ESPN has done a great job promoting the upcoming documentary about Magic Johnson's shocking retirement announcement in which he revealed he was HIV positive. Given the Selection Show lead in and historical nature of the subject matter, it's sure to be a ratings blockbuster. In fact, I know it will be as throughout the last two weeks, almost daily I've had a conversation in which someone brought up their anticipation to see it. The majority of those conversations were initiated with comments like this:
"You going to watch that Magic Johnson 30 for 30?"
"That Magic Johnson 30 for 30 looks awesome."
"It's been so long since the last 30 for 30. I am stoked for the Magic Johnson one."
(Female voice) "Ben, I would like to come over, cook you a terrific dinner, watch the Magic Johnson 30 for 30, and then makeout in between games of Madden."
Ok, maybe that last one may or may not be true. Do a Twitter search for some combination of "30 for 30, ESPN, Magic, and The Announcement" and you're sure to get a good chunk of results that are similar in sentiment.
The buzz is great and you'd be pretty hard pressed to find a sports fan who hasn't enjoyed ESPN's new found zeal for well produced documentaries. The problem, well it's not really a problem, is that this isn't a 30 for 30. As you see below, the 30 second spot that you've seen many times doesn't mention 30 for 30 at all. That's been the case in the other nine films that have come out over the last year since 30 for 30 culminated with Pony Excess.
The brand is now 30 for 30's parent, ESPN Films, but the differentiation is very very murky. The same music, the same narrator, and basically the same exact product (a high end and poignant sports documentary)...