By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Players' Tribune, a website designed to allow athletes to express themselves, is thinking 'international' and hoping to become an outlet for English Premier League players and other footballers in Europe.
The digital dream child of former New York Yankees great Derek Jeter, the growing website has had more than 1,200 athletes contribute content and is hungry to add more voices.
"In general, football is only going to get bigger and bigger here. The culture is changing a lot," Joe Puglisi, director of branded content for the Players' Tribune, said on Tuesday at Leaders Sports Business Summit.
"I see that as a big growth area, especially for us. We're very interested. Big plans for international expansion, specifically in Europe right now."
Puglisi singled out Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid as potential early targets to work with.
"I think it’s important for us to establish relationships with the clubs, because they have the most say over the players’ time and what they’re doing with media properties," Puglisi told Reuters.
"Those players would be able to tell a story the way that they want to and to reach a new audience here, and a lot of those clubs are very interested in growing their U.S. audience."
Among contributors in the U.S. are NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and the golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant, while in 2015 basketball star Kobe Bryant posted a poem announcing his departure from the game.
The site's monthly average of "content views" has hit 100 million and users are spending an average of about five minutes on each page, Forbes reported.
The first-person stories are often drawn from long interviews done by Players' Tribune staff in a collaborative process with the player, the Sports Business Journal reported.
Videos and photos are also featured on the website and an international flavor has already begun to be sprinkled in. On Monday, a personal essay on Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford's childhood and his making it in soccer was published.
"We’re very interested in having this be a global platform," Puglisi said.
(Editing by Steve Keating.)