Popular sports have themselves become huge businesses these days, with Premier League football becoming the sole preserve of billionaire owners, and attracting huge income from television revenues. Increasingly, however, it’s not just the owners of sports teams who are showing their business acumen but the players too. A recent article in Entrepreneur magazine looked at the example of two American footballers who also found success in the boardroom. Here, AJG Direct review the article and look at what businesses can learn from football players and sports people in general.
“I love participating in sport, it’s a great way to relax after a busy day at work, but I love watching it as well”, said Paul Gillett, director of AJG Direct. “American Football is one of my favourite sports as it combines fast paced action with complex strategic thinking. It was fascinating to read how two former NFL stars are making it big in business, and I think all entrepreneurs can learn from their examples.”
Professional athletes at the highest level, whatever their sport, have to be very focused and dedicated, and this same mindset is vital for success as an entrepreneur as well. That’s one reason why Israel Idonije had an advantage when he moved into the world of business. Israel had already shone as a player for the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns, but he made a seamless transition to running a successful comic book business called Athlitacomics. He says that he uses the same mantra of ‘run further, push harder’ for his business as he did on the football fields of the NFL.
Mike Kafka is another successful footballer come businessman. After winning acclaim at the Patriots and the Buccaneers, Mike branched out into something completely different, and launched an outdoor pursuits company called RooOutdoor. Mike wasn’t afraid to ask for help when he needed it, and sourced the advice and expertise of people who are experts in the field. Another important lesson he learned is to concentrate on one thing at a time, giving it your full attention, rather than trying to do too much at once.
“There are many similarities between the worlds of sport and business, as they are both competitive environments where hard work can bring great rewards”, said Paul Gillett. “It’s not only American Football players who prove this, as shown by ex-Liverpool star Craig Johnston and his huge success with Predator boots. They show that if you have a great idea and real drive, you will succeed.”
The bespoke marketing campaigns of AJG Direct also help businesses achieve success, through customer acquisition and brand growth.