Is Your Favorite Sports Team Sufficiently Hilarious? Pistons Hook Up With Funny or Die

Maybe They Can Ball, but Are They Working Hard Enough to Make You Laugh?

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Your favorite professional athletes may or may not be able to control the ball, dominate the court/field, etc. -- but how good are they at entertaining you when they're not playing? Maybe they can make you cry (perhaps way too easily), but how hard are they working at making you laugh? Is your home team putting enough focus on being, you know, a holistic media brand?

Those are serious questions, prompted by today's news that the Detroit Pistons have entered into, no kidding, a "comedy partnership" with Funny or Die. Per a joint release:

The premiere comedy website has embedded a dedicated creative team within the Pistons marketing department to create funny, unexpected and engaging content for the entire 2015-16 NBA season. ... Funny Or Die Executive Producer Betsy Koch is leading the creative team in Detroit, which includes Head Writer CJ Toledano, a former staff writer for "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Harlan Hendrickson, Pistons' VP of Marketing, is running point with the Detroit-based FOD team.

A video titled "The Longest Oop" (below), the first official fruit of the Pistons-FOD partnership, debuted at yesterday's home opener at The Palace in surburban Detroit. It shows "an alley-oop so massive it takes 20 days and 20 people" -- including assorted Pistons, Eminem, John Oliver and Ken Jeong -- " to complete," and was cobbled together from daily segments released on the Pistons' social media channels.

Executives from both FOD and the Pistons issued earnest statements about why they're doing this ("a creative way to deliver exciting new media content that thrills our fans," according to Harlan Hendrickson; "to tell the players' stories and create a completely unique experience in sports entertainment," according to Betsy Koch), and neither seemed to be joking.

Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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