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The Players' Tribune

Build a platform for athletes to connect to fans—and track brand equity.

What We Did

  • Product Strategy
  • User Experience Design
  • Responsive Design
  • Engineering
  • Custom Platform Development

Project Details

  • Editorial Content Development
  • React.js Frontend
  • Custom WordPress
  • GraphQL Schema and API
  • Custom Athlete Engagement CRM
  • Google DFP Ad Integration, Analytics

The Players’ Tribune is an influential new media company, founded by Derek Jeter, that allows athletes to connect directly with fans in their own words. The company’s strong focus on data and technology resulted in a very ambitious product roadmap. Postlight was brought in as a partner to bootstrap their newly formed team and build a strong, data-oriented foundation for their tech platform.

Using the powerful data tools we built, this enterprise app measures and analyzes all data related to athletes and their digital brand equity. It’s an all-in-one hub that includes:

  • Biographies
  • Agent relationships
  • Endorsement deals
  • Social media presence
  • Contributions and publications
  • And more.

All of which helps editors manage athlete relationships and drive editorial strategy. The data also supports athletes in becoming better ambassadors of their own brands, as well as in better understanding their relationships with fans.

Create an integrated platform…

The Players’ Tribune’s dynamic editorial, photo, video, and audio content transforms how athletes normally connect with newsmakers and their fans. Instead of talking about last night’s game, athletes instead tell intimate, powerful, first-person stories.

The legacy WordPress website was outdated, and couldn’t be integrated effectively with the broader platform that The Players’ Tribune wanted to build. Editors were dealing with a stand-alone legacy site that was slow, inflexible, and overloaded with defunct features.

Not only did a new site need to be launched quickly, but data generated from the website had to be fully integrated with data and analytics from the broader tech platform. Postlight hit the ground running by helping establish best practices, processes, and product strategy for the road ahead.

To connect athletes and fans…

Our overarching goal was to build a unified platform to manage international content, track athlete relationships, and integrate smoothly with a host of different analytic data providers.

The Players Tribune has an incredibly powerful brand. Our design approach amplified that aesthetic across the site, while respecting the editorial vision of the stories themselves. We let the words and multimedia from the athletes do the heavy lifting.

Because of our tight schedule, we didn’t have time to build a custom CMS to power the site from scratch. Instead, we chose to build a React.js frontend with a custom WordPress backend. GraphQL allowed us to easily retrieve and leverage the data we needed from anywhere across the platform.

With the React.js frontend, we greatly improved the overall reading experience by fully integrating multimedia video and audio, decreasing page load times, and optimization large images. To plan for international expansion, we established tools and processes for cross-posting translated content across global editions. All this helped make the site experience more seamless and pleasurable, removing barriers between the reader and the athlete.

With the CMS, editors were given flexible tools to play with storytelling in more interesting ways. We also set the groundwork for increased programmatic personalization and discoverability for users, and built out the analytics so editors could make smarter choices about content and promotion.

And measure influence

To set the stage for a suite of proprietary products that will eventually comprise The Players’ Tribune platform, we created an application that helps elevate the asset that makes the organization unique: Athletes. And now they’re off and running.