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The Culture of How Athletes Break News

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If desired, the athletes have all the power.

Jeter at The Players’ Tribune launch party. Photo

Sports media is adjusting to what the new normal is for the way viewers receive their news, but are we all missing the main key to the business that will change the game forever?

Over the past few years’ athletes from many different sports have decided to create outlets so that their “full” stories get out, not just what the media wants to print out.

One of those came from Derek Jeter when he created his site, The Players’ Tribune. Since its birth, it has been an excellent outlet for star athletes to share their personal stories or fresh reactions right after a playoff series.

The other top outlet is Cleveland Cavalier star LeBron James’ digital platform, Uninterrupted, which has given a select few athletes the chance to begin creating small documentary videos on how they got to where they are along with current and future plans.

I ran some polls based on these two successful athlete run platforms and the results were somewhat surprising.

Question: Players continue to want to break their own news or share content the way they want it shared, but which way do you like to get it?

40% LeBron’s (Uninterrupted)

60% Jeter’s (Players Tribune)

The business of broadcasting and journalism are saying that the future is digital, which I am not going to debate.

As you can see in the poll though, the preference for fans is The Players Tribune.

Don’t get me wrong Jeter has done an incredible job creating this for the modern day athletes, but if the business is pitching that the future is digital and all video, then why are the fans saying they prefer reading a platform that is mostly written content from their favorite athletes?

Plenty of fans love the video driven content that LeBron has created with his business partner Maverick Carter as well, just in a different capacity.

Could the main change be that current athletes will break and share their own news at a higher level than we have already seen?

In the circles I speak with, the answer to that is yes. We have only started to see what athletes are capable of from a video, writing and podcasts perspective. It is the future athlete, and although the insiders and journalist will still break stories, we are entering the culture of that athletes want all of the power and that is on and off the floor.

For years it has always been about the storytelling from a journalist perspective, but the storytelling coming directly from the athlete to you, that will only grow the admiration fans have for their favorite players.

It all comes down to that everyone can get breaking news on their phones instantly, but having an inside look into the day-to-day of what these megastars are doing business wise during their off days will become less and less private in the coming years if the athletes believe that will benefit them.

The future is bright from a business perspective and it is something we have never seen before, although it is something that will change the way we get news forever.

Front Office Sports is a leading multi-platform publication and industry resource that covers the intersection of business and sports.

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