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Derek Jeter-Founded Players’ Tribune Raises $40 Million From IVP, Google, Thomas Tull, Pro Athletes

Variety logo Variety 1/19/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

The Players’ Tribune, the media company dedicated to delivering first-person content from athletes founded by Derek Jeter, said it has closed $40 million in Series C funding, led by venture-capital firm IVP.

The funding brings New York-based startup to $58 million raised to date. with participation from Alphabet’s GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), dozens of individual athletes, and existing investors including Thomas Tull (former CEO of Legendary Entertainment), New Enterprise Associates, and GenTrust. The Players’ Tribune said athletes represented nearly $8 million of the total Series C round.

Jeter launched the Players’ Tribune in 2014 in partnership with Tull, with the former New York Yankees star shortstop promising to provide a home for athletes to share “unfiltered, honest and unique perspectives” to fans. To date, more than 1,200 pro and college athletes across multiple sports have contributed to the platform through long- and short-form written features, video programming, audio and photography.

The Players’ Tribune said the new financing will let is boost content offerings, expand video production, sales and editorial operations, and develop new distribution and revenue opportunities. The company is developing a movie about former NFL player Vernon Turner, in association with production company Magic Hour.

“This investment will enable us to test new ways across a variety of platforms to help athletes tell their stories, and to create immersive content that brand and strategic partners want to support,” said Jaymee Messler, president of Players’ Tribune. Messler, previously CMO of Excel Sports Management, joined the company in January 2015.

The Players’ Tribune, whose tagline is “The Voice of the Game,” publishes on its own website http://www.theplayerstribune.com and distributes content on Facebook and Twitter.

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