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Sports site PlayersVoice promises to ‘enrich the soul of Australia’s great obsession’

Nick Kyrgios, Israel Folau, Erin Phillips, and Sally Fitzgibbons will be some of the contributors featured on playersvoice.com.au, a new online platform for sports stars to be launched on Thursday.

Kerry McCabe, PlayersVoice’s founder, told Mumbrella: “Our collective vision is to enrich the soul of what we describe as Australia’s great obsession, which is sport.”

Kerry McCabe, founder of Players Voice

The service will focus on ‘The Human Behind the Headline,’ featuring contributions from elite sportspeople locally and globally, as well as a video series made in partnership with current and former stars.

McCabe sees the platform catering to the void created by media power shifting to athletes at a time when traditional media has fewer resources to cover sports stories.

“When we spoke to Australia’s elite sports people and sports lovers what they were telling us is there’s this void that isn’t been currently met,” he said.

At present the void is being filled by social media channels which limit the ways elite athletes can tell their stories, McCabe believes.

“The opportunity for elite sports people through Players Voice is at the other end of the market with much more rich, relatable stories told through video, through podcasts and through written form.”

Filling that media void also presents opportunities for brands says McCabe, formerly RadiumOne’s Global President.

“The opportunity for brands is to invest in the content and environment and into the rich and raw place as being invited by the audience versus being seen as invasive by the audience. We’re working with a number of premium brands to bring that to life.”

McCabe said in order to create value for brand partners, there will be no gambling presence on the platform, and no traditional display advertising.

“We have made some big calls in the interests of our users, contributors and brand partners,” he said.

“Rather than being protective around our data we will help our brand partners to shift the needle on brand metrics on our platform whilst equipping them with consumer data and insights to better optimise their marketing activities outside of our environment.”

At Thursday’s launch, McCabe is expecting to announce the brands working with the service along with details of an agreement with a major sports marketing group.

The first video series, Transitions, will explore the mental, emotional and physical adjustments, challenges and successes of elite sportspeople.

Sports personalities George Gregan, Liz Ellis, and Paul Roos are also involved in the business.

Former netball star, Ellis, who is now director at PlayersVoice, said the website will not compete with “live sports, sports news, or social networks.”

“It will be the home of raw sports content in Australia – not always positive, not always warm; but always real,” said Ellis in a media statement. “Because it will be the trusted platform advocated by elite sportspeople, sports lovers get to see the real view of the person beyond the hype.”

The publishing platform shows strong similarities to The Players’ Tribune in the US, which is described as a news media platform which provides content written by professional athletes.

Unscriptd, an international media company helping athletes to create and publish their unfiltered personal stories in short-form video format launched in 2013.

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