Paris, France-based Tele Images Productions, part of Zodiak Kids, has scored a deal with the National Basketball Association (NBA) to launch a line of co-branded youth merchandise based on kids TV series The Basketeers (26 x half hours), which airs on French networks M6 and Disney XD.
The line will feature the animated characters (five teenage boys and girls) from the series, including NBA All-Star Tony Parker who plays their coach. and NBA team logos. The apparel will launch in France and then rollout worldwide.
The series, which is produced by London, England-based prodco I Can Fly and Tele Images (Street Football, Sally Bollywood and Atomic Betty), follows the young basketball players and their coach as they journey across the US competing to win a street basketball tournament. Debuting in France in October 2011, The Basketeers emphasizes the excitement of basketball and the values of dedication, hard work, and discipline on and off the court.
Parker, who grew up in France, made an appearance last week at the 2012 Kidscreen Summit in New York to promote the series, and said he is extremely proud of the values the series promotes and of its support of the game of basketball, which often gets overlooked in favor of soccer (football) in France.
“When I was growing up one of my favorite cartoons was CaptainTsubasa, which was about a Japanese youth soccer team, so about two years ago I thought if we could create a nice basketball cartoon maybe we could have the same affect on kids in France about basketball,” he said.
Ideas for the show’s scripts came out of time spent by the producers at Parker’s youth basketball camps in France.
Parker said the next plan for the series is to sign a US broadcaster and grow it into an international TV series.
Photo by Kristina Ejem