'Players' Tribune' Locks In $40M In Financing, Expands Video, Edit Operations

The Players’ Tribune has secured $40 million in Series C financing to expand the site’s video production, sales and editorial operations, as well as develop new distribution and revenue opportunities.

Players' president Jaymee Messler stated that athletes made up nearly 20% — or about $8 million — of this round of financing, which she called “a true testament to the strength of the athlete community we’ve built.”

“This investment will enable us to test new ways across a variety of platforms to help athletes tell their stories and to create immersive content that brand and strategic partners want to support,” Messler added.

Currently, the company is developing a movie about former NFL player Vernon Turner with production company Magic Hour.



The site raised $15 million in Series B funding in 2015,  led by venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, as well as an investment from NBA star Kobe Bryant.

The Players’ Tribune was launched in 2014 by former Major League Baseball player Derek Jeter. The site’s articles are written by athletes; it is an outlet to give them more control in how they engage with fans. More than 1,200 pro and college athletes across multiple sports have contributed to the site through features, video programming, audio and photography.

Last summer, TPT collaborated with Samsung to produce athlete-driven, short-form 360-degree videos and photography using the company’s 360-degree camera. It also partnered with Tyson Foods on branded essays, a video series and photo galleries starring legendary athletes.

According to comScore, The Players’ Tribune generated about 2.6 million unique visitors in December. The financing was led by venture-capital firm IVP, Alphabet Inc. investment firm GV and “dozens” of athletes. The investment brings the company’s total funding to almost $60 million, The Wall Street Journal reports.
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