Athletes In Business

Shoot 360

NBA Veteran Jamal Crawford Looks To Grow Basketball With Shoot 360

  • Jamal Crawford saw his son light up during his workout at a Shoot 360 gym and wanted to get involved.
  • A growing company, Shoot 360 has a global opportunity to teach the universal language of basketball, Crawford said.

Jamal Crawford didn’t have a gym with interactive tools to help hone his basketball skills, but he wants his children – and others in the Seattle area – to have that advantage. Five years ago, the 19-year NBA veteran heard about Shoot 360, a gym concept employing technology to help improve basketball skills, from a friend while on a road trip. Crawford was tired and didn’t make the trip to check it out, but it stayed on his mind. “Fast-forward […]

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Felix Hernandez

Minor League Pitcher Helps Change Baseball With Stadium Custom Kicks

  • Alex Katz, a pitcher within the Kansas City Royals organization, started the company in 2017.
  • Now with 10 contract artists, Stadium Custom Kicks has worked on shoes for more than 100 players, including Felix Hernandez.

During last year’s MLB Players Weekend, more than 100 players wore cleats customized by Stadium Custom Kicks, a company founded by minor leaguer Alex Katz. While Katz is still aiming to reach the majors as a pitcher in the Kansas City Royals organization, he’s also leading one the few customizers authorized by MLB. The league relaxed its once-strict footwear stance in November 2018, moving away from a rule that dictated cleats had to be at least 51% a color chosen […]

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Roger Federer

Athletes Earn Less

  • This article was first published in the FOS Daily Newsletter. Subscribe here.
  • The top-100 highest earning athletes earned 9% less in 2020 than 2019.

Forbes’ annual 100 top-paid athletes earned a collective $3.6 billion, a 9% drop from 2019. The decline was the first in four years, but it appears the trend will continue through 2020. Roger Federer took the top spot, earning $106 million – $100 million of which came from endorsements and appearance fees. Basketball players made up the bulk of the list with 35 spots, while 31 football players and 14 soccer stars rounded out the sports with the most athletes. […]

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How Pro Athletes Are Empowering Female And Minority Entrepreneurs

  • Chiney Ogwumike and Jaylon Smith are prime examples of athletes advocating for these groups
  • Ogwumike negotiated a 50% salary increase for WNBA players

(The NFLPA is a proud partner of Front Office Sports) Roughly 20% of businesses in the United States are owned by women or minorities. In today’s climate, professional athletes are finding ways to advocate for these groups as entrepreneurs and to highlight their contributions to the business world.  Earlier this year, the NFLPA hosted a Pitch Day event where nine diverse companies pitched a panel of judges for the opportunity to obtain marketing funds, mentorship, and NFLPA licensing rights. Athletes […]

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Noah Rubin’s Behind The Racquet Shines Spotlight On Tennis Stars

  • With Behind The Racquet, ATP player Noah Rubin is looking to bring out a more vulnerable side of his peers for tennis fans to appreciate.
  • The one-time Instagram account has expanded to a podcast and clothing line as Rubin seeks to grow his personal interviewing style with stars in other sports.

Rising up the ranks of professional tennis, Noah Rubin started to see many of the sport’s underlying problems, from players struggling to connect with fans to the stigmas surrounding mental health awareness. For one, the 24-year-old American who has ranked as high as number 125 in the world, felt that there was an opportunity to highlight another side of players and help tell their personal stories beyond tennis. After returning home to Long Island from the 2019 Australian Open, Rubin […]

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Malcolm Jenkins Charting A Path From Football to Film

  • Three-time Pro Bowl safety Malcolm Jenkins is looking to the film industry when his playing days are done.
  • Jenkins recently inked a deal with talent agency ICM and is currently producing Black Boys, a feature length social documentary.

Until college, Malcolm Jenkins had only one focus in mind: sports. Whether it was football in the fall, or track and field in the winter and spring, his high-school life revolved around sports.  Once Jenkins stepped on campus at Ohio State – where he majored in communication – he began learning about other opportunities outside of football. After he was selected in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, an entirely new set of […]

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Shaq business

Papa John’s Makes Shaq Rich(er)

  • Shaq's shares of Papa John's are worth more than $7 million after the company reported a 27% increase in same store sales.
  • Other ventures in Shaq's portfolio include Auntie Anne's Pretzels, car washes and tech company investments.

More than a year ago, Papa John’s paid Shaquille O’Neal $4.1M and gave him 90,000 shares of stock to endorse the brand, become a board member, and own nine stores as a franchisee. The pizza company recently reported a same-store sales jump of almost 27%, making Shaq’s stock holding alone worth $7M, according to Darren Rovell.  If his The General Car Insurance commercials are any indication, Shaq is everywhere and Papa John’s is just a portion of his retirement portfolio. […]

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Athletes Reaching Fans With New Message On Facebook and Instagram

  • Hundreds of athletes are using Facebook and Instagram to stay connected with their fans during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Naomi Osaka, Stephen Curry, and Julian Edelman are just a few of the Facebook ambassadors engaging with their followers at home.

As Facebook’s director of sports partnerships, team and athletes, Kevin Cote’s job had mostly consisted of working with properties on how they could best use their accounts. Now, with live sports paused, the focus has shifted to the male and female players who themselves are the faces of their respective leagues and teams. Even without live sports, athletes have been using apps like Facebook and Instagram – which is owned by the former – to entertain, inform, and support their […]

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Player Turned Agent EJ Scott Follows A Different NFL Career Path

  • EJ Scott helped his first client, cornerback Kevin Johnson, secure a deal worth up to $6 million with the Cleveland Browns during free agency this offseason.
  • The 27-year-old agent recognizes it will take lots of patience to build out his clientele as he focuses on deep personal relationships.

As a new class of NFL rookies start their professional football careers following the 2020 NFL Draft, another former collegiate player is getting a life in the game off the ground. Ex- Virginia and Wake Forest receiver EJ Scott started his second act in football in October, founding The Sports Group, a full-service boutique agency. Last month, Scott helped his first client, cornerback Kevin Johnson, the 2015 No. 16 overall pick, secure a deal with the Cleveland Browns worth up […]

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Emmanuel Sanders’ Fangage Platform Hits Stride in Coronavirus Climate

  • The three-year-old site currently has 70,000 registered users and has sent more than 20,000 autographed photos to fans this year.
  • “This is like the perfect time because it’s a lot of people trapped at the house and really can’t get [the] interaction a lot of people are looking for,” Sanders said.

When wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was selected in the third round of the 2010 draft out of SMU, Instagram hadn’t launched yet. Twitter was only four years old and had around 30 million users, compared to the more than 330 million reported in 2019. And Facebook requires reciprocity for friendships, making it less than ideal for athletes and celebrities alike to engage with their masses of fans. FOS REPORT: 54.5% of industry executives believe that it would be at least […]

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