The details behind Candace Parker's new ESPN documentary
The GIST: While ESPN has been a leader for live WNBA coverage, only 4% of its famed 30 for 30 documentary series focuses on women athletes. But with women’s sports fans clamoring for offseason content, ESPN Films delivered with last week’s release of Candace Parker: Unapologetic.
The doc: The film chronicles Parker’s journey through basketball and life, from her teenage triumphs in Naperville, Illinois to her three WNBA championships, marriage, and motherhood. It also includes rare, behind-the-scenes footage of her 2022 season.
- Unapologetic was directed by Emmy winner Joie Jacoby, who has been a Parker fan since her WNBA debut. It’s a rare W uniting women directors and subjects, which 2013’s Nine for IX also accomplished.
The brands: CarMax signed on as the film’s presenting sponsor, while Google Chromebook Plus also supported the project. The car company sponsored film teasers across ESPN networks, including segments on WNBA Countdown and NBA Today. Google assisted Parker’s passion for gaming with a Chromebook Plus, which is highlighted in the doc.
- Though not directly related to the sport itself, CarMax and Google found creative ways to integrate their products into their shared mission of uplifting women’s sports.
Looking ahead: ESPN has the right idea by focusing on iconic women athletes, and its upcoming series, Serena Williams: In the Arena, will be a fitting expansion of Tom Brady’s Man In The Arena docuseries. Despite the dearth of feature content in the past, hype around Candace and Serena proves fans — and brands — are eager to tune in.