New Enterprise Associates has led a $9.5 million Series B funding round for The Players’ Tribune, a New York-based media company founded by Derek Jeter and which posts content from athletes. Jeter, who retired from the New York Yankees last year, launched the site in October. Joining NEA in the Series B round are existing investors, including Thomas Tull of Legendary Entertainment. As part of the funding, Jon Sakoda, general partner of NEA, has joined the board.
Photo of Derek Jeter courtesy of Shutterstock.
THE PLAYERS’ TRIBUNE RAISES $9.5 MILLION IN SERIES B FINANCING LED BY NEA
World’s Largest VC Firm Partners with Derek Jeter to Build Independent Sports Media Platform to Connect Athletes Directly to Fans
NEW YORK — June 15, 2015 — The Players’ Tribune, the innovative media company founded by Derek Jeter, which shares first-person content coming directly from athletes, today announced the first close of its Series B financing in the amount of $9.5 million. The round was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), the world’s largest venture capital firm. Existing investors, including Thomas Tull of Legendary Entertainment, also participated in the round. The Players’ Tribune has established a unique position in the media industry, having built a robust athlete community of more than 100 of the most influential athletes across sport.
The new financing will allow The Players’ Tribune to continue delivering impactful athlete-generated content across a variety of multimedia channels, ranging from written pieces to photography, podcasts, The Players’ Tribune Radio and live, interactive and engaging video. The funds will also allow for the expansion of The Players’ Tribune’s production and business staff, enabling platform growth and broader content distribution.
“The Players’ Tribune has quickly become the go-to portal for athletes to share their stories, experiences and perspectives first-hand, and a place where fans go to learn more about their favorite players. We are thrilled to be partnering with NEA, one of the largest and most distinguished VC firms in the world,” said Jaymee Messler, President of The Players’ Tribune. “NEA has a fantastic track record of helping media and technology companies with long-term growth and development.”
“Derek’s integrity, humility, and commitment to excellence has attracted many of the most talented athletes and executives to The Players’ Tribune,” said Jon Sakoda, General Partner at NEA. “We are excited to partner with this world-class team to build a unique media platform that can transform the relationship between athletes and their fans.”
In conjunction with the financing, Jon Sakoda, General Partner at NEA, will join The Players’ Tribune Board of Directors.
ABOUT THE PLAYERS’ TRIBUNE: The Players’ Tribune is an innovative digital media platform created and curated by some of the world’s top athletes. Created by Founding Publisher Derek Jeter in partnership with Legendary Entertainment, The Players’ Tribune brings fans closer to the games they love with fresh content, produced daily, from the unique perspective of the pros. The Players’ Tribune pairs athletes with seasoned editors who, together, create narratives of the highest quality across all mediums, from text to audio to video. For more information visit www.theplayerstribune.com, or interact with the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/theplayerstribune) and Twitter (@playerstribune).
New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With approximately $17 billion in committed capital, NEA invests in technology and healthcare companies at all stages in a company’s lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm’s long track record of successful investing includes more than 200 portfolio company IPOs and more than 320 acquisitions since its founding in 1977. In the U.S., NEA has offices in Menlo Park, CA; Boston, MA; New York, NY; Chicago, IL; and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In addition, New Enterprise Associates (India) Pvt. Ltd. has offices in Bangalore and Mumbai, India and New Enterprise Associates (Beijing), Ltd. has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, China. For additional information, visit www.nea.com.