Athlete-Backed Media Company Launches Sports Training Platform With Lessons From Chris Paul, Lillard, Iverson, DeRozan And More

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Players Media Group – a Dallas-based media distribution company backed by more than 30 athlete investors – today announced ProClass, a subscription video platform featuring athletic workouts from its funders and others. Top athletes including professional basketball stars Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, Allen Iverson, DeMar DeRozan, Tyler Herro, Aerial Powers and Te’A Cooper.

“The reason we created Players (Media Group) is: who knows the players better than we do? Said Paul, 10-time NBA All Star now with the Phoenix Suns. “ProClass was created to show our knowledge and skills in one centralized location. “

The service will launch on January 1 online, followed by the iOS and Android mobile apps. Initial ProClass lineup will focus on the basketball skills of more than two dozen stars, including WNBA’s Powers, Cooper and Angel McCoughtry, and NBA’s Kyle Korver, De’Aaron Fox, DeRozan, Lillard and Herro. , as well as Paul and Hall of Fame Iverson.

The service also plans to expand its offerings beyond basketball to most other popular sports, said ProClass president Collin Castellaw, co-founder of Players Media Group.

Castellaw acknowledged that the new initiative comes amid increasing competition in home workout programming, whether online, on mobile or on new types of distribution platforms.

Apple

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just launched its Fitness + service last week on many of its devices, Lululemon bought smart device company Mirror this summer, and Peloton has embarked on a pandemic-fueled growth frenzy with its machines from workout connected to the Internet.

ProClass’s offerings will differ on one key point, providing subscription content with sport-specific advice and training from some of the world’s greatest athletes, said Castellaw.

“By creating a centralized destination for everything related to athletic training, not only will users have access to the best athletes in the world, but also the coaches and coaches who have helped them get there,” said Castellaw. “With ProClass, users will now be able to access specific workouts, actions and strategies used by elite athletes to maximize their performance on the court / court.”

Castellaw spent eight years as a professional basketball shooting coach and then started ShotMechanics, a basketball skills-focused YouTube site with 968,000 subscribers. By co-founding Players Media Group and now launching ProClass, he is part of what he called a different collective approach for athletes who want to create, distribute and monetize content for fans and others.

“The big point to remember with ProClass is that it’s really about the group collective. and meat and potatoes on how athletes train, ”said Castellaw. “It really is a legacy game, passing their knowledge on to future generations, trying to make this place better than they found it.”

Players Media Group already operates PlayersTV, which distributes video projects from its sports and other sponsors, including on a digital linear channel distributed to 120 million homes via Roku, Samsung TV + and “just about all the usual suspects,” said declared Castellaw.

“We’re focused on distribution, being the centralized destination hub for a bunch of different content,” Casatellaw said. “It’s really about the power of the group collective. I like to say that it doesn’t matter if you make the best apple pie if no one can taste it.

Paul said the company at the boot (Castellaw said he raised $ 3 million in start-up capital) is an example of what’s possible when players work together.

“If we continue to build and do more things together, the more we can realize how strong we can be together,” said Paul. “I am the president of the (NBA) Players Association. Being president has given me a better understanding of how often we are divided as players. “

Iverson, a quadruple scoring champion and 11-time All Star voted Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, said he was “looking forward to sharing my basketball knowledge and joining other skilled players to create great content at from our starting point. view on ProClass.

Iverson heads the platform’s “Legends” division, which is responsible for recruiting other senior, older athletes to create workout content for the site. Iverson is just old enough to have missed out on much of the ever-connected social media of the mobile video age, which he said was likely lucky for him.

But now he’s joining the video revolution, preparing to pass on what he’s learned in his decades of basketball. Indeed, Paul and Iverson both talked about learning their killer cross-dribbling moves from their teammates a long time ago, something they can now convey more widely through their videos for ProClass.

Paul said he learned about his crossover from a high school teammate who became a firefighter. For Iverson, a teammate was killing him with movement so often that he ultimately demanded to be taught how to do it.

“He was hitting me so much in practice that after a while it was like ‘You have to teach me that’,” Iverson said. He was clearly a quick learner, his crossover one of the most feared in gaming history.

The platform will also launch with training videos from a number of star female basketball players.

Powers, a star of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, said she has already recorded a few hours of segments to illustrate not only her high-energy workouts but also, “Take that first step, explode to the rack and get the easy bucket jab, jab and go, hesitation, showing fans how to use the moves.

Powers is a seasoned social media presence, posting frequently to Twitter and Instagram, and partnering with a Twitch feed where she plays video games such as NBA2K, the call of duty and a NASCAR racing title. She even commented for ESPN on the NBA2K esports tournaments.

But finding appropriate distribution options for her training content, especially during the pandemic, is an issue she said ProClass could fix.

“With Covid going, (that’s been a problem) just like an athlete without a platform to put on something as cool as my workout,” Powers said. “It gives me a way to put content on the platform where people can come and learn. “

The good news, she said, is that all of this media work has trained her to be a better communicator in the training videos as well.

“Technically for me it wasn’t that hard,” Powers said. “I’m used to being in front of the camera or speaking through the camera. When (a moderator) asked me questions, I was able to speak in a way (that viewers) could understand. For me it was not difficult.


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