From Baseball to Entrepreneurship: Derek Jeter Launches The Players' Tribune

Yankees Shortstop Derek Jeter
From pinstripes to entrepreneurship: Derek Jeter. Mike Coppola/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Derek Jeter, the five-time World Series Champion and acclaimed Yankee shortstop, has just retired. His next move? To follow in the footsteps of a number of other former professional athletes-turned-entrepreneurs. He’s launched The Players' Tribune, a website to “present the unfiltered voices of professional athletes.”

Jeter notes in an opening statement on his website that he feels players need a place to be more transparent: “We all have emotions.

We just need to be sure our thoughts will come across the way we intend. So I’m in the process of building a place where athletes have the tools they need to share what they really think and feel. We want to have a way to connect directly with our fans, with no filter."

The Players' Tribune joins a crowded group of other sports site — Deadspin from Gawker Media, Grantland from ESPN, and the Bleacher Report -- that deal in the sporting world from various niches. Will Jeter's new publication find an audience

Though the media landscape is crowded, we're rooting for Jeter, and hope that he follows the following principles that should guide any content business launch. 

Get by With a Little Help From Your Friends

Derek Jeter launches his business with one obvious advantage -- he's a superstar, and has plenty of fans and supporters. But unless you live in a cabin deep in the woods, you'd do well to tap your own circle of friends and associates to help your business grow.

 

Consider this advice from marketing guru Joseph Jaffe: "Everybody has customer. You could put a lemonade stand on the corner, and to the first five people you say, 'I'll give you the first sip of lemonade if you bring a friend back.' So if you are an new entrepreneur with a new venture, you still have a Rolodex, an LinkedIn profile," and various other ways of cultivating and activating your "zealots."

Harness the Power of Social Media

The smart thing about Jeter's new venture is it realizes the ascendancy of social media marketing. In other words, he recognizes that fans not only want to have read about their favorite players, but also have a conversations with them. 

A vital first step to being successful in social media is figuring out how to reach a receptive audience. Here's what you need to know.

Once you develop an idea of where your audience is, craft an irresistible content plan to keep your fans coming back to your site again and again. 

More: The Entrepreneur's Complete Guide to Social Media Marketing

Win Them Over with Content

The web has opened up a voracious appetite for new, fresh content, and if Jeter's site can provide that, he'll be in good shape. "Great content will always rise to the top -- a great idea, even a self-published great idea, should beat a mediocre top-heavy, lethargic book in the bookstores," says Jaffe

Hungry for More? 

Plenty of regular people make a living (or just a few bucks) by blogging about things they care about. Want to learn how to use your blog to make money? Don't miss these articles on monetizing your blog: 

Bonus Resource: Worksheet for Getting Started