Rodale Kids, which launched in late 2016, has made its first big acquisition. The imprint and the Pro Football Hall of Fame have announced Game for Life, a middle-grade biography series that will begin in summer 2018.
Books in the series, which was inspired by the "A Game for Life" holographic exhibit at the Hall of Fame, will be written by an array of sports writers and will include timelines, charts, and photographs from the Hall of Fame's archives. While aimed at a young audience, the books are intended to appeal to football fans of all ages. They will examine the lives of each player, what motivated them to play, and the challenges they faced— including poverty, racism, education, athletic and physical limitations, and injury—along the way.
The announcement was made at the Hall of Fame's annual Enshrinement event this past weekend, which brought Rodale staff together with Hall of Fame athletes from across the country, including Jim Brown, Joe Greene, Mike Singletary, and Jim Kelly. Mark Weinstein, executive editor at Rodale Kids, brokered the deal with Kirby Kim and Paul Lucas at Janklow and Nesbit Associates, in association with Cary Granat at Immersive Artistry.
“We are thrilled to partner with Rodale Kids to publish these timely yet timeless books that align with the Hall of Fame’s important mission to honor the heroes of the game, preserve its history, promote its values, and celebrate excellence everywhere,” David Baker, president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said in a statement. “Football and reading should be a powerful combination of entertainment and empowerment, to instill a lifelong love for both.”
The first three titles will feature Super Bowl XLII champion and 2001 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Michael Strahan of the New York Giants; Super Bowl XI champion coach, broadcaster, and video game franchise founder John Madden of the Oakland Raiders; and three-time Super Bowl champion and 1996 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Troy Aikman of the Dallas Cowboys. All three men are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
“The addition of the Game for Life series to the new and growing Rodale Kids list helps further our offerings of inspiring, motivating reads,” said Gail Gonzales, v-p of publishing at Rodale. “We are excited, this early on in our publishing program, to bring such a huge brand to Rodale.”