In Episode No. 52 of our “In The Paint Show,” co-hosts Ronnie Flores and Devin Ugland break down the Ballislife journey of the company’s co-owner Arek Kissoyan, from creating and sharing videos on “mixmakers.net” to spearheading BIL’s role as the industry leader in basketball highlight videos and mixtapes.
Kissoyan breaks down his obsession with Kobe Bryant mixes in mid-2000’s to joining forces with eventual Ballislife President Matt Rodriguez in 2006 while he still lived in San Ramon, Calif., while his eventual business partner was in Southern California filming a talented high school junior by the name of DeMar DeRozan. Kissoyan discusses how he got started with BIL and how the fledging company decided to start its All-American Game in 2011, and how difficult a process that was, and how BIL got its first big break with the NBA lockout later that summer.
Kissoyan also talks about the support he received to continue the Ballislife All-American Game after that first year, and strategically developing the company into one that could eventually turn a profit and hire employees by focusing on building a content creation team, while Rodriguez focused on biz-dev.
Ballislife’s co-owner and its website’s publisher also goes in on his favorite players to film over the years and the biggest changes he’s seen within the mixtape industry over the years. Kissoyan also gives his take on the recent social media rift between traditional media outlets that focus on game results and new media outlets that highlight and follow top players that their large audience base want to see, regardless of the game’s outcome.
SHOW NOTES: Episode 52 Rundown
:50: CFB National Championship takeaways.
4:55: Expectations for Zion Williamson’s NBA debut.
7:45: Arek on his all-time most entertaining players he’s filmed, and how he got started in the industry by making mixes on MixMakers.net and how that eventually connected him with BIL.
15:15: Arek’s early role with BIL, competitors, the race to post first, and most memorable moments filming open runs during the 2011 NBA lockout.
28:05: Arek’s back-up plan if BIL didn’t succeed and the best and worst moments of his time working at Chuck E. Cheese + his early struggles trying to balance school, day job and BIL.
35:00: How the BIL All-American Game started, his relationship with co-owner Matt Rodriguez and how they grew BIL together.
48:46: How content creation has changed since the early days at BIL and how he balances personal life with work.
To learn more about our hosts, Ronnie Flores and Devin Ugland, and to get more information about what “In The Paint” is all about, check out our intro below!