The move seemed peculiar at first: Why would Tiger Woods pen a column for Derek Jeter’s new website when he has his own site – a page he has used repeatedly in the past to break news and announce changes?
Jeter’s website, The Players’ Tribune, launched in October and was created to give athletes a direct connection to fans. More than anything, it allows athletes a platform other than a news-conference dais or locker-room stall. Critics have argued, however, that the blog should be renamed the Agents’ Tribune – that the website is simply an outlet for handlers to control the message.
So when Woods felt compelled to fire back at Hall of Fame writer Dan Jenkins and Golf Digest, why did he opt for Jeter’s site, not his own?
“They were aware that we were encouraging athletes to speak their mind,” Tribune editorial director Gary Hoenig told Golf.com. “I think they felt we were reaching a broader audience than their site.”
As Golf.com points out, there were plenty of reasons for Woods to join the list of high-profile athletes who have taken on the role of columnist. Woods and Jeter are pals. They're both sponsored by Nike. They’re both represented by Excel Sports Management.
So was Woods’ piece just a favor for his buddy, a way to send traffic to his startup site? Not exactly. The Tribune’s editorial director told Golf.com that Jeter wasn’t even aware of Woods’ copy until it landed it in his inbox.
“The thrust of the piece came from (Woods),” Hoenig said, according to the report. “We offer editing advice on all pieces but only at the discretion of the athlete.”