Peter Kafka: Player’s Tribune raises $40mm; investors include IVP, Google Ventures. This is the company that’s supposed to be a media platform controlled by athletes, so they can cut out ESPN, SI, etc. Which is an interesting idea. But: Big platforms still have value to jocks – see @KingJames + SI. Or go direct via Twitter, FB, etc.
Today, the Miami HEAT announced a strategic partnership with the esports franchise, Misfits, a premium organization with professional teams competing in the genre’s premier games. The partnership, with the HEAT acquiring a stake in Misfits, is unique as it calls for the HEAT to assist in all duties including marketing, branding, promotion, retail, digital and sponsorship activation on behalf of the franchise, and to cross-promote the HEAT and Misfits. “The Miami HEAT pride ourselves on being innovative in all aspects of sports and business,” said HEAT Chief Executive Officer Nick Arison. “For us, it made perfect sense to partner with Misfits, a young and ambitious franchise in a sport that is blazing a trail in terms of 21st century recreational competition amongst Millennials.”
Jeff Zillgitt: For those unhappy with NBA LP this season. League is conducting conference call with team execs: Alexander Lasry: Jumping on a call with the League in an hour about League Pass. Can people send me issues they’ve had? Thanks!!
The NBA on Thursday morning unveiled InPlay — an interactive, real-time fantasy basketball app that synchronizes with national broadcasts of NBA games, providing fans with a one-of-a-kind fantasy hoops experience. Here’s how it works: During each NBA game telecast on TNT, NBA TV, ESPN and ABC, fans can play by simply launching the app and joining a public contest or creating a private game. But unlike your run-of-the-mill fantasy sports scoring system, users can only select one player per quarter, as opposed to an entire lineup, and accumulate points based on that player’s performance (points, rebounds, assists, etc.).
Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green says he watched the birth of his son via FaceTime. Green was on the airplane in New York headed to San Francisco on Thursday morning when his son, Draymond Jamal Green , was born. He recalls yelling from his first-class seat on the commercial airplane after the birth and people thought he was “crazy,” adding it was a “surreal experience.”