In today’s media landscape, fans have more access to information on athletes than they did in the past. From athletes’ personal social media accounts, to brands like Uninterrupted, fans can easily get a peek into their favorite players’ lives both on and off the court or field.
Over the past four years, The Players’ Tribune has strived to be at the forefront of that athlete-driven media, allowing athletes to tell their stories of trial and triumph firsthand.
Now, the brand is expanding its reach, having recently acquired Unscriptd, a global athlete media and technology company. The deal will afford more opportunities to athletes to generate their own content and engage with fans.
“We’re always exploring new tools and services to better serve the athlete community,” said Jeff Levick, CEO of The Players’ Tribune. “The acquisition allows us to diversify our content and distribution models as we scale our business, which means more ways we can help athletes create content, increase engagement and inspire others.”
With offices in Barcelona, New York City, London and Australia, Unscriptd enables athletes to publish their own content and boost their personal brand, as well as that of commercial partners.
Thanks to Unscriptd’s pre-existing community of global athletes, the deal will help double the number of athletes in The Players’ Tribune community, all in the hopes of reaching a more diverse audience.
“We will be adding more than 2,500 global athletes to our existing community as well as bringing on various roles to support the integration of Unscriptd onto the TPT platform,” Levick said. “Additionally, the acquisition will allow us to further diversify our content and breadth of sports represented on our platform, giving us the opportunity to connect with new fans and partners from all over the world.”
With those new athletes comes an expanded list of sports represented on the platform — including global football, Australian rules football, surfing, tennis, cricket, track and field, and rugby.
To keep up with these additions, The Players’ Tribune is adding to its global repertoire with multilingual content and a focus on video.
“We have a team of editors abroad who will use the same fundamental blueprint we developed in the U.S., which is partnering with athletes and providing a high-quality approach to content production as well as a platform in which they can tell their stories in a unique and authentic way,” Levick said. “Global content will be multilingual, with an elevated emphasis on video to further complement our powerful and signature written storytelling pieces.”
The platform will also take advantage of Unscriptd’s signature mobile technology to launch an invite-only app exclusively for The Players’ Tribune athlete community called The Players’ Post. The app will allow the athletes to manage their own creation and distribution of content, right to their personal social media accounts.
“The Players’ Post will use industry-leading technology to more efficiently manage an athlete’s content,” Levick said. “It will serve as a single source for content submissions, approvals and distribution. It will streamline the process so athletes can publish content simultaneously to social channels, TPT and partner channels — all in one click.”
The changes come at an important time for The Players’ Tribune. According to Forbes, the company has doubled its revenue each year, but it has not yet turned a profit. The deal allows the platform an opportunity for growth, as well as the ability to keep up with the shifting media landscape.
“We want to continue to reimagine the world of sports and entertainment through the players’ points of view and expand our unique way of connecting players to fans through as many platforms as possible,” Levick said. “Creating immersive content that brand and strategic partners want to support will always be a focus. Experiential and original content development are also areas we’ll be putting a larger emphasis on.”
Between the shift to video and the embrace of global expansion, The Players’ Tribune is making a clear push to be at the top of the athlete-driven content game. Even with the changes, though, the company will continue to stick to its original goal of helping athletes tell their stories in a way that can’t be found anywhere else.
“It’s important that athletes have a platform they can trust,” Levick said. “Athletes see the value not only in controlling their own narrative, but also in having a place where they feel comfortable enough to open up and be honest about topics important to them — from personal issues, sports-related issues and social issues. It’s led to richer and more substantive storytelling, and that’s why both athletes and fans come to TPT.”