released every week, over the course of the Champions League season.

In a world where everyone can create content, Adam Malamut believes that taking these types of risks are necessary to not only be memorable, but create conversation.

“Our goal is to create a really good soccer cartoon that is worth people’s time in this attention economy. We like the challenge of making a cartoon that resonates on many different levels for all different types of fans.”

Relying on what they have learned through the process of creating both “Game of Zones” and “Gridiron Heights”, the two are excited to be able to start fresh on a new series with a more refined approach.

“‘Game of Zones’ is a weird show in that we cobbled it up from being what was initially just a viral video,” said Adam. “With ‘The Champions’, we get to create something brand new using everything that we have learned.”

One of the biggest improvements comes in the form of the animation. While unique, the “Game of Zones” style of animation made it hard for many people to replicate, so with “The Champions”, the brothers are going with a more simplified style.  

“This series will have a more traditional style animation,” said Craig. ”That allows for flexibility with animators and the people who will be working on it.”

Flexibility will be key seeing as to pull “The Champions” off, the Malamuts will be working closely with Haynes, two producers, and nine different animators.

Each show takes roughly four weeks to put together, with the bulk of the work taking place within the first two weeks as the brothers write, record, and storyboard. The other two weeks are reserved for the actual animation where the brothers go in and finalize the episode and make any last minute changes or additions.

SEE MORE: Bleacher Report Gets Into Sports Betting With ‘Simms & Lefkoe: The Show’

Although no brand has been attached to the show yet, it is not something that is being ruled out.

Like both of the series prior, the Malmuts plan to react accordingly to the feedback that they get from people who watch the episodes. After all, they want the cartoons to add to the conversation, not try and drive a new one.

“We take care to very carefully listen to what it is people are interested in and what they want, rather than us projecting onto them what we think that they would be interested in. We want to add to the conversation in a way that is meaningful to people.”