Taking out the middle man

As a sports fan and a prospective sports writer, delving into the minds of athletes is both essential and fascinating to me.

But if I one day cover professional baseball as a member of the media, I’ll do so much to the chagrin of Derek Jeter.

Just three days after retiring, Jeter launched a brand new website called “The Player’s Tribune.” The idea is that Jeter will eliminate the role of the media in covering professional athletes. Instead, athletes will write in their own voice for the website. The first writer for the site besides Jeter was Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who penned a piece on domestic violence in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of The Players Tribune

Photo courtesy of The Players Tribune

According to the site, The Player’s Tribune is “a new media platform that will present the unfiltered voices of professional athletes, bringing fans closer to the games they love than ever before.”

It’s both an intriguing option to fans — and a shrewd marketing move by Jeter and other athletes.

The platform presents athletes in a light that fans have never seen before. The hope is that it makes them more accessible, more personable and give fans a new perspective on athletes. Jeter is marketing the site as the “voice of athletes,” and in turn, is essentially marketing himself and other athletes.

In class, we learned about Intrapreneurship, which is the promotion and marketing of an innovative new platform focused around yourself. In this case, Jeter is doing just that. As an athlete in New York surrounded by media, he noted on multiple occasion’s that he guarded his answers and didn’t allow many people access.

Now, fans have complete access. Any athlete which writes for the site can promote and market their own personal branding. It’s essentially betting on yourself, a chance to write in your own voice and not allow fans to do the work for you.

The athletes also have the added benefit of being “experts” about what they write about, which goes a long way in convincing fans this marketing is worthwhile. These are some of the best athletes in the world and their personal brand is at stake at The Players Enterprise.

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