Wave Sports + Entertainment has made quite a recent impact with their deals with social media content creators, and they’re now expanding those on the basketball side. Their basketball channel, Buckets, announced a couple of notable signings Thursday, bringing in John “LaJethro Jenkins” Nichols and Jordan Ligons and extending deals with current WSE figures including Josiah Johnson and Zach Schwartz. Here’s more on that from a WSE release:
Wave Sports + Entertainment, one of the fastest-growing sports and entertainment companies with more than 110 million followers globally, today unveiled its talent-driven content strategy to win Gen-Z and millennial basketball fans with its flagship media brand BUCKETS. BUCKETS is home to social media’s brightest basketball personalities shaping the daily conversation around basketball and hoops culture and is one of the fastest-growing brands in the company’s portfolio with more than five million followers across digital platforms.
…WSE signed John Nichols, known as LaJethro Jenkins, as a host for “Outta Pocket” and lead producer for BUCKETS. Nichols has created viral content for more than a decade for Huffington Post, ESPN, and others. The Athletic named Nichols one of NBA Twitter’s Top 50 follows. Nichols held previous posts as Editorial Director at All Def Digital and Head of NBA Social Platforms at Yahoo! Sports. Nichols will continue to co-host the podcast “Jenkins And Jonez,” part of the The Volume podcast network, which is downloaded more than 340,000 times monthly.
Nichols reunites with former Yahoo! Sports’ “Dunk Bait” co-hosts Josiah Johnson (aka “King of NBA Twitter”) and Zach Schwartz, who both re-upped with WSE. The trio will host the revamped “Outta Pocket” that features #NBATwitter’s hottest stars breaking down what’s popping in basketball culture with commentary, guest interviews, and their trademark variety show schtick. Fans can check out the first episode of “Outta Pocket” on BUCKETS here. New episodes will drop weekly on Wednesdays.
Also joining WSE to round out hoops coverage is Jordan Ligons, a prolific writer and podcaster fiercely respected throughout the sports and media industries for her coverage of women’s sports, pop culture, and how they intersect. She’s been published in GQ, ESSENCE, The Ringer, and more. She also hosts “Take it From LA,” the latest series from Jordan Basketball where she talks about how fashion, culture, and basketball make the city so great. She also co-hosts the weekly podcast “Spinsters” on the Blue Wire Network. Ligons is currently developing a new show focused on women’s basketball for BUCKETS.
New additions to the BUCKETS talent lineup join existing hosts Mariah Rose, Sean Yoo, and Nick Henkel, who contribute across the brand’s shows.
It’s certainly notable to see WSE continue to sign deals with significant sports social media figures. And the addition of Ligons here is maybe particularly interesting, as much of the social media “basketball” coverage is solely about the NBA. Bringing in a respected women’s sports writer and podcast like Ligons, and having her develop a regular show based on women’s basketball, seems like an indication that WSE is interested in targeting that market as well. But beyond that, they’re offering significant boosts to their NBA coverage as well, and they’re signing a lot of notable social media figures. We’ll see how this all works out for them.
[Top photo via WSE, featuring (L to R) Jordan Ligons, Josiah Johnson, Mariah Rose, Nick Henkel, John Nichols, Sean Yoo, and Zach Schwartz]