The Captain has crossed the Pacific.
The Players’ Tribune, a publication founded by Derek Jeter to give athletes a first-person platform, launched in Japan.
Known as a great ambassador during his playing days, Jeter founded the publication shortly after retiring from baseball in 2014 to give athletes a forum to tell their own stories and go beyond the often generic postgame sound bites.
“We are excited to diversify the media market in Japan and give Japanese athletes a space to share their unique narratives and connect on a deeper level with their fans,” Jeter told Front Office Sports.
While some athletes have embraced Twitter and Instagram as platforms to communicate directly with fans, The Players’ Tribune provides a longform outlet for players to thank a fanbase they’re leaving, discuss physical and mental health challenges, or explain a policy stance, as former NBA star Chris Bosh did in an article on why college athletes should be paid.
The Japanese version has translated articles from the English version, as well as original pieces. F1-driver Yuki Tsunoda penned one of the site’s first articles written in Japanese.
“Japan produces some of the world’s top athletes, but they don’t have a platform that allows them to speak directly, openly, and authentically to their fans, until now,” Jeter said. The publication, which also publishes in Spanish, grew nearly 50% in audience size over 2020.
The Players’ Tribune was acquired by Minute Media in 2019, bringing it under the same umbrella as sports media networks The Big Lead and Fansided, as well as esports site DBLTAP. The Japan edition will partner with media company Miraikanai to boost its content and production.