Reebok seems to think so. The athletic company is rolling out "Framed," a series of athlete portraits that will air on IFC starting Dec. 14, created by Reebok Entertainment, a new division of the brand that will handle, per the company's statement, "all areas of entertainment, including music, arts and film."
The first installment sets up what the whole shebang will be like: television actress Emmanuelle Chriqui (don't worry, I didn't recognize the name either, then again, I'm not an Entourage fan) will jet set to Los Angeles and Las Vegas to conduct interviews with Baron Davis (below, left, with Chriqui, the Golden State Warriors star) about his passions, his life, and all that jazz. And Chriqui won't only be doing the interviews, she'll be directing, as will all of the actors, comedians and musicians that follow her in the series.
Future pairings in the works including Allen Iverson and rapper Nelly, Barcelón soccer star Thierry Henry and actress Paz Vega (star of indie foreign hit "Sex and Lucía" for you movie buffs), Red Soxer David Ortiz and Hispano-median Carlos Mencia. Call me a doubting Thomas, but I'm not sure how much faith I have in Nelly, Mencia or Chriqui's directorial abilities, particularly when it comes to the art crowd that frequents IFC. I'm only holding Vega from that list because, well, her past couple of movies have been pretty arty, or at the very least, titillating and pretty to look at, much like Vega herself.
"Through our first original television series, 'Framed,' we can show consumers sides to these global icons often unseen," said Reebok's head of sports and entertainment marketing, Todd Krinsky, in a statement. "We're thrilled to be able to bring together Hollywood talent and our roster of top athletes to crate a unique viewer experience that lives outside of traditional advertising."
Which brings up a good point: what's the branding promotional value? Will the celebs be donning Reebok gear during these jaunts through their past and present lives? Will logos live on the bottom of the screen? Will there at least be a "brought to you by Reebok" slug? No answer on that yet: stay tuned.
Criticism aside, it is kind of an interesting idea and I know enough of my sports-fan friends who would likely tune in. I just have to wonder though, how will the Reebok content, though on a much different channel, present something those target viewers haven't already seen on one of several MTV programs, such as "Cribs," or "Diary"? One to watch, pun intended.