Thursday December 7, 2023

Slamball Could Make Olympic Bid

  • Slamball, which is set to return to television on ESPN, has global ambitions including a World Cup format and the Olympics.
  • CEO Mason Gordon said on Front Office Sports Today it could become 'ESPN's signature summer sport.'
A SlamBall player dunks over another after jumping from a trampoline.
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Slamball is returning after a seven-year hiatus, and its creator and CEO, Mason Gordon, has sky-high ambitions for the novel sport.

“Young audiences are reaching out for sports to call their own,” Gordon said on Front Office Sports Today. “In legacy sports, you’ve got unbelievable topline success, and yet there’s a real issue with younger demographics not watching their core product.”

Slamball is a contact version of basketball with jumping pads (think rectangular trampolines) inside the three-point arc, allowing for flying slam dunks and alley-oops. In addition to the highlight-friendly action, the format is designed for a younger audience, with the entire game taking around half an hour.

While the sport most resembles basketball, Gordon found that football players have had an “outsized impact on the sport.”

“I think the biggest thing is the uniqueness of our competitive landscape,” he said. “Where else are you gonna find a linebacker from Nebraska facing off against a small forward from USC?”

Despite the long layoff between seasons, Gordon sees global potential for Slamball.

“I think there’s a really great chance that Slamball becomes their signature summer sport. There are already hotbed [international] markets that are seeded for Slamball, and our expectation is that we’ll be able to grow that very quickly.”

From there, Gordon foresees “a World Cup format four or five years down the line, and after that, it’s the Olympics, it’s any number of things.”

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