As said in my last post, I am in the midst of examining the term athlete to uncover the various social, political, and personal implications the word holds in today’s society.
To give you an insight into my vision for new media site, I’d like to review an online platform that seems to follow a similar structure as the site I’m currently curating. The Players’ Tribune is a platform that presents a medium for the direct reflections, thoughts and experiences of professional athletes. Founded by former professional Major League Baseball player Derek Jeter, The Player’s Tribune provides daily sports conversation and publishes first-person stories directly from athletes; the content ranges from videos to podcasts to player polls and written pieces.
There are many features on The Player’s Tribune that I found informative and intriguing; I noticed myself clicking through the menu, creating a string of links on my browser of various athletes’ radio streams, intimate interviews, and personal anecdotes in the form of written narratives, photographs, or videos. The following list represents the attributes I admired on The Player’s Tribune:
- Users Develop Personal Connection with Professional Athletes
- Users See Professional Athletes as Regular People
Users are able to connect to professional athletes in basketball, baseball, football, soccer, hockey, track and field, swimming, etc. via The Player’s Tribune website in addition to its Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube accounts. The ability to retrieve the Tribune’s information and content on various platforms makes it incredibly user-friendly and accessible. Furthermore, each of these forms of new media permits the Tribune to incorporate vivid photos, videos, and interviews which enhances the information by giving it a strong visual and aesthetic appeal.
Furthermore, there are multiple areas where users can find permanent and archived features that gives them a chance to know professional athletes on a deeper level. Series that give users a light-hearted, yet intimate look at some of their favorite sport stars include: Fair or Foul, When I Knew, What the Blank?, Letter to My Younger Self.
- Professional Athlete Perspective on Social and Political Issues
Series like Cause and Effect and First Step are video series that air out social and political matters that professional athletes want to discuss. Series like these enable athletes to use their platform to raise awareness, drive social change and make a difference in their communities. From youth development and education, to mental health and finding cures for illnesses, they educates users about the causes the athletes support and how users can get involved. Furthermore, these series showcase athletes engaging in communities most affected by today’s social issues like unemployment, child hunger, and homelessness among LGBTQ youth.
As I will be discussing via my new media platform, athletes can bring about social and political change because of their influence over the public as a pseudo-celebrity. In my opinion, this section of the site is extremely powerful for people that do not consider the dynamic position that professional athletes hold in our society. They inspire us with their physical prowess, so why can they not also inspire us with their social and political actions?
- Professional Athlete Perspective on Sport
While it is important to remember that professional athletes are also regular people with thoughts and opinions about social, political, and economic issues, we should also celebrate them for their physical achievements and efforts. In Elite 101, How We Play, Tribune Mailbag, users can read and watch professional athletes break down other players, from the best at their position to those they play against week in and week out, or see how athletes from around the globe do things in their corners of the world.
- Website Artistic Proofs
The Player’s Tribune thrives because of its use of artistic proofs, particularly the ethical appeal (ethos) and the emotional appeal (pathos). Because professional athletes are the contributors of each article, interview, or radio appearance, the site carries an immense amount of credibility in the sports world as the sport stars themselves are communicating their perspectives. Additionally, the website maintains a steady emotional appeal because of the up-close-and-personal experience users get with the athletes; not only that, but the plethora of visual appeals attracts users and makes them want to explore every inch of the site.
- Website Image
Overall, the website is extremely accessible, interactive, and hyper-textual. Its clean-cut design is visually appealing and emits a professional and sleek ambiance for its users which heightens its credibility. The black and white background with pops of color in the form of professional photos and videos helps maintain its clean and engaging design.
- Website Organization
Unfortunately, I found the “possibility space” to be slightly confusing, although it became more manageable once I developed a familiarity with the navigation tools. In the photo below, the About page is not visible to the user in the Menu page which made it difficult to get a general idea of the website’s purpose without great inspection. Furthermore, the Menu page was pretty nondescript which forced me to have to dive into each subsection for a few minutes to get a firm grasp of its significance on the site.