Derek Jeter’s digital-publishing career may be in its final inning, as his sports blog, Players’ Tribune, scrambles to find a new buyer after burning through close to $80 million since its launch five years ago, according to sources.

Jeter is not expected to be involved if a sale is concluded, sources said.

“It’s hemorrhaging money,” and the Yankee legend is “looking for a soft landing” — namely, a buyer who will save the blog from shutting down, a source told Media Ink.

Jeter’s day job since 2017 as CEO and minority owner of the Miami Marlins MLB franchise leaves him little time for developing his website.

In addition, Jeter Publishing, a boutique book imprint at Simon & Schuster, appears to be winding down with the release of “Heartless” by Chip Jones in May — one of the few new books on deck.

Some of the biggest names in sports were small investors in the 2014 launch of Players’ Tribune, which allows athletes to reach fans in their own words by posting directly without the filter of established sports websites.

Early investors were said to include former Boston Red Sox slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz, NBA star Kevin Durant, who this year jumped from Golden State to the New York Nets, retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant and NFL quarterbacks Cam Newton and Russell Wilson.

But despite occasional traffic spikes when a superstar broke news on the site, Players’ Tribune has generally struggled for viewers, attracting only 258,000 unique monthly visitors in September, according to Comscore.

When Jeter was still involved in 2017, the company announced it had raised $40 million from investors that included New Enterprise Associates, IVP and GV, Google’s venture capital arm. The company said at that time it had raised a total $60 million since its launch.

In December 2018, it purchased Unscriptd, a short-form video network that was used by 2,500 athletes in Europe, Asia and Australia.

But Players’ Tribune has also had to borrow money to stay afloat more recently, according to a source. In January, Players’ Tribune reportedly laid off eight people — about 10% of its workforce at the time.

Current CEO Jeff Levick did not return emails seeking comment. A call to Jeter agent Casey Clark was not returned.

Bloomberg first reported last week that the Players’ Tribune had hired a financial adviser to explore a potential sale. Jeter could not be reached for comment.

Main Source link