Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have signed up to use a social-media platform called Unscriptd, which aims to connect athletes to fans directly via short videos.
Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo, Week 4: In midfield, the Messiah lives forever SB Nation
Andre Agassi and former Nike executives are part of the group leading Unscriptd, which is formally being launched Wednesday after a year of testing.
''The truth is, I think there's an insatiable marketplace out there,'' Agassi said.
Athletes use their mobile phones to shoot and self-publish videos of up to two minutes that are posted to their feeds on sites such as Facebook and Twitter and collected at the project's self-titled website.
''We're not trying to get fans to go somewhere,'' Agassi said. ''We're coming to them where they are with direct athlete-to-fan engagement.''
CEO Brent Scrimshaw says Unscriptd allows ''athletes to share, in an unfiltered way, not only an insight into their professional world ... (but) also an insight into their personal world.''
The company says it already is working with more than 30 athletes, including soccer stars Ronaldo and Messi, Olympians Mo Farah and Justin Gatlin, and India test cricket captain Virat Kohli.
''This is the next generation of what we call an athlete-media company,'' Scrimshaw said, ''and we're really obsessed with powering the personal video direct from the world's best athletes to the consumer. From an athlete's point of view, it enables them to really take control of their own personal story and build their brand at the same time.''
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)