The Players' Lounge announces investment, Brinx.TV partnership
The NIL platform The Players’ Lounge announced Thursday a seed investment from venture capital firm Draper Associates, as well as a partnership with the content production platform Brinx.TV. The terms of the investment were not released.
The Web3 platform creates communities to unite current and former athletes with their respective fan bases. There are communities for athletes and fans at schools including Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. As of July, The Players’ Lounge had partnered with athletes at 12 schools.
Former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and running back Keith Marshall serve as the president and CEO, respectively, of The Players’ Lounge.
“It is an interesting space, man. We’re at the forefront of it,” Marshall said in an interview with On3 in July. “I think that’s one of the hallmarks of any industry. When it’s early on you’re going to have a lot of companies with a similar business model kind of trying to figure out which one is going to stand the test of time.”
The Players’ Lounge says it has partnered with more than 250 college athletes and generated more than $1.4 million in revenue.
“Keith, Aaron, and the TPL team embody the passion and authenticity of college athletics,” Draper Associates’ James Walker said in a statement. “Their player-first approach to fan engagement has them perfectly positioned to capitalize on the shifting landscape of the NIL, and we’re thrilled to be a part of their journey.”
John Brenkus, the former host of ESPN’s “Sport Science,” is the founder, host and producer of Brinx.TV. Brinx.TV has also partnered with the Penn State-focused NIL collective Success With Honor to create the official Success With Honor Show.
“What Keith, Aaron and the whole Player’s Lounge team have built should grab the attention of everyone in the NIL space, and for good reason,” Brenkus said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be a part of it and are confident that, together, we will deliver unrivaled access and programming.”
The Players’ Lounge’s place in the NIL landscape
The college athletes who partner with The Players’ Lounge include men’s and women’s basketball players, football players and gymnasts but The Players’ Lounge typically identifies a few prominent players who have experience dealing with members of the media. Those players are more likely to be comfortable on camera and being the face of a brand.
Marshall has said The Players’ Lounge hopes to create content that both humanizes and compensates athletes. He said athletes’ compensation is based on their market value.
In January 2022, The Players’ Lounge launched DGD Mafia, which is The Players’ Lounge subsidiary at Georgia. After its launch, DGD Mafia hosted events such as a golf tournament, a tailgate for Georgia’s G-Day Game and a night at the Silver Dollar bar.
Georgia running back Kendall Milton told Marshall and Murray about his love for motorsports so The Players’ Lounge partnered with the BMW Performance Center to auction five spots for fans to join Milton at the track.
Marshall previously said about half of the compensation for the athletes involved in DGD Mafia goes to the marquee athletes. He estimated $12,000 per month goes to additional athletes who are comfortable in front of the camera and interested in building their brand.
“We’ve kind of developed a hybrid model where we feel like it’s in line with your market value,” Marshall said. “We might identify 10 or 15 guys that are those marquee guys that in the marketplace, they could go out and elicit a lot of money. We’ll give them a certain type of deal and the guys that are not going to attract the same type of value, we’ll put them in a group and pool and split.”