ESPN is trying something new – and it involves Marvel!
The company will air NBA Special Edition on Monday, May 3 – a game between the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans – which will include characters and elements from an original Marvel story, Deadline reported Friday (April 23).
The characters will include Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Captain America, Black Widow and Doctor Strange!
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Here’s how it will work: the broadcast will feature 3-D virtual characters, animations and customized graphics to tell the story of the Avengers watching the basketball game in the hopes of finding new heroes to help them fight an invading alien army.
The regular game can still be watched on ESPN, but NBA Special Edition Presented by State Farm: Marvel’s Arena of Heroes will air on ESPN2, the streaming-video outlet ESPN Plus or ESPN Deportes.
“We’re eager for fans to experience this unique, innovative presentation that will pair Marvel and ESPN’s exceptional storytelling and production,” said ESPN’s Matt Kenny.
“The new Marvel’s Arena of Heroes telecast will be the first of its kind to bring Marvel’s storytelling directly to the real-time experience of a NBA game, and we are excited for fans to be able to watch their favorite players through the lens of Marvel’s mightiest heroes,” added Marvel’s Mike Pasciullo.
Here’s a plot summary: “During the game, Iron Man and Black Panther will unveil a plan to expand the ranks of the Avengers. The obvious recruiting center is, well, the ESPN game, and Marvel characters will observe three players from each team during the game, awarding them ‘Marvel Hero Points’ based on their achievement and performance. The heroes will study Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins from the Golden State Warriors and Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball from the Pelicans. The player on the winning team who scores the most points will be crowned Marvel’s first ‘Champion’ following the game. Every point, rebound, assist, steal or block wins one Marvel Hero Point. But any missed field goal, free throw or turnover means a Hero Point gets deducted.”
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