SAN FRANCISCO, March 15, 2018 -- Jetty, Al Jazeera Media Network's new audio-first brand, today launched Game of Our Lives, a weekly podcast examining the modern world through the lens of the world's most popular sport: football (aka soccer). Following on the success of Jetty's inaugural show, Closer Than They Appear (debuted November 2017), Game of Our Lives is the studio's first internationally focused podcast aimed at global audiences interested in topics beyond their own borders.

Game of Our Lives is hosted by renowned sociologist, journalist and football historian David Goldblatt.   He is the author of The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Football, the definitive social, political and sporting history of the global game. Goldblatt has also covered sports for leading UK publications, and taught the sociology of sport at Pitzer College.

Game of Our Lives, led by Executive Producer Julie Caine, will center on in-depth conversations with guests and experts on wide-ranging topics, encompassing politics, culture, economics and Goldblatt's all-time favorite football goals. Season one will have seven weekly 25-45 minute episodes that feature Goldblatt in conversation with guests.

Upcoming Game of Our Lives episodes include:

  • Episode #1: The Cinema of the Pitch: Goldblatt talks football and cinema with celebrated filmmaker Werner Herzog. The two discuss the cinematography of the TV football experience, and the football film Herzog dreams about making.
  • Episode #2: Mountain of Fire and Miracles: Nigerian football journalist and broadcaster Godwin Enakhena tells the story of MFM FC, a team founded by a Pentecostal church in Lagos, Nigeria. The team rose from the bottom rung of Nigerian football to the top league in less than a decade, while providing stability for its players within the fraught world of Nigerian domestic football.
  • Episode #3: Playing the Game, Wearing Hijab: Player, advocate and coach Shireen Ahmed just wanted to play football — but officials kept her off the pitch for years because she wouldn't remove her hijab. Ahmed recounts her fight to get back on the field, and what football means in the Global South.

"Game of Our Lives uses football, a sport that simultaneously crosses and reinforces global boundaries, to discuss some of the thorniest issues we face today," said Kaizar Campwala, general manager of Jetty. "Jetty's mission is to inform listeners and challenge their thinking about the world. We created our new podcast series to appeal to football fans looking for a fun and brainy take on the world, and for sharp, globally minded audiences who want to understand how football shapes our modern societies."

"It's fitting that a show about a global game should find its home at a truly global media company," said Raja Shah, senior producer. "In the first season alone, we have guests from five different continents, and worked with a host who resides 5,000 miles away from the production team. Football belongs to no one country, class, race or gender, and we wanted to make a show that reflects that."

Jetty will continue to experiment with novel forms of podcast distribution and engagement on Facebook Watch, following the success of Closer Than They Appear's audio-driven video content. Game of Our Lives will focus on global English speakers who are already podcast fans, and existing digital audiences across Al Jazeera Media Network. The show will leverage football influencers online and offline, and pair podcast episodes with bonus blog content and audio from Goldblatt.

Game of Our Lives will be available for download and streaming on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn and other podcast services starting Thursday, March 15. The podcast is also available for listening on Facebook. For more information, visit gameofourlives.fm. For more information on Jetty, visit jetty.fm.

About Jetty
Jetty is the new audio-first media brand from Al Jazeera. Jetty connects listeners around the world with spoken audio experiences that are engaging, challenging and consequential. Find Jetty on Twitter and Facebook, and learn more at jetty.fm.

About Al Jazeera Media Network
Al Jazeera strives to deliver content that captivates, informs, inspires and entertains. Launched in 1996, Al Jazeera was the first independent news channel in the Arab world dedicated to providing comprehensive news and live debate. It challenged established narratives and gave a global audience an alternative voice — one that put the human being back at the center of the news agenda — quickly making it one of the world's most influential news networks. Since then, it's added new channels and services, with more than 70 bureaus around the world, while maintaining the independent and pioneering spirit that defines its character. Each subsidiary follows the same principles — values that inspire it to be challenging and bold, and provide a "voice for the voiceless" in some of the most underreported places on the planet.

Contacts
Al Jazeera, Digital 
Amanda Shareghi, 415-995-8239
shareghia@aljazeera.net

Jordan Bailey