Playmaker is a sports media brand that represents a number of current and former athletes as they … [+]
If there’s one way to describe Playmaker — a sports media brand that features more than 25 athletes under management — it’s this: they’re focused on the come-ups and comebacks of athletes.
Whether it’s through shows, brand partnerships, merchandise or simply managing their social media presence, the Fort Lauderdale-based Playmaker brand is making waves in the sports media industry — and you may not even realize it.
Playmaker was created in 2018 by brothers Brandon and Devon Harris. Caricato mentions how Playmaker is often trying to work out major events for their athletes.
The “Road To The Fight With Nate Robinson” snap (web) series — which documented Robinson’s boxing training through six episodes before the fight — generated 4.26 million unique viewers.
In addition, the company also generated a web series with Kansas City Chiefs star Tyreek Hill titled, “The Fastest Man In Football With Tyreek Hill.” That series racked up 3.9 million unique viewers.
“We have several shows on Snapchat’s Discovery platform,” says Caricato. “We covered Nate Robinson’s ‘Hard Knocks’ for the road to his fight with Jake Paul. We were about six shows total on that one. We have a show with Tyreek Hill, ‘Fastest Man In Football.’ The show that I co-produced myself was ‘Do It Again,’ featuring Michael Beasley.”
“I think what’s great about what we’re doing with our athletes is that we’re not only producing stories, but we’re also helping these athletes change their lives with the way that we’re able to tell their stories,” Caricato continued. “That’s a big part of what we do. We basically highlight the come-ups and the comebacks.”
Caricato also mentions that the Playmaker team is currently producing a series documenting former NBA player Larry Sanders’ comeback to the league. The 32-year-old — a former Defensive Player of the Year candidate who initially left the NBA in 2015 due to mental health issues— is training to make a return for the 2021-22 season. He previously made a short comeback with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2016-17 season.
“Sanders walked away during his prime,” says Caricato. “He left the NBA for personal reasons, decided to be an entrepreneur to continue building generational wealth for him and his family.”
In addition to Robinson and Sanders, the company represents notable current and former athletes such as Carlos Boozer, Xavien Howard, Mario Chalmers, Corey Clement, J.C. Jackson and Glen Davis.
Caricato singles out Sanders and Boozer as two particular Playmaker athletes who have overwhelmingly excelled as entrepreneurs off of the court. In addition to those guys, former UCF kicker Donald De La Haye, currently known by the name of ‘Deestroying,’ has made a living off of producing social media content and YouTube videos.
In fact, ‘Deestroying’ is one of the more successful athletes of the bunch, despite never having played in a professional league.
How are these players so successful as businessmen?
Caricato has a reason for why these current and former players are excelling financially off of the court and away from the playing field.
“That competitive nature gives them that fuel to figure it out and succeed,” Caricato explains.
Athletes such as Howard, Boozer and Robinson were acquired after aligning with WG Sports in February, an athlete and talent management firm owned by Napoleon “Polo” Kerber. Kerber now serves as Head of Talent and Partnerships.
In addition to brand partnership presence, their social media followings across Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Snapchat is tremendous. In fact, their following is over 10 million across the four major social media brands. Furthermore, the official site of Playmakers, has consistently generated over one million page views per month since it opened in October of 2019.
Playmaker’s athlete partnership program helps athletes monetize their content and likeness via shows, brand deals, music and merchandise.
Each athlete monetizes through revenue sharing with the company. Advertising is the main source of income for Playmaker, with show production following shortly thereafter.
Since starting regular production on their shows in late October — often featured on Snapchat — Playmakers’ various web series have generated major numbers. In the month of November alone, there were over 10 million viewers for the company’s shows.
To top it off, with the 2021 NFL Draft taking place on April 29, Playmaker will create a web series on Snapchat Discovery titled, “Path To The Draft.” The show will feature NFL draft prospects such as D’Wayne Eskridge, Demetric Felton, Elijah Molden and Levi Onwuzunke as they prepare to have their names called.
The series is scheduled to debut in late March and will be a minimum of 10 episodes long.
All of the aforementioned players are expected to be drafted between the first and third rounds.
With their athletes making money, web series generating big numbers and brand partnerships growing, there is no doubt Playmaker is a brand that’s on the way up.
You can check out Playmaker’s vast array of merchandise here. You can also follow Playmaker on social media via their Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages.
I have covered the NFL, NBA and pro wrestling for major media outlets over the past 10 years. I served as the NBA lead writer at 247 Sports and CBS Sports. Prior to my