The NFLPA is launching a new media company aimed at giving publications and brands access to content written by professional athletes from all backgrounds.
The labor organization that represents professional football players announced on Monday the creation of Athlete Content and Entertainment Media (ACE Media). The new organization will provide editorial and branded written and video pieces created by athletes and their teams. Instead of launching its own platform, it will partner with existing publications such as BET Networks and Bleacher Report to distribute the content.
"The mission is to tap into what we think is a huge opportunity to create athlete-driven sports lifestyle content," said ACE Media CEO Scott Langerman.
The NFLPA is the majority shareholder in the company. Sources close to the situation say the company will launch with funding in the seven-figure range. The NFLPA declined to comment.
Langerman, who previously worked as a media consultant for the NFLPA and held senior roles at SB Nation and Comcast SportsNet—said that when the public sees players on game day, they often don't get to see the intimate details off the court and the field. ACE Media will work as a "content engine" offering custom offerings to its publisher partners, including helping connect athletes with outlets and companies, in-house production of content, and advising on creative direction.
For example, publications ranging the likes of ESPN, Sports Illustrated and The Players' Tribune often feature stories by athletes themselves. ACE Media would be the behind-the-scenes conduit that could help find the right athlete to write about a topic, and, depending on the case, could aid in producing the piece.
"As professional athletes we have a huge opportunity to offer unbelievable levels of access and authenticity to the fans that support us," said Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman in a statement. "With the launch of ACE Media, we now have a way to seize that opportunity by creating content that no one else can, showing sides of ourselves that you won't see anywhere else. We're excited about the content we plan to help create, and we're excited by the future of this company."