By Evan DeSimone
The NFL Players Association is taking a big step into digital content with the launch of Athletes Content & Entertainment (ACE) Media, a digital media brand focused on athlete propelled sports livestyle content.
Launched in 1956, the NFLPA is a labor group representing the interests of professional football players. The association boasts some 1,800 members that can be leveraged to create unique personality-driven content for digital outlets, including streaming video. The formation of ACE Media will allow the association to more easily utilize the access to produce and monetize content. An ancillary benefit of such content is that it makes individual players more visible to public, raising their marketable value and strengthening the association’s bargaining position.
ACE Media has already secured multiple distribution channels for the content it plans to produce, including BET Networks, Bleacher Report, The Players’ Tribune and 120 Sports will all carry exclusive video and editorial content produced by ACE Media and featuring members of the players association. It has also entered into production partnerships with crowdsourced studio Tongal and Oscar-winning producers Ed Cunningham and Seth Gordon of World Record Headquarters, as well as brands such as Nike.
Demand for streaming sports content, particularly NFL football, has been on the rise in recent months, as more fans move to digital. The NFL recently acknowledged the shift by consolidating content from several of its existing free or low-price outlets into its most expensive premium platform, NFL GamePass. CBS Sports, which holds the right to distribute regular season games, plans to bring more of that content to streaming than ever before, and even messaging platform Snapchat has secured exclusive NFL content for its users.