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Volume 24 No. 117
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Russell Wilson Debuts Behind-The-Scenes App, Draws High Profile Investment

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has launched a new app called TraceMe, which is designed to give fans a "curated look behind the glitz and the glamor, to the somewhat less glitzy and glamorous view behind the scenes of the celebrity machine," according to Jonathan Shieber of TECH CRUNCH. Wilson sees the app ultimately becoming a "platform where celebrities of all stripes, from athletes to musicians, actors to models, and instagram influencers, can all offer a more intimate picture of themselves -- on platforms that they control." He worked on the app with "local Seattle venture studio" Pioneer Square and former Hulu exec Jason LeeKeenan, who serves as TraceMe CEO. The idea is for fans to "get an inside look" at Wilson’s "training regimen, his mental coaching, his off-the-field life, and a smattering of produced pieces" that Wilson is "building out around interviews with some of his own personal heroes." Wilson has "attracted some top-tier investors from the Seattle area," including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Alibaba Exec Vice Chair Joe Tsai and YouTube co-Founder Chad Hurley. Wilson "managed to round up" $9M in initial funding from the app(TECHCRUNCH.com, 9/8). FORBES' Kurt Badenhausen notes the app will provide "original content, daily updates and unique channels." Original content during the beta launch "includes separate shows around Wilson’s trainer, cook and mental coach to see how to work out, eat and think" like the Super Bowl-winning QB. A series called "Legends" has Wilson talking to "elite stars" like Bill Russell and Jim Brown. The app currently is free, but LeeKeenan said that there "will be many different ways to monetize it over time" (FORBES.com, 9/8).