Two and a half years after Derek Jeter launched The Players’ Tribune, the project must be considered a success.
The site—which features athletes sharing their opinions and histories in first-person essays—has raised plenty of money from investors, and while its traffic isn’t great, it has broken some big stories and gained a fair amount of cultural capital.
Now, Jeter might be looking to expand.
The talk ended with Jeter and [co-founder Jaymee] Messler talking about the future of the company. When asked if the template would work for other verticals like entertainers, Jeter simply said “shhh.”
He then elaborated that they do think it would work for other verticals and some of these celebrities have reached out to them seeing if they can publish content. And while we very likely may see actors and musicians using the platform at some point in the future, the company is currently focused on perfecting the experience within the sports vertical.
It stands to reason that The Players Tribune could benefit actors, musical artists and other celebrities the same way it does athletes, providing a platform for their thoughts and a friendly ghost-writer to help out. If you’re an A-list entertainer, why let Rolling Stone or GQ run a feature that could end up biting you if you can write a first-person with legitimate reach?
Now that the Players’ Tribune model has been shown to work for athletes, expansion is the logical next step.
And Jeter and company certainly won’t lack for capital. As of January, the Players’ Tribune had raised about $60 million, and Tech Crunch reports the site has more than 50 athlete investors. Some have speculated that ESPN could buy Jeter’s company, though we’re skeptical about that.
Love it or hate it, The Players Tribune is clearly here to stay. And before long, it could get an infusion of rappers, actors and maybe even a Kardashian or two.