Good morning. This is LEADOFF, an early look at Atlanta sports.
After months of filming, NBC Sports is set to present a one-hour documentary profiling Falcons and Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank.
The show, titled “On a Mission: Atlanta Rising,” will cover Blank’s life from boyhood to present-day. It will air at 2 p.m. Sept. 2 on NBC.
“When the idea for the show came about and we started to look at potential subjects across different sports, the one person we kept coming back to was Arthur Blank,” Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports Group, told the AJC through a spokesman. “He wears multiple hats with wide-ranging accomplishments, greatly impacting the community, producing winners in business and on the field, and leading by example.
“Arthur’s accessibility and his team’s cooperation since we began filming in April was crucial to our ability to fully tell his story,” Miller said. “This is a project that we’ll look to continue with compelling subjects across all sports.”
Among the topics that will be covered in the documentary, according to NBC: how a 15-year-old Blank dealt with his father’s death, Blank’s growing pains as co-founder of The Home Depot, his evolving relationship with former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, the Falcons’ run to (and historic defeat in) last season’s Super Bowl, the launch of Atlanta United, the construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Blank’s philanthropic efforts.
“Viewers will enjoy this look at Arthur’s life,” Miller said.
The show will include interviews with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Blank’s wife Angela Blank, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and Vick, among others.
* * *
READ ON ...
The first college football game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium will feature two of the nation’s top three teams, according to the Associated Press preseason poll released Monday. The poll ranked Alabama No. 1 and Florida State No. 3, providing a compelling backdrop for the teams’ Sept. 2 showdown in a Chick-fil-A Kickoff game. “There is no doubt about it: This will be the greatest opening game of all time in college football,” Gary Stokan, president and CEO of Peach Bowl Inc., which operates the Chick-fil-A Kickoff event, said after the poll’s release. See full story here.
When the Falcons’ new $1.5 billion home opens with an exhibition game Saturday night, the most expensive and most discussed feature of Mercedes-Benz Stadium will remain closed. The retractable roof isn’t ready to retract, forcing games to be played with it in the closed position until mechanization is completed. The roof has required more money, time, steel and stress than anyone involved expected. See full story here.
ICYMI: For the first time, the Hawks will wear an advertising patch on their uniforms, beginning with the 2017-18 season. The Hawks and Atlanta-based digital health company Sharecare have reached agreement on a five-year deal that will put the Sharecare logo on the front left shoulder of the players’ game jerseys. Hawks chief revenue officer Andrew Saltzman called the deal “a lot more than a sponsorship and a brand on our jersey.” See full story here.