Lakers star Kobe Bryant has been involved with The Players' Tribune, an athlete-driven website founded by former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, since last December. But Bryant has taken that relationship a step further.
The Players' Tribune announced a successful close of its Series B financing totaling $15 million Tuesday.
Bryant, through his own investment firm, partnered with the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates to make what The Players' Tribune called a "significant investment in the platform" in a news release.
The exact terms of Bryant's investment were not disclosed. His most notable piece on The Players' Tribune site was a first-person essay about passing his idol Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
In the release, the site said the financing will help the 1-year-old site "broaden and develop multimedia editorial offerings, including written pieces, photography, podcasts and The Players' Tribune Radio." It will also help to significantly expand the site's video content, including popular series such as "Players' POV," "Singular Focus" and "1440."
"Through The Players' Tribune, Derek and his team have built something special. A platform for athletes to own their own stories and present them to fans is an extremely powerful tool," Bryant said in a release. "Through this investment and my personal creative involvement, I look forward to joining the vision and helping the team push boundaries in content creation and technology."
In the release, Jeter added, "Kobe and I have a lot more in common than our desire to win on the field or court. We share a common vision for adding another element to the sports media landscape and strengthening the relationship between fans and athletes. He's the perfect teammate for me and for the entire Tribune team."
Jaymee Messler, president of The Players' Tribune, said in the release that "Kobe has deep-rooted relationships and a major interest in storytelling and technology. Partnering with him and NEA will help us continue to enhance and broaden our content offerings."