How a Legendary NFL Receiver Became a Wall Street Player | The Deal

How a Legendary NFL Receiver Became a Wall Street Player | The Deal

Larry Fitzgerald's Background and Influences

  • Larry Fitzgerald, a former NFL wide receiver and successful businessman, is known for his deep roots in Arizona and commitment to philanthropy.
  • He chose to stay loyal to the Arizona Cardinals, building meaningful relationships within the community, valuing long-term connections, and emphasizing education and personal growth.
  • Fitzgerald credits his family's influence for instilling these values and has fond memories of his childhood in Minnesota.
  • Mentors, including his father, a sports journalist, and his mother, who worked in the non-profit sector, shaped his perspective on life and empathy for others.

Mentorship and Career Development

  • Fitzgerald emphasizes the importance of mentorship and proactively seeking guidance from experienced individuals.
  • Mentors like Magic Johnson advised him to maximize relationships and reach out to influential people, while Frank Bisignano encouraged him to pursue opportunities beyond football.
  • Through mentorships and internships, Fitzgerald gained confidence and realized he could apply his athletic skills to the business world.

Diverse Business Interests and Investments

  • Fitzgerald discusses his diverse business interests, including angel investing, venture capital, multifamily, restaurants, sports, and sports tech.
  • He stresses the significance of tangible qualities and mentorship in addition to financial investments, citing Alex Rodriguez's involvement in Minnesota sports as an example.
  • Fitzgerald highlights his experiences as a player, seeking guidance from team owners like Michael Bidwell, Robert Sarver, and Jerry Colangelo, and encourages athletes to utilize mentorship opportunities in the sports industry.

Sports Ownership and Involvement

  • Fitzgerald explains his involvement with the Phoenix Suns through a long-term relationship with the majority owner, valuing his thoughtful contributions.
  • He discusses his experience as a minority owner of the Rajasthan Royals cricket team in the Indian Premier League, learning about the business aspects of sports.
  • Fitzgerald mentions his involvement in pickleball and how it influenced his investment decisions, as well as his passion for chess and its social aspect, leading to an investment opportunity in

Transitioning from Player to Businessman

  • Fitzgerald struggled after retiring from football but realized the importance of structure and purpose, making a significant life change.
  • He emphasizes the need for athletes to plan for their post-retirement careers and offers guidance to those making the transition.
  • Fitzgerald describes his excitement in discovering new opportunities, such as his first venture deal in 2013 at the Stanford Incubation Lab.
  • He highlights his involvement in the VR company Strivr and his role on various boards, bringing a unique perspective as a former athlete.

Challenges and Opportunities in Sports and Business

  • Fitzgerald discusses the challenges of transitioning from being a player to a board member, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • He emphasizes the importance of building strong relationships and mutual understanding between players and organizations for long-term success.
  • The speaker reflects on player movement and team dynamics in the NBA, NFL, and baseball, highlighting the greater player power in the NBA.

Philanthropy and Personal Growth

  • Fitzgerald draws parallels between his athletic career and philanthropic work, focusing on cancer research and other causes inspired by his mother.
  • He advises focusing on areas where you can make a tangible difference, such as education, afterschool activities, bridging the technology gap, and breast cancer awareness.
  • Fitzgerald emphasizes the importance of showing progress and impact reports to galvanize donors and demonstrating effectiveness.
  • He encourages approachability, kindness, and continuous learning, following the example of others who have excelled in their fields.

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