Self and The Players’ Tribune Will Partner to Spotlight Female Athletes

Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad will executive produce a video series

Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad will serve as EP for a video series. Getty
Headshot of Sara Jerde

For the first time, two separately owned brands are coming together to showcase women in sports. Self, a Condé Nast title, as well as The Players’ Tribune, founded by Derek Jeter, will partner to create co-branded content.

“We’re all just so excited about the idea of connecting with more female athletes and giving a platform to these really important conversations and telling these stories,” said Carolyn Kylstra, editor in chief of Self.

The two platforms aim to collaborate on a range of material, with an expected fall release, to tell “powerful” stories with athletes that “other people aren’t telling,” said Jessica Robertson, head of content at The Players’ Tribune.

That will include personal essays and a video series, which will be executive produced by Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Muhammad was the first Muslim-American to wear a hijab in the Olympics when she competed in 2016 and Mattel later went on to develop a Barbie doll modeled after her. Muhammad called it a “rare and revolutionary opportunity” to highlight women’s sports in the series and to have the partnership.

“Women sports don’t receive the same media attention as men’s sports, so it’s not just about the quantity of coverage but also about the quality as well,” Muhammad said.

Founded in 1979, Self now boasts a reach of more than 15 million across platforms. Founded in 2014, The Players’ Tribune has had more than 1,800 athletes contribute to the platform. The content will be shared across both entities’ channels and their social platforms.

“For us, the goal is to have diversity and representation across all sports,” Robertson said, later adding, “It’s not just about the young girls. I think it’s also about changing the cultural narrative where young men and young boys have a healthy respect and admiration for female athletes as well.”

The brands want potential sponsors that have, “common values and an invested interest in celebrating and supporting women,” said Jordana Pransky, vp of revenue, The Lifestyle Collection, in an email.

@SaraJerde Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.