Derek Jeter's new venture, The Players' Tribune, might be more than just a website.
Jeter and some partners in the concession business are proposing to build The Players' Tribune Bar & Grill, reports Eric Snider of the Tampa Bay Bay Business Journal.
The planned location is inside Tampa International Airport. But Snider reports that Jeter faces considerable competition for the space with six other groups, including a Wolfgang Puck restaurant and a Buccaneers-themed bar and grill. Just one will be selected.
The report also cites some of the sales pitch in the bid document from the Jeter group: "Come beyond the velvet rope to enjoy the VIP atmosphere. Not a sports bar … a sports lounge."
The website was designed to give athletes an unfiltered voice. Although there has been some criticism regarding its fact-checking and ghost-written pieces, The Players' Tribune has made an impact on the media landscape since launching in October.
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz caused a stir last week when wrote a column about how he is perceived unfairly because he tested positive for a banned substance in 2003. As Richard Sandomir wrote in the New York Times: " ... the way the Ortiz article quickly went viral also showed the growing reach of The Players’ Tribune, especially when an athlete has something provocative to say, and how its direct pipeline to athletes positions it well to break news ahead of traditional news organizations."
Star power has helped The Players' Tribune build its brand impressively in less than six months. Jeter's name still carries more clout, and that's not in the name of the proposed bar and grill. It might be tempting to add his name, but ultimately The Players' Tribune will need to succeed on its own terms.
"NInety-five percent go out of business," Mark Cuban said of restaurants in an interview with TMZ. "But it's Derek; that's different. And that's his hometown so he's got a better chance than most.
"He's a smart guy. He's a smart businessman. He's got a great following. Who wouldn't want to eat at Derek Jeter's?