In honor of Minute Media’s 10th Anniversary, we would like to take a look at the last ten years through the lens of our unique content brands, highlighting some of their key milestones throughout the last decade. This blog is dedicated to our athlete-led storytelling brand, The Players’ Tribune.
After retiring from baseball in 2014, MLB Hall-of-Famer, and New York Yankees Captain, Derek Jeter decided to create a revolutionary digital media brand developed by athletes for athletes. The Players’ Tribune developed the blueprint for athlete-driven storytelling by giving athletes the premium tools and resources to create truly personal content and tell their stories. Since its inception, The Players' Tribune has reimagined the world of sports and culture globally through impactful video, audio and written content - contributed by athletes, coaches and creatives - inspiring millions through sharing their truth.
Soon after launching their editorial content, The Players’ Tribune decided to expand their content offering to include video, audio and multimedia formats. This next phase of the brand’s content evolution offered their athlete community even more ways of communicating their stories to their fans, effectively widening The Players’ Tribune’s influence within the industry.
In 2017, The Players’ Tribune hit another key milestone in achieving industry recognition as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of the Year. This accomplishment proved that their athlete-led content strategy, which had never been done before, successfully connected fans to their favorite athletes through powerful storytelling. Since this recognition, The Players’ Tribune has won multiple awards, including Clio, Digiday and Hashtag Sports honors.
In 2018, the brand made headlines for helping five time NBA All Star, Kevin Love tell his story on mental health, anxiety and depression. Mental health was, and still is, a very sensitive subject to discuss, especially for athletes who are often seen as larger than life and therefore invincible to these kinds of issues. Within Kevin Love’s story, he talked about his struggles with mental health, culminating in an on-court panic attack. By opening up about his own story, Love empowered many other athletes to open up about their own struggles, effectively bringing mental health to the forefront of the sports conversation. Years later, this story is still connecting with athletes and fans alike - something that would not be possible without The Players’ Tribune.
Also in 2018, The Players’ Tribune took a step into the technology sector by acquiring Unscriptd, a sports technology platform. The strategic addition of Unscriptd centered around its mobile app, which was built specifically to help athletes create, edit and publish short-form videos. The combination of this technology with The Players’ Tribune’s athlete-led content, allowed the brand to expand its reach even further, connecting with fans across nearly all formats.
In 2019, The Players’ Tribune launched its most successful franchise to date, Knuckleheads. The Knuckleheads podcast features former NBA stars Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles interviewing other sports greats - such as Dwayne Wade, Candace Parker, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Paul George, Patrick Ewing and more. The two touch upon everything from the golden age of basketball, to the current state of sports to cultural and social issues. The podcast has become incredibly popular, winning industry recognition as well a place in fans’ hearts.
Later that same year, The Players’ Tribune joined Minute Media, becoming a new addition to the company’s sports portfolio. The addition of The Players’ Tribune rounded out Minute Media’s sports portfolio, allowing the company to cover sports content from every touchpoint - premium player access from the voice of the athlete (with The Players’ Tribune), sports media insights (with The Big Lead), fantasy and sports betting expertise (through its partnership with FanDuel) and storytelling from the fan’s point-of-view (with 12up, 90min and DBLTAP). In addition to enhancing their new parent company's portfolio, The Players’ Tribune gained access to Minute Media’s proprietary publishing and video technology, Voltax, as well as global sales, marketing, business development and product teams. This important step in The Players’ Tribune’s journey has enabled the brand to expand into new markets, launch new franchises and carve out a larger space for themselves within the sports industry.
Since its creation, The Players’ Tribune has worked with its robust community of athletes to amplify their voices around important social issues such as gender equality, mental health and race. In the summer of 2020, the world witnessed a horrendous act of police brutality against George Floyd. His death and other instances of violence and injustice against people of color led to outcries for change across the US. The Players’ Tribune was among those outraged, as was their athlete community, who have spoken on the topic of racial injustice before, but believed now more than ever their stories needed to be heard.
True to their brand ethos, The Players’ Tribune answered these calls, and in partnership with multiple athletes across nearly every sport, created ‘Silence is Not an Option’ -- a robust collection of athlete stories all centered around racial injustice. The collection, which is still growing, currently features articles from 35 athletes and sports leaders of color, as well as their allies.
You can read more about Silence Is Not An Option here.
In 2021, The Players’ Tribune achieved another important milestone by expanding its brand into the Japan and Brazil markets. Up until this year, The Players’ Tribune had mostly operated within the United States, but with Minute Media’s resources and enhanced infrastructure, the brand was able to leverage global teams within these new markets to serve Japan and Brazil-based athletes and fans. Not only has this expansion been successful in sharing athlete stories globally, but it has also proven that The Players’ Tribune’s unique take on content can translate across countries, cultures and languages.
Also this past year The Players’ Tribune doubled down on their commitment to elevating conversations around mental health by launching a new mental health-focused podcast franchise, Blindsided. Co-hosted by former NHL Goaltender, Corey Hirsch, and psychiatrist Dr. Diane McIntosh, this new franchise focuses on the mental health journeys of athletes, working to both raise awareness and create meaningful conversations around this very important issue.
You can listen to Blindsided here.
While The Players’ Tribune may not have been around for the full ten-year journey, their contributions to the growth of Minute Media cannot be overstated. The unique perspective and athlete community that The Players’ Tribune has created makes it a great addition to Minute Media’s portfolio, and we’re excited to see what the future holds for this one-of-a-kind brand.