The Players Impact was founded in 2017 with a mission of democratizing investing and entrepreneurship education and access to business opportunities for professional athletes.

99% of professional athletes lack the guidance and community they need to make the most of their social and financial capital. Recognizing the unique challenges these athletes face when playing and transitioning out of sports, Tracy Deforge, former collegiate athlete and Jason Lavender, entrepreneur, sought to create a platform where they could be part of a robust network of like-minded peers, share financial and business knowledge, and access vetted investment opportunities.

Today, The Players Impact has organically grown to become a thriving community, offering resources, networking, and mentorship to help athletes succeed in business beyond their playing careers. We continue to grow our reach and capabilities, empowering athletes to leverage their skills, connections, and experiences to build successful ventures and make a lasting impact beyond sport.


An attorney by training, an entrepreneur in spirit, and an executive leader through experience. Tracy’s career has focused for more than two decades in the sports industry on start-up companies, technology offerings, and pioneering business initiatives.
Tracy Deforge
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
A digital transformation leader and seasoned executive, Joni has worked across the sports industry leveraging technology to build revenue-generating assets. Known for her ability to take complex visions and turn them into actionable plans, Joni has brought some of the most ambitious ideas to life with high-achieving teams.
Joni Lockridge Yates
Chief Operating Officer
A demonstrated leader and deal-maker, Corey has led business development and partnerships with leading talent and brands across sports, entertainment, and media. Corey leverages his strategic approach and creativity to successfully create revenue for clients across multiple verticals, including endorsements, partnerships, venture, sponsorship, content, and more.
Corey Gross
VP, Strategic Partnerships & Sponsorships
Gautam brings the full 360 view to investment opportunities thanks to his diverse background working as an operator in venture-backed tech companies, LP for a FoF that invested in VC funds, and a VC investor. He also created one of the premier VC educational programs.
Gautam Kumar
Investment Director


Peter Simon
TPI Board Member; President of Simon Sports
Sam Simon
TPI Chairman of the Board; Founder and Chairman of Simon Group Holdings (SGH)
John Cahaly
TPI Board Member; Executive Chairman of Eze Castle Integration
Garret Klugh
Kristen Kuliga
Lonie Paxton
Michael Jarvis
Venture Associate
Lauren Westerman
Events Management