Joshua McCoy hesitated when he saw the long line of selfie-seekers swarming Champ Bailey at an Atlanta networking event in early 2017. But as a Denver native, McCoy watched Bailey on the field during his time with the Broncos. Eventually, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to introduce himself just before Bailey walked out the door. He had no idea that a simple greeting and compliment would lead to an ongoing business relationship.
“I just said, ‘Hey man, I appreciate what you did. Good luck in your career,’” McCoy said. “We ended up staying in touch and our friendship grew based on mutual interests in certain industries.”
A long-time Atlanta-area entrepreneur, McCoy soon joined Bailey Companies, a family business led by Bailey and made up of his cousins and siblings. The company invests in a variety of industries, ranging from multi-family real estate to start-ups. Soon, they’ll launch a financial management company specializing in athletes, “putting clients back in the driver’s seat.” Other investments include companies like Lasso, a product line from BWHealth specializing in compression products. Likewise, the group has stakes in a marketing company and an esports team.
“I love building a business from scratch and working together as a team,” Bailey said. “I’m always trying to figure out where I can add value, whether it be in real estate, early-stage start-ups or helping guys be smarter with their money.”
It’s a collaborative environment Bailey is happy to have as he builds his post-football career. Adding an experienced business person to help evaluate and close deals has also proved invaluable after McCoy passed muster following a short vetting period within the business.
“I just like the way he goes about himself,” said the newly minted Hall of Famer. “At this point, we can kind of read each other and know what the other is going to say just based off our experiences together.
“It has happened so fast. We have a lot more learning to do about each other, but the process has been great and effortless.”
The company has a clear-cut division of responsibilities, with McCoy executing deals and maximizing efforts on short- and mid-term growth as Bailey leads the team and keeps his eyes on the road ahead for new investment opportunities.
“I’m actually interested and passionate about the work we’re doing,” Bailey said. “I”m not into it for the sake of just doing it. I’m interested in how things work and making sure things move the right way. As the leader of my company, I need to know what the hell is going on.”
Over the past two years, McCoy has seen Bailey evolve as a businessman as they continue to pursue opportunities with their shared vision, values and goals.
“Champ’s work and leadership grows our business as he strategically leverages his reputation and influence,” McCoy said. “He’s really super interested in businesses and how they grow and how they scale and make money.”
And, by now, McCoy feels like another member of the family. Not a bad outcome after a quick handshake.
“They’ve always been together, grew up as brothers,” McCoy said. “I just fall right in line with that and everyone has really unique skills and outlooks and it ends up working together.”