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I write a daily email breaking down the business and money behind sports. Subscribe here: https://t.co/TvSc6cN3Z7
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28 Feb
Kevin Plank is the founder of Under Armour and worth $2 billion today.

The part you didn't know?

He didn't have $2 to his name in 1996.

This is his wild story.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) Let's start in 1996...

Kevin Plank, a University of Maryland football player, became frustrated by his cotton T-shirts' inability to keep him dry & comfortable during practice.

His idea?

A sweat-wicking t-shirt designed to keep athletes cool, dry, and comfortable. ImageImage
2) After graduating college, Kevin Plank used $15,000 in savings to start Under Armour.

He made the t-shirts in his grandmother's basement and drove his car up & down the east coast, selling $17,000 of inventory from the trunk of his car.

The only problem?

Expenses piled up…
Read 13 tweets
20 Feb
Fernando Tatis Jr. signed a $340 million deal with the San Diego Padres this week.

The interesting part?

An investment firm made ~$30M off the deal also.

The details are fascinating.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) First, some history.

Outside of a few players lucky enough to receive large signing bonuses, 99% of minor league baseball players make poverty-level wages.

In 2019, the average minor league player was paid less than $10,000...in a year.

The result?

Creativity.
2) Michael Schwimer, a former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher who spent three years riding busses in the minor leagues, came up with a solution after retiring in 2016.

His idea?

Income sharing agreements.

Let's run through the details…
Read 13 tweets
19 Feb
The greatest marketing deal in sports history happened 50 years ago.

This is the story of how two brothers became bitter rivals, built multi-billion-dollar businesses, and why a $120,000 payment will be remembered forever.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) First, some history...

In 1924, German brothers Adolf and Rudolf Dassler started a shoe company from their mom's laundry room, Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory.

As the sole manufacturer of athletic shoes in Germany, the brothers knew they were onto something big.
2) Shortly after launching the company, sales took off with Adolf's invention of the screw-in spikes.

Even better?

Adolf convinced sprinter Jesse Owens to wear them at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Owens won 4 gold medals & sales exploded.

This is where it gets interesting…
Read 14 tweets
14 Feb
Floyd Mayweather is one of the wealthiest athletes of all time, earning more than $1 billion during his boxing career.

The interesting part?

It all started with a $750,000 bet on himself.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) Let's start in 2006...

Ten years into his professional career, Floyd Mayweather was already the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world β€” making $5M+ per fight.

The only problem?

He wanted more.
2) Floyd Mayweather was signed to Top Rank Boxing, a promotional company run by Bob Arum.

In exchange for setting up fights, negotiating contracts, handling ticket sales, etc., Bob Arum received ~25% of the purse.

In return, Mayweather was given a large guaranteed fee up front.
Read 11 tweets
9 Feb
The Weeknd spent $7M of his own money and wasn't paid by the NFL for last night's halftime show at the Super Bowl.

The craziest part?

It was an investment.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) First, some history.

From Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry to Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga, the most famous halftime performers in history haven't been paid to perform at the Super Bowl.

Instead, they are rewarded with exposure.
2) With 100M+ people watching the Super Bowl worldwide, the NFL recruits performers by promising media exposure.

Here's an example:

After the 2020 Super Bowl, Jennifer Lopez & Shakira gained 3M followers on social media & saw their song downloads increase 900%.
Read 14 tweets
7 Feb
Pat McAfee is a former All-Pro NFL punter who retired at 29, leaving $6M on the table to create content online.

The part you didn't know?

It all started with a $100 bet.

This is his wild story.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) Let's start in 2004...

@PatMcAfeeShow, a senior in high school, received an invitation to a kicking competition in Miami where 100 college scouts would be in attendance.

The only problem?

He couldn't afford the $1,500 in travel costs.
2) With a verbal commitment to Kent St. already in place, @PatMcAfeeShow's parents told him to forget about the camp in Miami.

Spoiler Alert...

He didn't.

What happened next is straight out of a movie.
Read 13 tweets
3 Feb
The best basketball player of all-time grew tired of slow play on the golf course.

The result?

He built his own.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) Let's start in 1984...

Michael Jordan is a Junior at the University of North Carolina.

After losing in the NCAA tournament, MJ's roommate Buzz Peterson was heading out to play golf with Davis Love III β€”Β a UNC student-athlete at the time.

MJ asked, "Y'all mind if I come?"
2) Fast forward almost 40 years, and the rest is history.

Michael Jordan grew a love for the game, slowly getting better and eventually developing a reputation for aggressively gambling on the course.

After retiring for good in 2003, MJ continued to pursue his passion for golf.
Read 13 tweets
2 Feb
For the first time since 2014, EA Sports is bringing back their college football video game.

But what about name, image, and likeness?

Here's everything you need to know.

πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) Launch Date

As of right now, EA Sports doesn't have a tentative date scheduled for release.

All we know is that it won't be for this upcoming season.

What about 2022?

That's more likely.
2) Teams & Licensing

EA Sports has partnered with collegiate licensing company CLC to accurately depict FBS "schools, traditions, uniforms, playbooks, and more."

In total, more than 100 teams will be in the game.

(Source @espn)
Read 10 tweets
31 Jan
Sylvester Stallone was homeless in 1975 and had $106 to his name.

Today, he's worth over $400M.

This is the wild story of how one negotiation changed his life forever and why betting on yourself is always the right move.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) Let's start in 1969...

After 3 years at the University of Miami, Sylvester Stallone dropped out of college, deciding to move to NYC to chase his acting dreams.

The interesting part?

Born with a partially paralyzed face & slurred speech, everyone thought he would fail.
2) From 1969-1975, Sylvester Stallone did just that β€” he failed.

When he wasn't sleeping in the Port Authority Bus Terminal after being evicted, Stallone worked as a movie theater usher & cleaned lion cages at the zoo.

As if that wasn't bad enough, it got worse.
Read 13 tweets
27 Jan
On the anniversary of Kobe Bryant's death, here's a story you've probably never heard.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) Let's start in 2007...

Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers have just lost in the first round of playoffs to the Phoenix Suns.

Frustrated that the Lakers were unable to build a championship-level roster, Kobe started to plan his exit.

His preferred destination?

Chicago.
2) Given his desire to be traded, Kobe Bryant inquired about working out at nearby UC Irvine during the offseason.

As a small mid-major program with poor facilities, no one actually thought Kobe Bryant would show up β€” until he did.

This is where it gets interesting…
Read 18 tweets
24 Jan
No catchy headline or attention-grabbing joke, I wrote this thread with one single intention:

To provide context around why Hank Aaron is not only one of the most important athletes of all time but a generational figure in American history.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) To truly understand the multi-generational impact of Hank Aaron, we must first understand his past.

Growing up in the '30s & '40s in Mobile, Alabama β€” a town in the heart of the segregated South β€” Hank Aaron experienced racism his entire adolescent life.
2) With African Americans unable to participate in organized baseball leagues, Hank Aaron, who idolized Jackie Robinson throughout childhood, was left without the necessary fields or equipment to chase his baseball dreams.

His solution?

"I would hit bottle caps with a stick."
Read 19 tweets
23 Jan
When the UFC moved forward with live events during the pandemic, Dana White was called "reckless" & "irresponsible."

His response?

β€œI don’t give a f**k.”

But did he really even have a choice?

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) First, some background...

On March 11th, the NBA season came to a halt following Jazz center Rudy Gobert testing positive for COVID-19.

On May 9th, just 2 months after the NBA shut down, the UFC returned to action with UFC 249 in Jacksonville, FL.

The response?

Not great.
2) When Dana White announced the UFC would be the first sports organization globally to return to action, the media freaked out.

He was called "reckless," "irresponsible," and "somebody with a flawed intelligence."

But did he even have a choice?

Let's run through it…
Read 15 tweets
17 Jan
A piece of cardboard sold for $5.2 million this week.

The craziest part?

"It was a steal."

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) First, some background...

In 2020, more than $20 trillion in economic stimulus was allocated globally due to COVID-19.

The result?

Investors flocked to inflation-hedged assets like gold, real estate, bitcoin, art, and sports trading cards.

Yes, even sports trading cards.
2) For example, in August 2020, a signed 1-of-1 Mike Trout rookie card sold for a record $3.94 million.

Even more interesting?

Less than 6 months later, the record has been shattered again.

This week, entrepreneur Rob Gough bought a 1952 Mickey Mantle PSA 9 card for $5.2M.
Read 14 tweets
16 Jan
One of the most popular figures in sports history never played professionally.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) First, some history...

Stephen A. Smith β€” born in the Bronx but raised in Queens β€” is the 5th of 6 children.

His parents, who immigrated from the Virgin Islands, worked "15-16 hour days" to provide for their family.

As for Stephen A Smith?

His life took an unusual path…
2) In elementary school, @stephenasmith was held back twice and constantly ridiculed by his classmates.

"I remember the look on my father’s face, looking at me like I was a complete failure.

People want to know where my motivation came from? My motivation came from that.”
Read 13 tweets
13 Jan
Two of the wealthiest owners in sports history teamed up to build a billion-dollar company.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) First, some history.

From a financial perspective, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and late NY Yankees owner George Steinbrenner are two of the best owners in sports history.

How so?

Let's take a look...
2) Jerry Jones purchased the Cowboys for $140M in 1989, but the team is worth almost $6B today.

George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees from CBS for $8.8M in 1973, but the team is worth $5B today.

Simply put, they're both legends.

Now, this is where it gets interesting.
Read 12 tweets
11 Jan
Heisman finalist Mac Jones leads Alabama against Ohio State in tonight's CFP National Championship game.

The interesting part?

Without four simple sheets of paper, it would have never happened.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) Let's start in 2016:

As a Junior in high school, Mac Jones was a 3-star QB recruit out of Jacksonville, Florida.

With 20+ scholarship offers, he had a decision to make.

His choice?

Kentucky, where he had a chance to start right away.

But there was just one problem…
2) Despite committing to Kentucky, where he was expected to compete for the starting QB job right away, Mac Jones backed out of his commitment.

Why?

"I knew I wasn't ready to play."

Instead, he flipped his commitment to Alabama β€” the defending national champion.
Read 10 tweets
10 Jan
One NBA player has sold more than 200 million pairs of shoes, but you won't find them at Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) First, some history...

From Clyde Frazier & Puma to LeBron James & Nike, signature shoes have been a staple in the NBA since the early 1970s.

Simply put, every player wants one.

Including 20-year-old Shaquille O'Neal, who met with Nike & Reebok before the 1982 NBA Draft.
2) When @SHAQ met with Nike before the 1982 NBA draft, he made his desire clear:

"I wanted my own shoe."

The result?

Nike declined, as they had just signed Alonzo Mourning.

"That pissed me off...They didn’t escort me out, but the meeting was short.”

Next up, Reebok.
Read 13 tweets
8 Jan
DeAndre Hopkins has become one of the most dominant players in the NFL.

The part you didn't know?

He's even better off-the-field.

This is the story of how @DeAndreHopkins overcame tragedy, accomplished his goals & is building an empire.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) For those who don't already know, DeAndre Hopkins had a rough childhood.

DeAndre's dad died when he was a kid and his mom was left for dead after a domestic abuse incident β€” eventually leaving her blind.

The interesting part?

Rather than sulk, he used it as motivation.
2) As a single mother of 4 kids, DeAndre's mother worked multiple jobs to provide β€” often leading to her kids spending a lot of time outside.

"We would play tackle football in the middle of the street"

As they grew up, one thing became clear:

@DeAndreHopkins was "unstoppable."
Read 14 tweets
31 Dec 20
I've written 100+ threads in the last 6 months, covering the best stories involving the money and business behind sports.

While it was nearly impossible to decide, I've picked 5 of my favorites.

Enjoy! You're guaranteed to learn something :)

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) The story of Junior Bridgeman, a former NBA role player who turned his $350,000 salary into $600 million.

How?

Fast food.

2) The greatest business deal in sports history.

How two brothers made $800 million as basketball team owners, without ever actually owning an NBA team.

Read 7 tweets
31 Dec 20
LeBron James graced the cover of Sports Illustrated at the age of 16 β€” labeled "The Chosen One."

Now 36, he's exceeded expectations.

This is the story of how @KingJames lived up to the hype, built an empire & impacted millions of lives in the process.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) Let's start in 2003...

LeBron James, an 18-year-old senior from Akron, Ohio, is the greatest high school basketball player of all-time.

Nicknamed "King James," LeBron was a shoo-in to be the #1 overall pick in the NBA draft β€” but first he had a decision:

Reebok or Nike?
2) Before he met with Nike in 2003, Reebok made an 18-year-old LeBron James the offer of a lifetime.

Reebok offered @KingJames $115M, with a $10M check upfront.

The catch?

He had to accept on the spot.

Despite living in a $17/month apartment, LeBron declined.

Next up, Nike.
Read 15 tweets
30 Dec 20
After dominating internationally for more than a decade, David Beckham moved to Los Angeles in 2007 β€” signing with the LA Galaxy of MLS.

The interesting part?

Despite a 70% reduction in salary, it's one of the most lucrative sports contracts ever.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) First, some history:

Playing internationally from 1992 to 2007, David Beckham became one of the best players in the world.

But at 31-years-old, now a global superstar, Beckham had a choice to make β€” move to the US or continue his career internationally?

Hello Hollywood…
2) In 2007, David Beckham left Real Madrid β€” signing a five-year contract with the LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer.

From a salary perspective, the deal paid Beckham $32.5M β€” or $6.5M annually.

The intersting part?

He made much more than that.

Let's run through it…
Read 12 tweets