- Starbucks is teaming up with Amazon to create and distribute a six-part documentary series about soccer, according to a company announcement. The series, called "This is Football," will include six one-hour episodes dedicated to the human stories behind one of the world's most popular sports.
- The series take place across the globe and includes players from Iceland, Rwanda, Japan and Spain. "This is Football" will debut on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries on Aug. 2, with Starbucks as the sole sponsor.
- Sports author John Carlin wrote the scripts and Creative Director James Erskine and Series Executive Producer Jos Cushing are leading production. October Films and Spanish production house Brutal Media are behind the series as well.
This is the latest full-length sports documentary series for Amazon and the first major series Starbucks has funded and co-produced. Starbucks launched its production arm in 2015 to help it get into the storytelling business by producing documentaries on social issues, Contently reported at the time. By sponsoring content about soccer on Amazon, the brand can associate itself with a topic that has an extremely loyal and global fan base. Football fans are passionate about the game and these personal tales could resonate with consumers and viewers around the world.
"Starbucks mission of inspiring and nurturing the human spirit brings customers and partners together in our stores every day," Gina Woods, senior vice president of public affairs for Starbucks, said in the announcement. "While we do this through coffee, football has a similar ability to unite people around the world across boundaries of age, background and beliefs."
Other content from Starbucks' storytelling arm includes "Hingakawa," "To Be Human" and "1st & Main."
The partnership with Amazon further cements Starbucks' storytelling ambitions with the potential to reach Amazon's massive audience who regularly pay a membership fee to access original streaming content, among other benefits. Amazon reported in January that total viewership of NFL games was 24.4 million viewers on Prime Video and Twitch, up 33% from the 2017 season, according to a report in GeekWire. During the season, Prime members watched more than 1 billion minutes of live game content.
The new soccer series arrives as Amazon pushes deeper into sports programming with shows like "All or Nothing: Manchester City" and securing rights to stream live Premier League matches on its platform. By extending its programming in this area, Amazon is hoping to gain traction with sports fans as viewership on traditional TV channels declines.