Sportress of Blogitude

Kobe Bryant invests in Derek Jeter-led The Players’ Tribune


The Players’ Tribune, the website fronted by MLB icon Derek Jeter, received a considerable investment courtesy of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, who through his own investment firm and venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates made a “significant investment in the platform,” per a Players’ Tribune press release.

The announcement, which reported on a successful close of a Series B financing totaling $15 million, will help The Players’ Tribune “broaden and develop multimedia editorial offerings, including written pieces, photography, podcasts and The Players’ Tribune Radio.”

Exact terms of Bryant’s investment was not disclosed but both he and Jeter celebrated the partnership in their statements.

“Through The Players’ Tribune, Derek and his team have built something special. A platform for athletes to own their own stories and present them to fans is an extremely powerful tool,” Bryant said in a release, via ESPN. “Through this investment and my personal creative involvement, I look forward to joining the vision and helping the team push boundaries in content creation and technology.”

Jeter added: “Kobe and I have a lot more in common than our desire to win on the field or court. We share a common vision for adding another element to the sports media landscape and strengthening the relationship between fans and athletes. He’s the perfect teammate for me and for the entire Tribune team.”

Bryant’s previous history with The Players’ Tribune was serving as “Editorial Director” and involved a handful of essays for the site, which quickly attracted a large audience courtesy of first-person narratives and essays written by some of the biggest athletes from the world of sports — although it became unclear to what extent athletes were actually writing the pieces entirely themselves.

The so-called editorial freedom has attracted the likes of Russell Wilson, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love, to name a view, to sign on as a “Senior Editor” or “Guest Contributor,” as was the case with Tiger Woods).