The Ross Online Productions Before They Were Pros Media Library is the culmination of nearly ten years of work from award-winning producer, Stu Ross, documenting, reporting and videotaping high school sports athletes. During his tenure as the leading high school sports reporter in the United States, Ross and his crew recorded over 35,000 games between 1994 and 2003 for his syndicated weekly television series, High School Sports Show. Through this extraordinary effort, Ross had the fortune to capture over 130 hours of video footage of over 700 past and current professional athletes that now make up the Ross Online Productions Before They Were Pros Media Library. The content contains game, interview and feature footage of some of the best-known athletes in all major sports, both professional and amateur.
While there are many superstar interviews and game footage in the collection including LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Tom Brady, Ryan Braun, Shaquille O’Neal and Wayne Gretzky, the highlight of the library is 22+ hours of Kobe Bryant high school games and interviews (approximately 60% game vs. 40% interview footage) – the vast majority of which has not been seen by the public, since only a portion was once-aired and that was to a very limited audience!
In 2016, Ross Online Productions digitized the Before They Were Pros Media Library and loaded the content onto a digital media asset management platform. Now the collection is easily accessible for a buyer and searchable making it possible for sports, entertainment, broadcast and media outlets to view the media and license Ross Online Productions Before They Were Pros Media Library content. Licensing agreements have been made with documentary, news, sports broadcast, public affairs and magazine format shows. Clients include, Kobe Bryant’s Muse, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, and ESPN’s 30 for 30. A limited license was provided, in perpetuity, to Lower Merion High School, where Kobe Bryant played basketball, to use three minutes of footage for a school hallway exhibit honoring Kobe’s life.
Assignment/Transfer of the Ross Online Productions Before They Were Pros Media Library.
The new buyer will own the exclusive intellectual property rights, title and interest to the entire digitized “footage” of the Library exceeding 130 hours of content that was transferred by Ross Online Productions, including the media asset management platform (as discussed above). The buyer will be provided the library content on computer hard drives. As has been done in the past, the potential buyer should have the right to license the stated film, video and audio content within the Library for the purpose of creating documentary, news, sports broadcast, public affairs and magazine format shows.
Interested parties are urged to consult their legal counsel regarding applicable copyright law according to his/her specific objectives for this exclusive property before bidding on this archive! It will be up to the buyer to secure additional releases from each individual appearing in the archive’s footage for any and all commercial uses, as those rights remain with each individual athlete.
So significant is the Kobe Bryant footage, award-winning production company Dirty Robber, specializing in athletic-content stories, licensed footage from the library for making the 2015 documentary Kobe Bryant’s Muse. In addition, on the heels of the phenomenally successful 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan, The Last Dance (2020), produced by ESPN Films and Netflix, the 22+ hours of Kobe Bryant footage (along with the content from the scores of other all-star athletes) brings even greater significance and profound commercial value to this library.