ESPN and Turkish Airlines Collaborate on New Documentary Series


ESPN and Turkish Airlines Collaborate on New Documentary Series

Click on the image to view a video trailer for Basketball Capitals presented by Turkish Airlines.


–Dynamic multi-screen branded content initiative to be launched across EMEA —

ESPN and Turkish Airlines announced today an innovative production partnership and multi-platform sponsorship deal.  The collaboration is centered on Basketball Capitals presented by Turkish Airlines, a new documentary series profiling the culture and passion for basketball within the world’s most iconic cities.

The new, multi-faceted partnership takes viewers on a journey through four premier destinations that Turkish Airlines serves: Madrid, Berlin, Istanbul, and Athens. Basketball Capitals is developed and executive produced by ESPN’s International Marketing Solutions in collaboration with Academy-Award® winning production company 100bares and Euroleague Basketball.  The series helps illustrate the strong relationship Turkish Airlines has with European sports through first-hand accounts and profiles of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague teams that call these destinations home, including Real Madrid, Alba Berlin, Besiktas JK Istanbul, Fenerbahce Ülker Istanbul, Galatasaray Medical Park, Anadolu Efes Istanbul, Olympiacos Piraeus, and Panathinaikos Athens.

Illustrating the cities further will be special in-content vignettes, titled Turkish Airlines City Voices, providing viewers another look at what makes each city a sought-after travel destination.

“Basketball is a global sport and we’re pleased to extend our commitment with the Euroleague and work with ESPN on the creation of Basketball Capitals,” said Faruk Çizmecioğlu, Chief Marketing Officer of Turkish Airlines.  “The series provides the perfect opportunity to showcase the basketball fandom in some of the great cities in Europe, where we proudly serve over seventy destinations.”

Basketball Capitals is the next iteration of ESPN’s ‘Capitals’ franchise that is entering its third season in Latin America and illustrates football culture in the greatest cities around the world. The franchise is the company’s most successful original content series in the region with an audience of over 20 million viewers.

“Great sports stories are often about cities,” said Esteban Apraez, Senior Director, ESPN International Marketing Solutions.  “The four cities featured in Basketball Capitals have been uniquely shaped by sports and the fans that live in them. The series illustrates our approach to successful branded content, which is guided by a simple philosophy — create great content that can help deliver a powerful brand message that is about more than just how often a product appears on screen.  Basketball Capitals aligns beautifully with Turkish Airlines aim of connecting people to some of the world’s great cities.”

Added Mr. Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO: “It is a true honor that both Turkish Airlines and ESPN selected Euroleague Basketball and its participating teams to give this particular vision of European basketball, through a breakthrough branded content series that bring us the opportunity to promote and show the quality and passion our fans feel for our sport”

Basketball Capitals will be featured across a multi-faceted, multi-platform execution that includes:

  • Documentaries –  Four 30-minute original documentaries premiering on all ESPN networks in EMEA (ESPN UK, ESPN America, ESPN Classic, ESPN Middle East/Israel, ESPN Atlantic) on May 14th.
  • City Voices presented by Turkish Airlines – Eight special in-programme branded vignettes that give viewers an additional look at what makes each city a sought-after travel destination.
  • Syndication – Documentaries will be distributed and syndicated to other TV partners and will be available for exclusive in-flight viewing in Turkish Airline flights and airport lounges.
  • Comprehensive Multimedia Marketing – A full multimedia marketing campaign, featuring special co-branded creatives and digital media, will launch across ESPN networks and sites in April.  Additionally, trailers and promotional materials will appear in various stadiums during games leading up to and during the Euroleague Final Four.
  • Digital Hub – Launching in early April, will house series details, news, features, and bonus content.
  • ESPN Basketball coverage – Ahead of the documentaries premiering, Turkish Airlines commercial TV spots will be featured on ESPN TV networks’ coverage of key basketball content such as the Euroleague, NBA and NCAA March Madness across EMEA, as well as in other ESPN programming.

Basketball Capitals Overview — premiering May 14th (check local listings for details)


In a city divided by the Manzanares River, an underlying passion for Real Madrid Basketball unites.  The cousin of the European football powerhouse and perhaps the most successful basketball team in European history, Real Madrid has won more than sixty titles including two separate streaks of seven and ten consecutive championships in the Spanish League. The city’s passion for the game permeates its culture and has helped develop some of the world’s top players.


Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German capital has seen ongoing social and cultural changes, reflected in Berlin’s connection with basketball and Alba Berlin, which continues to grow at a rapid rate and establish the city as a hub for the sport.

In the ancient city of Istanbul is at the crossroads of the world, where cultures meet and basketball rivalries run deep. Teams including Fenerbahçe Ülker, Beşiktas, Galatasaray, and Anadolu Efes compete for supremacy and passionate fans swarm to the stadiums to support their favourite clubs. Istanbul’s strong basketball structure has developed top players on the world stage, including Hedo Türkoğlu and Ömer Aşik, and continues to be a hub for talent.


The birthplace of the modern Olympic Games in 1896, sport has been a central pillar of life and culture in Athens for ages.  In the sport of basketball, Greece has been the birthplace of exceptional talents who have achieved on a world stage, and the country’s capital is home to a passionate rivalry between clubs Olympiacos Piraeus and Panathinaikos Athens.

About ESPN

ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.

ESPN International has grown to include ownership — in whole or in part — of 35 television networks outside of the United States, as well as a variety of brand extension businesses, which allow ESPN to reach fans in 184 countries and territories.

About Euroleague Basketball

A global leader in sports management, Euroleague Basketball is enjoying its second decade of sustained growth as an innovative organizer of elite competitions and events. It now manages the continent’s two premier basketball competitions, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague and the Eurocup, consisting of more than 50 teams from as many as 25 countries. Euroleague Basketball also directs the Nike International Junior Tournament, which crowns a young men’s continental champion each spring. Through the Euroleague Basketball Institute and One Team, the company promotes educational and charitable initiatives as varied as coaching clinics and communitarian integration initiatives throughout its markets.

About Turkish Airlines

Established in 1933 with a fleet of only five airplanes, Star Alliance member, Turkish Airlines is today a four star airline with a fleet of 207 aircraft (passenger and cargo) flying to 220 cities around the world, comprised of  36 domestic and 184 international destinations. One of the fastest growing airline companies, Turkis h Airlines has received several “Passengers Choice Awards” from the consumer  ranking group, Skytrax. Based on 2011 and 2012 results, Turkish Airlines has been chosen as the winner of “Best Airline Europe”, “Best Premium Economy Seats” for its Comfort Class seats and “Best Airline Southern Europe”. It has also received awards for its catering and holds a coveted 4-star designation, putting the airline in a small group of top quality carriers. Turkish Airlines was also given the Skytrax designation of “World’s Best Economy Class On-board Catering” in 2010, and Skyscanner’s “Best On-board Food 2011”. Long haul Business Class passengers also enjoy the Flying Chef service on-board.

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