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Vevo Fuses Artists and Athletes in New Web Series

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Vevo—the online home of music icons like Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Jay-Z—is looking to dial up its star wattage by cozying up to basketball stars.

The Web video site, a joint venture between Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and investor Abu Dhabi Media Company, is planning to launch a new video series. Artists vs. Athletes will feature professional athletes interviewing major recording artists. To kick off the new series, Vevo has partnered with the National Basketball Association and began taping its first Artists vs. Athletes segments this past weekend, during the league’s All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.

Among the 10 20-minute interviews scheduled was a session between New York Knicks rookie Landry Fields and rapper Fabolous ("You Be Killin Em"). The list of other participants was still in flux at press time.

Vevo plans to roll out Artists vs. Athletes sometime around the NBA playoffs in April and May. The site is also in talks with TNT to run portions of the interviews while promoting its playoff coverage.

“This allows both sides to do lots of cross promotion,” said David Kohl, Vevo’s evp of sales and customer operations. Vevo is also having preliminary conversations with several of the NBA’s top advertisers about sponsoring Artists vs. Athletes. “This is a $7 million-$10 million opportunity.”

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