Since the inception of social media, professional athletes have used online platforms to create content that reveals their authentic personalities, sense of humor, and perspectives.
Thanks to a recent investment and partnership from a few sports superstars, we may soon be able to get a better view of the personalities of more athletes in ways rarely seen.
Six-time Super Bowl champion Travis Kelce, Kyrie Irving, six-time NBA star, NBA stars De’Aaron Fox and Deandre Jordan, and NFL veteran Will Allen recently announced that they have become investors in TV players, a new content platform and a new video network.
According to the company, the network will focus on culture, entertainment and the sporting lifestyle, presented through reality shows, documentaries, comedies, podcasts, and more.
PlayersTV is led by CEO Nancy Pingitore, a former Tennis Channel executive, and was co-founded by entertainment industry executives Deron Guidrey and Collin Castellaw.
“It’s pretty special for PlayersTV on so many fronts to have professional athletes involved. After all, we’re a mission-driven company and with their partnership we’re more than just a sports-focused network because we distribute unique player-created content, ”Pingitore said.
Since launching in March, the company has gained noticeable traction that includes a partnership with Samsung, where its content can be viewed on Samsung TV Plus which reaches around 40 million homes worldwide.
Additionally, PlayersTV also landed a distribution agreement with ReachTV in July, which reaches over 100 million potential viewers who travel to the airport terminals and hotels where ReachTV operates.
PlayersTV says it remains focused on maintaining high quality content, which started with a roster that included DeAndre Jordan’s Mindful Life on Baron Davis’ WTF Baron Davis shows. More recently he launched a special TV which called for action and justice for Breonna Taylor, which was produced by Kyrie Irving.
As part of his investment, Kyrie will also become the company’s Chief Visionary Officer (CVO), where he will be responsible for working with other investors and the management team to have more impact on the platform.
“PlayersTV establishes a solid foundation for future sports and entertainment entrepreneurs to create content, generate wealth and own their intellectual property. Whether it’s leveraging this inclusive platform to share black and brown stories, identifying collaborative partnerships, or consolidating various acquisitions to move the business forward, as a CVO, I will push back. limits of traditional television, focus on innovation and connect with our communities, ”said Kyrie Irving.
The participation of fellow NBA players De’Aaron Fox and Deandre Jordan brings a broader view of athletes who have a wider range of interests. For example, Fox is known to be an avid gamer and YouTube influencer with over hundreds of thousands of YouTube subscribers.
“Players TV is an innovative new concept that allows gamers to tell our story through a creative lens. I can’t wait to share new content and give fans a taste of my interests outside of basketball, ”said Fox.
The NFL is also well represented among new investors with Travis Kelce and Will Allen.
Kelce, who is a five-time NFL Pro Bowler, is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who sees PlayersTV as a vehicle to present athletes in a new way.
“Using my name recognition to provide this platform for other creative NFL athletes who don’t always have the opportunity to create and express their unique individuality is what I look forward to the most,” Kelce said.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers player Will Allen’s investment in PlayersTV comes as he continues to become a big name in venture capital and philanthropy.
“PlayersTV spoke to me, it’s the only television network dedicated to athletes of all sports, women and men, owning their content, sharing their passion and being part of the movement. The opportunity to collaborate with other athletes in the boardroom and develop a compelling storytelling that you can’t find anywhere else was really engaging, ”said Allen.
These athletes join more than 25 other entrepreneurs and investors who are helping to develop the athlete-owned network.
Financial terms of the investment were not initially disclosed.
[Update: Minor additions were made to this article to include details about the company’s distribution metrics and programming efforts]