Topgolf Entertainment’s Topgolf Studios announced today that it has partnered with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Westbrook Media to create new original content, starting with a comedy series called This Joka.
In addition to This Joka, Topgolf and Westbrook Media will co-develop another, yet-unnamed original series for Topgolf Entertainment Group’s owned and operated networks, as well as what the companies called new “philanthropy-driven content to connect communities through the universal language of giving and empower the lives of those in need together.”
The premise of This Joka sounds a bit like Fresh Prince meets Comedians in Cars. It’s a docuseries in which Smith sits down with his favorites from the next generation of stand-up comedy to talk shop and see what makes them tick. The plan is to make it a multi-platform release, with an aim to sell it to streaming or broadcast/cable TV partners.
Topgolf, which owns and operates entertainment complexes around the world that mix a driving range with a Vegas-style arcade, drinks, and party atmosphere, has also been producing such original programs as “Chef Showdown” and other golf-inspired shows. While privately owned, the company counts Callaway Golf as a lead investor.
Westbrook Media is part of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s larger Westbrook Inc. Launched in July, it is now the studio for their subsidiaries Overbrook Entertainment, Red Table Talk Enterprises, Westbrook Studios, and the merchandise business Good Goods.
“At Westbrook, we are always trying to push the envelope beyond what’s expected to make content and tell stories that cut through,” said Brad Haugen, CEO of Westbrook Media, in a statement. “When we get to partner with a brand like Topgolf that takes forward-thinking risks to make content that builds their brand, creates unique IP, and entertains audiences to become a part of culture, we see it as a huge win.”
Topgolf Entertainment Group CEO Dolf Berle adds, “As a global brand in constant pursuit of the unexpected, our partnership with Westbrook Media highlights how our unique blend of technology and original content entertainment can bring communities together,” also via a statement. “We look forward to collaborating with Westbrook Media as our Topgolf vision to connect people in meaningful ways aligns well with their company philosophy.”
It’s an interesting, if on the surface unlikely, partnership. While not yet a global power brand, Topgolf has been steadily growing and investing in content. Meanwhile, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s companies have been producing a number of hits on multiple platforms, from Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk and Bucket List to Cobra Kai on YouTube to the upcoming Warner Bros. feature King Richard, a drama in which Will Smith will play Serena and Venus Williams’s father.