May 17, 2024
Kurt Benson

A different type of interview, NBA players getting tattooed (2 minute read)

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Community, this is what comes to mind when I look at our partnership with InkedNBA, the niche Instagram page that covers tattoo culture in the NBA.

When I first met the creator of InkedNBA, Matt Mangano, I was truly inspired by what he had created. Turning a passion into a dedicated community of basketball, culture, and tattoo enthusiasts. 

Matt loved the idea of tattoos and, as a huge fan of the NBA, was enthralled with the culture of style and tattoos NBA players had. As he looked to get his first tattoo, he was searching for inspiration and was surprised that there were no dedicated hubs/catalogues for NBA tattoos, especially when close to 90% of the NBA is tattooed. So, he launched an Instagram page named "InkedNBA."

Fast forward to today, and he has amassed over 160,000 loyal followers. He is also the go-to source for all tattoos in the NBA. Whether it's NBA players sending in their new ink or the artists behind the ink, Matt has gotten used to NBA athletes following and supporting the community he's built. 

So how does Tidal League play a part in all this? InkedNBA is at the center of culture within the NBA, and with the community Matt has created, he has built trust amongst athletes and artists. 

Our partnership was sparked out of the idea that we could follow and document the intimate sessions between artist and athlete; imagine giving the viewer that fly-on-the-wall experience as your favourite NBA players were getting tattooed. This was creative and innovative because it had not happened before, and pairing Matt's passion and unparalleled access with our creativity birthed the original video series named "Sessions." The trust between artist and athlete is immense, and think about it…you are sitting down for hours with your artist as they are permanently inking your body, capturing this never-seen-before content, providing fans with a completely different perspective into the lives of NBA players. 

Filming a tattoo session was new for us, and we definitely had to make adjustments once we started filming; from camera angles to mic placement, this was not a traditional interview shoot. Over the past year, we have filmed multiple episodes that have featured Jeremy Sochan, PJ Washington, Evan Fournier, and some of the biggest artists in the tattoo game. Seeing the content come to life has been very rewarding because it allowed us to be creative, giving fans a unique viewing experience.

As we continue to build out this original series, we have also taken the first step in broadening our guest list and really focusing on becoming the home of tattoo culture and athletes from all sports. Our first athlete outside of the NBA is NFL star Darren Waller, releasing later this month. Keep an eye out for it, and if you haven't already, subscribe to our newsletter and YouTube channel so you don't miss any Tidal League content.

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