It’s a story all too often told in the NFL world. A player earns millions, then blows through it only to become bankrupt after football. This is a story Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross hopes he can help his players avoid.
Ross took 16 Dolphins players with him to New York this weekend for a crash course in business and investing. They toured Midtown Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, the $25 billion development Ross’ Related Companies is building, per Morgan Brennen of CNBC. He believes he has a responsibility to give them a better chance to have a successful career after they retire from the game of football.
“As an owner, I have the responsibility to develop them as great football players, to prolong their careers, but also it’s a responsibility to makes sure they are developed when their careers are over,” Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross told CNBC’s Power Lunch. “It’s great for the team, it’s great for the organization.
“I know from my business career, the better you treat people, the better the organization you have and you attract the best. That’s all part of it and everyone wins in a situation like that,” said Ross.
Among those who participated in the course, which they paid to attend out of their own pockets (thousands of dollars, per the report) was quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He expressed an interest in real estate and described the things he and the other players are there to learn about.
“I’m really interested in real estate building,” said Ryan Tannehill, quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, from the 24th floor of an under-construction high-rise that will eventually house tenants like Neiman Marcus. “We’ve been talking about investing in companies, growth, and the process of vetting people before the investment process. No other owners are giving their guys the opportunity to do something like this.”
Another player who attended was veteran Cam Wake, who recently turned 35 and is in the twilight of his career, despite signing a lucrative extension with the Dolphins recently (details here). For him and other veterans, this is a tremendous opportunity to glean from businessmen who’ve had great success.
“It’s been beyond worth it having the opportunity to sit down with so many business minds and be a sponge and take that wisdom and implement it into your own life,” he said of the experience.
This opportunity to build up skills for life after football is something that will be invaluable to these players. Ross isn’t the first owner to take an interest in his players’ well being after they retire, but this hands-on approach is rather unique. It’s an experience that Dolphins players hope won’t be exclusive to them, however, in the coming years.
“I hope to see this grow through the league and give more guys the opportunity to experience things like this. Football can only take you so far – you really have to have a plan after that,” one player said.
We applaud both Stephen Ross and the players who saw the value in participating in the business classes he arranged.