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SELLING THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN BASKETBALL

HOW DO WE SAVE THE SOUL OF THE GAME?

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THE FILM

'The Spoils' penetrates a shadowy financial system:

America’s youth basketball industrial complex.

With unprecedented access to the money game that dominates the sport, our film unravels the raw capitalism of the American basketball machine - a factory built to identify, anoint and monetize “The Next LeBron.”

Director Mike Nicoll (AT ALL COSTS, Netflix) spotlights America’s premier AAU program, The Compton Magic - and their visionary CEO, Etop Udo-Ema - as Etop chases powerful partnerships for his program and game-changing deals for his top-ranked players. 'THE SPOILS' captures Etop’s ascension as the gatekeeper of a highly sought-after talent pipeline as he navigates the competing interests of the Fortune 500 companies that dictate the terms of the basketball business.

THE VISION

I GREW UP IN THIS SYSTEM AND I TRULY LOVE THE GAME…BUT I WAS COMPELLED TO MAKE THIS FILM BECAUSE THE INCENTIVES HAVE TO CHANGE.

Mike Nicoll – Director

As the money inside the game of basketball explodes into a multi-billion dollar industry, the players - at every level - want their share of the spoils. And as every layer of the system becomes professionalized, the players are increasingly taught to see themselves as a business first. In this largely unregulated, player-empowered “NIL” era, 'THE SPOILS' fearlessly confronts the fundamental question: what happens to the sport when the game itself becomes secondary?

Shattering every notion of ‘amateurism’ at any level of the sport, 'THE SPOILS' peels back the layers of corporate influence to paint an honest, foundational portrait of America’s basketball infrastructure. The film charts a novel blueprint for players seeking to maximize their value, exposes the corporate incentives that drive the system, and initiates a vital conversation around how America’s basketball factory might be reimagined to better serve the kids that fuel it.

THE DIRECTOR

Mike Nicoll

Mike Nicoll is an award-winning filmmaker driven by telling stories that reveal the power dynamics inside American culture, sports and business. He has directed three feature films, and is best known for writing & directing ‘AT ALL COSTS’ – a feature documentary acquired by Netflix – which was hailed by the LA Times as “a modern-day Hoop Dreams”.

Mike has spent over a decade working in the sports media world, producing & directing projects for Nike, 21st Century Fox, Netflix, Facebook, Eleven Sports Network, SLAM Magazine, BallisLife.com and CNBC.

Beyond ‘THE SPOILS’ global release in Summer 2024, Mike is finishing his next feature film – a documentary profiling Bitcoin’s emergence as a vital asset class inside the sports business world (slated for 2025). Mike earned his B.A. from the University of Michigan before landing an M.F.A from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. He lives in Seattle with his wife and their two daughters.

HOST A SCREENING

Screenings can engage your communities!

We work with brands, charities, businesses and community organizations so they can spark essential discussions about our film's key issues.

We make it super simple to license and power change through film screening events.

We offer 4 different screening license types: Virtual, Educational, On-Demand and In-Person.

Book a Screening

ARE YOU AN EDUCATOR?

Educators have access to The Expanded Deluxe Version of THE SPOILS

Our educational license includes:
  • Director’s commentary
  • The Virtual Toolkit
  • Seminar Frameworks
  • Lesson Guides
  • Customized support for curriculum integration

Education License Request