28 Jan Brand Power Analysis: Former Rodell Razor, MBA, CEO X-Factor Capital
So thanks for being on the podcast. why don’t you kind of tell people a little bit of who you are and,
Rodell Razor (00:11):
And, uh, where you, uh, you know, where you live and a little bit about yourself. Yeah, no, I appreciate you having me on Zach and, my name Rodell Razor, and I live in the greater Phoenix area and I’ve lived here for just under six years, about five and a half years. and I’m originally from the Seattle area and I grew up in I’m so excited to be on this podcast and talk more about what, uh, what athletes can do after sports, how athletes can leverage themselves, things like that. Because I grew up as an athlete, played every sport under the sun, was a pretty good high school football player, uh, ended up going to college footballs on the small guy. I’m five seven on a good day, a hundred and in college or in high school was 130 towns. so it wasn’t heavily recruited, but I had a few schools that gave me some opportunities to play football for them.
Rodell Razor (01:03):
And so, I ended up playing my career at Eastern Oregon university had a pretty dynamic career. There became an all American, as a small defensive back, in returned kicks and punts had a lot of fun doing that. and then after that, I wanted to pursue a little bit more. So from a kid who was not really supposed to make his varsity football team, I had a chance to play professionally. and I played arena football for a season. I blew out my shoulder and after my shoulder injury, it was 2010 after my shoulder injury, I was like a lot of athletes. I was like, okay, well now what, like, I could probably get this thing sewn up. I could try to go out there and play again. but for me, I, I realized that, football was probably over, just from having a chance to play at the professional level where I saw guys who were NFL talent.
Rodell Razor (01:56):
and I knew I was pretty self. I, I became pretty self-aware I wasn’t at first, I think not being self-aware it got me to where I was. but then, you know, eventually you just get to the space where you’re like, wow, like this is, this is a different game. so then I went back and got my master’s degree in business cause I was like, well, I don’t know what to do. I re I went to the football university. I didn’t really pay attention in the first four years. So I was like, I got through with decent grades. and I studied business as a, as an undergrad, went back and got my masters. and to fast forward a little bit after that, I went into the business world and I started, having a lot of success. I grew up very humble beginnings and my mom was a single mom, so I wanted to start making money.
Rodell Razor (02:39):
my plan was to go to the NFL. And so when that didn’t work out, I was like, what am I going to do? So I got into sales, went from door to door sales, to car sales, to, you know, and then I got into a corporate position where I was a vice president of sales for a software company. and the career line there is that’s when it took a shift because I started the corporate ladder. I was really young making pretty good money, in corporate sales and high-end sales and managing the team all over the country. and I was just bored. I was bored out of my mind. I really was. And a buddy of mine wanted to open up a gym and we grew up together. We were very close friends for, you know, 15 years before that I knew who he was and knew he was a good trainer in one and opened a gym.
Rodell Razor (03:23):
And he reached out to me cause he was like, Hey man, you know, business and you know, sports. So maybe you can help me with this. and so that was eight years ago. and now we’re the number one sports performance facility in the entire country. and so that’s been something that we are very proud of. my partner, Tracy Ford, it’s called for sports performance and my partner, he’s very dynamic. He’s a heck of a trainer. He trains a lot of the Seattle Seahawks, a lot of, uh, high school football players in the state of Washington and even all over the country. I had people fly from all over to come train there and so built a really great brand there. And, he gives me a lot of credit as far as the strategy and the business planning and the operational things that, you know, helped a company get started.
Rodell Razor (04:08):
and so in that, what happened is people started to reach out to me and go, Hey man, like, how’d you help Tracy, how’d you do this? How’d you do that? And so I’ve been able to be more hands-off now. And, he started sending me clients and so I became a freelance consultant kind of just randomly. and that’s really where in my consulting career kind of started to blossom. It was about six, seven years ago. and it’s kind of freelancing, uh, that was, it was it wasn’t designed to be like a career. but I just loved it. I helped, I loved helping startups. I loved helping athletes transition into opening your own gym. I loved helping, you know, struggling businesses have more success, giving them business owner more freedom. and so that’s what we do now. And so it’s been an amazing ride.
Rodell Razor (04:51):
and I am a husband and a father of three. I got three little boys, Connor cruel, and Caleb, they are seven, five and one, my wife, Brittany, and I just celebrated our four year anniversary. thank you you very much. And so, yeah, that’s a little bit about my journey, at least career-wise and the fun that we’ve had on the way. and most of my clients now, are most of them, I would say are former athletes, whether men or women who wanted to get into business for themselves, cause we kind of speak same language. and a lot of them are gyms. I do have like some grocery stores and some ministry groups, nonprofits, things like that as well. But most of them are our gyms who, you know, they got to in a lot of gyms, uh, they they’re in a space where they’re opened by maybe, uh, a former athlete or someone with athlete influence.
Rodell Razor (05:41):
They know how to work out. Personally, they go get certified as a trainer, they will get a job as a trainer and then they go, I can do this myself. And then they go open their own facility, not really having all the business, readiness that maybe someone who goes to business school and aspires to build a business. a lot of people come through a different door in the, in the gym space. So they need someone to help them with the business acumen and the things structurally, financially, marketing sales, things like that. So that’s what, a bit of what we do. and yeah, I absolutely love what I get a chance to do. It fell into my lap.
It’s become a calling. So I’m very grateful for it. It’s nice. You can combine those two passions together and that’s, and that’s, that’s usually what I tell my prospects as well as we need to kind of find a way to, you know, do what you still love off the field or off the court and leverage that. so what do you see? What do you see right now being, in today’s day and age? And we’ll just, we’ll just say leave it at today’s day and age. Uh, you see, uh, the most exciting, aspects for athletes, and businesses in general in the growth.
Rodell Razor (06:46):
I think right now the biggest opportunity for I’ll talk specifically to athletes, but I think this is for really anyone, but when we can bring it down from anyone business owners and then athletes who want to go into business, I think right now it’s the power of the internet. the internet is, has shown, the, I believe it’s shown its dominance, in the space of a need. if you want to build a brand, if you want to build a company, I, I really just feel like the power of what people can do in a mobile marketing space, position themselves, personal branding space. I believe personal brands. They’ve always been popular. You know, you look back to like Dion and Joe name it and you know, guys like that, like those guys, they have brands back then, uh, but now brands can just go so much faster.
Rodell Razor (07:37):
and they just have an ability to get so much more reach. You know, you look at people like Muhammad Ali, like massive reach you’d have millions of people following them, before the internet. Right? So now I think that because the internet is flooded with so much activity, the ones who are good, who have a real message or have a real product service, influence, impact message, whatever that may be. I believe that the internet is, is the most, the greatest tool for someone right now. and finding a way to position yourself, whether it be aligning with certain companies that can help you and I’ll talk, you know, I feel like especially life after sports is like, what are you going to do? Like, what are you really going to go do? Right. And so it’s aligning yourself with maybe some ready-made companies that can help you with that transition and not transition.
Rodell Razor (08:25):
Like they’re gonna like give you a job, but where they can utilize your brand, and help you create revenue, whether that’s giving equity or things like that. so that your brand, while you have the posture that you do, because eventually it goes away, right? Like I don’t think as much as I love Deon Sanders, I don’t think he’s getting a lot of endorsement deals right now. Right. Definitely not the love he was getting. Right. So, it’s just eventually, no matter how big your brand is, no matter how successful of an athlete you are, uh, your brand starts to, taper down just like our careers do. and so while you’re, in your prime, utilizing the internet, in some capacity, finding a way to build a personal brand that people can really feel connected to. Uh, cause right now I see a challenge with a lot of athletes kind of being a bit too celebrity, or attempting to be to celebrity.
Rodell Razor (09:14):
I see a lot of college athletes see a lot of high school athletes where they’re like, they’re hiding behind the perfect image and what I mean, like, as they, they almost don’t post on social media because they just want that one picture that has the super short caption that has no connectedness to the people. Uh, they get a bunch of likes because they’re very popular, but they’re not connecting. and so when they transition or they blow up their knee and they’re a sophomore in college and like they’re popular within their college network, nobody like now no one cares. Right. Cause there was no value being added after that. So you’ve got to build that. And so when you have the platform right now, I believe utilizing that platform to truly connect with people and build relationships, add value to people. So
Yeah, no, I a hundred percent agree with you and it is, it’s one of the things that I kind of see that, and I see a lot of, uh, athletes kind of being all over the place with that celebrity aspect. They like to, you know, build websites where they’re like, Oh, I want to show all my pictures of me playing or I’m going to sell two shirts on there. And I, and I have to explain to them, you know, Hey, you let’s just help you focus on one thing. We need to really focus on one, one marketing direction for you and really re reaching your audiences. And that’s just, yes, social media is a great platform for that, but leveraging the social media, but also leveraging other platforms like blogging. I think blogging is a huge, yes, there’s, you know, 500 billion blogs out there, but athletes don’t really blog.
And if they had a, a company to help them blog and optimize and things of that nature, their fans want to hear more of their life story more about what they’re trying to do. so trying to find that one niche, especially with gyms, I think gyms is a, and that’s, that’s funny, you said that because I see, I see a lot of athletes and that’s why my niche is somewhat little harder to, to branch out because you get a lot of athletes that want to do their passion and Jim’s is one of the huge ones and trying to get them to understand, Hey, social media is great, but that’s only one digital marketing effort. And I think that’s the hardest thing to get athletes to understand is social media is only one. We have multiple other avenues. We want to turn those fans into customers for you, you know? so how do you define, so how do you define, uh, a really Epic athletes brand? Like, is there someone out there that you think that you needed? Right.
Rodell Razor (11:37):
I think that there’s, there’s a lot of people doing it, right. And there’s some people that I’m really drawn to. And I wrote down, I was thinking about this because I wrote down, I knew we were going to talk today. I was writing down some names and I’m like, man, these, these, like whether you followed sports or not names like Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Michael Vick, Kobe Bryant, Tim Tebow, right? Like, he’s gone to kind of a different direction with his brand guys who really like lean on, you know, part of their brand is, you know, who they are and their faith like drew Brees or Russell Wilson or Steph Curry. and then there’s the guys that I think are really cool that have, you know, just different like Dennis Rodman. I don’t know if you’ve watched the special, uh, earlier this week, or, or like, uh, run our test, right.
Rodell Razor (12:23):
These guys were like kind of bad guys. Right? So they have these huge brands. and I think one of them is impact. It could be positive impact could be negative impact, but I think impact is definitely something that defines a high-quality brand, obviously their reach. you know, we were talking about Muhammad Ali earlier, like having like a reach and that’s, that’s what you’re trying to continue to expand because the more people you can get inside of your influence that can do more than just click, you know, double tap a picture, right. You get them to take an additional action. and so having that reach, I think a consistency, and I think that comes from on and off the field, like who are you, your character, your ability, right? Because they are judged by their performance. so I think there, uh, consistency, I think purpose, I love when I hear an athlete that operates out of purpose.
Rodell Razor (13:13):
I think that really matters. I think when they’re talking about, they play for something bigger than themselves, they’re playing for something more than the money. I love guys like Larry Harold, and drew breeze guys that are just now they show up every single day. they got some nominal brands. Maybe they’re not super high profile, but they’re, I mean, they’re not short on getting paid. but I think they’re also very wise in the way that they strategically placed themselves with certain, uh, companies and alignments that they have and the partnerships that they have. and so I think those things define a brand and then obviously alignment, making sure that they like it would, it’s just weird for someone I’m just going to take drew as an example. It would be weird based on the brand that he has to be partnered with. Like Budweiser. Like I think that would be strange. It wouldn’t match right. Or even, you know, I think, I think one of the most iconic, strange things that happened in the world of Brandy was Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart blended. Right? So those kinds of things are just a little bit goofy to me. They don’t really align there. They get traction, but as far as brand consistency, it can throw some hiccups in the way people relate.
Yeah, no, I totally agree with you. I, I, and I think it goes back to, uh, athletes and their passions, because if they’re passionate about their food, for instance, you know, and you’re, you’re talking about, you know, working out and stuff like that, partner with a food company, you know, a partner with some sort of health company. Me and my wife, my wife, uh, actually, uh, unfortunately she has Ms. And it that’s when me eating healthy. I kind of learned to, uh, eat, not fake healthy. I was watching my posts, but I started to, you know, you start creeping into those carbs that you just are trying to fail. And so I had to learn to kind of step back and stuff like that with her, but everyone, everyone needs to know that kind of stuff and understand that the health benefits of certain things.
And so that would be like a good direction for an athlete that maybe, you know, trying to do a gym. I see a lot of athletes that, you know, I there’s one down here in the Valley. I won’t say his name, but that I see that I see he has his own gym and he does everything from shirts to, you know, workout bands. He just throws his logo on it. He does protein powder, he does food stuff and it’s like, that’s all great. It’s good to have those, all those consistent, that consistency, like you said, but focus on one of those and really kind of help promote it. it brings up the value, but it also probably helps the sponsor themselves want to pay you more money because you’re focusing more on that one individual brand. And, and,
Rodell Razor (15:46):
No, I, I think w you know, what’s one thing you said there is some people are so attached to their name being on every single label, but what happens if it’s like, let’s just say I have Rodel razor protein, and then I got Radell razor t-shirts and then I have Rodel razor shoes. And then my bands, like what happens is my influence of people that like me, maybe they can buy, but I don’t expand my influence. So if I’m not an expert at formulating protein shakes or creating sneakers, I don’t have to be the owner of that company. I can partner with another company where they have an entire network of people would now my celebrity or my status, I expand because they really love, like I was partner with a company called book here. I became a drew Brees fan because I was, uh, I was partnered with that company.
Rodell Razor (16:30):
Right. So like, he could, he could have went, made his own vitamins, his own supplements, phone, free workout, but because he had, you know, millions of fans that never would have really connected with him, maybe. and so it just helped build that brand identity and that, you know, for himself, because of those alignments. So, and I think sometimes people get too much into like the stingy ownership, where they’re just like, I want my name on everything. And it’s like, well, like what if we just aligned you with a company that actually has more credibility in that sector? and get you some, some additional fans, like if I’m partnering with a big company, I can create my own Nike shoes or my own tennis shoes, or I can partner with Nike, and now I’m going to get, you know, all the Nike fans to follow me and things like that. So, I think those, those types of strategic alignments are, are important.
Yeah. The strategic alignments. And, uh, what else? I just forgot what I was going to say. I had something on top of my head. but me personally, I’m a huge Atlanta Falcons fan. I’ve been a fan of Falcons fan since the, you know, I was a kid, Michael Vick era, things of that nature. And so the funny thing is I, I, I still respect your breeze. I still like watching him play, even though he’s a rival of Atlanta, I still love watching him play. I love what he does, but then there’s other players that I won’t name that I just can’t stand because don’t align correctly with what they’re doing and a lot of negative stuff. And those are the kinds of things that those are the kinds of things that I, I feel what pushed me away from wanting to follow that person.
And, and what I think w what I’m kind of remembering now, as I look at my me and my personal business, and one thing that I try to get across to athletes is I get this gut feeling in me. I want to be known. I want to be, I love and helping my clients. I love watching them grow, which in turn helps me grow. and that’s like a feeling inside that was very similar to when I play a soccer game or I play something and I was, you know, winning. And so I try to tell athletes your name being on everything, you know, that’s you think about it differently. Think about that feet. You, you want that feeling is really what they’re going for, of ego being that that’s being successful in it, it doesn’t have to be ego. I mean, yes, it starts out that way sometimes, but it’s a lot like winning a football game, you know, it’s like you, you did something yourself.
You get that pride of you made it through, like you, for instance, you made it through a certain step and you, you got there all on your own. You probably get that same feeling with your business as you’re growing, because you’re like, Oh, I’m successful. I I’ve done this all myself. It’s a grind every day. I work hard. It’s that same feeling. And I, I tell them, you know, you don’t have to have that, that passion that you have, doesn’t have to be your name on everything. It’s just the business itself to being successful and helping people and helping your clients is, is you could get that same feeling from it. Absolutely. Absolutely. So, is there any moments that you see out there and you kind of brought up a few people, a few moments that, uh, that you’ve noticed maybe recently, or in the past that, that you’ve seen an athlete say or do that you’re like, Oh man, like that’s, that’s Epic.
That’s yeah, no, I, one of the, uh, I mean, I’m an, I’m a negative size, I should say. there’s obviously what happened with, uh, Antonio Brown last year. I thought, you know, it all, and I’ll say this, like I thought for the longest up until, you know, obviously there was something around, there were some mental health stuff there, but I thought for the longest it was a media play. I’m like, Oh, this is brilliant. Like I like from an attention standpoint, obviously, right. He’s his brand is very much an attention grabbing word marketing. So we kind of get like that stuff, like when I was talking about the whole helmet thing, I was like, yeah, there’s no way he’s taking this. He’s not that he’s not that serious with it. Right. So I thought it was brilliant. I thought it was a really good move and it could have, you know, he got a helmet deal out of it. he was starting to really monetize that kind of strategic being annoying, I guess the best term I can come up with. I don’t know him personally. I shouldn’t call him annoying, but the, the attention was kind of like, what is he doing? Like, how is he tripping off this helmet? so I thought that was brilliant. I thought it was abstinent out of nowhere. It happened now. He was always the quiet one. Like he goes through his day, kind of turned
Speaker 3 (20:53):
Into a Randy Moss PO all of a sudden then
Where almost like, Oh, we got to Chad Johnson. And I thought he was a really quiet guy. So, uh, yeah, it was very unique. It was very unique to see that, I thought it was brilliant. sad, you know, what’s going on mental health wise and everything else that’s going on in his career, obviously the way that’s kind of eventually unfolded. but yeah, I think that, I think that was pretty Epic. That was something that I think people will talk about, especially 10, 15, 20 years from now and talking about the helmet deal. I thought that was pretty, pretty cool. It’s interesting. You say that my wife is actually in mental health. She, uh, she, uh, she got her master’s in, uh, in mental health, so she loved children and stuff like that. So I, I get to hear her stories all the time, different aspect.
And I see, so I kind of have a somewhat, you know, bias opinion on that as well when it comes to being able to see that stuff. So, unfortunately, yeah, I agree with you on that, but I, it was crazy. It happened out of nowhere and it just goes to show athletes that negative influence has much of a higher impact in order to dig out of it’s it’s a lot like, you know, doing marketing for somebody, if you do one thing wrong, they’re going to notice that more so than they’re going to notice the good stuff that you do. And so you kind of have to look at that and you have to, you know, it, it could be intimidating for them for, for athletes because they, they want to make sure, but that’s usually what agencies like in marketing people like you and me do, we kind of focus on helping, you know, let’s make sure that we’re always being positive. Let’s like just even being the coach and kind of just having that second year. yeah, that was that. Wasn’t unfortunate. I, I always like to go back to Tom, Tom Brady, because he has a very interesting, he has a very interesting, hold on just a second.
He has a very interesting, uh, uh, very interesting story, uh, in, in looking at the way he did it. I, I kind of did a brand new analysis on some of his collateral a few months back and just to kind of dove into everything he was doing. And he was very genius. He did the whole, you know, I had my personal brand, I had my personal account. And then if you watch how he did his Facebook lives and how he slowly brought people on, he, he slowly moved that over to, you know, a business profile and he leveraged what he had and still kept that personal. And I think that goes to show that personal branding and corporate branding are two different things, but they don’t have to be, you can transition the personal brand into a corporate brand down the road. but I don’t think it’s not, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he went to, uh, Tampa Bay because you look at the name of Tampa Bay and it’s TB. And I’m like, I don’t know if anyone else noticed that simple, but I don’t know if that was his driving factor, but it seems like it was a pretty high thing on his list.
Speaker 3 (23:42):
I’m sure that I’m sure the TV brand P TB 12, obviously
Rodell Razor (23:46):
Florida and Arizona, the two places you go to retire. So he’s, he’s, he’s looks like he’s going to land the plane in Florida. So I’m not, I’m not mad at him for that. Another one I wanna mention is that’s one of my favorites is, uh, Marshawn Lynch. I think that guy has the coolest brand from like, yeah, like being like very personable with his fans, but very like leave me alone from like coaches and media. Like, it’s the way he’s done. It seems. And I’ve never met him. I have some friends that are actually know him personally. it seems that that’s his authentic self. Like he just seems like he’s like, I, this is who I really am. I’m not putting on the show. At least that’s what he’s portraying. And I think he’s, he does an awesome job.
Well, it was brilliant. I remember when he, where the, where the, where the beast beast mode hat at the NFL, uh, I fraught with, I think it was just like a conference or it was the draft. I’m not sure to remember, but I remember he got fined for that a whole bunch of money for wearing that. But at the end of the day, looking how much people saw the brand.
Rodell Razor (24:42):
Yeah. I know he’s, he’s, he’s exposing his brand. He’s it’s marketing. Right. You spend money on marketing. I’m going to put this hat on. I’m going to spend 30 grand, uh, cause the NFL is going to charge me for wearing my $12 hat. My hat costs is 12 bucks, but I’m gonna pay 30 grand for the marketing spot, but I’m gonna make, you know, 200 grand on sales. Right. So, yeah, I think that what he’s done with Skittles, what he’s done with the beast mode brand beast mode was something he said in college, as like he just said it randomly and then it’s become, you know, obviously, but that’s where I talk about like the consistency where it was like he said it in college, he played beast, like, and then he really coined the term beast mode. Right. So that’s where I think consistency is so valuable.
Rodell Razor (25:25):
because like I’ve been a fan of his for 15 years and it’s the same dude, you know? Like, like I feel like he’s evolved as a professional, but he’s always like, he’s still very Oakland, right? Like he’s still, he’s still very rooted in his city. and he’s always connected with people like when you took the, they saw he was on the Bart, which is like the city tram with all the fans back and forth to the stadium. Like he just, he just seems like a normal dude. So he’s done a good job with his brand, but anyway, yeah, I digress.
It’s uh, it’s one of those situations that, uh, uh, going back to what you kind of said with the money situation. I think that’s interesting that you brought up. I wonder if he thought about that with the exposure, because I always try to tell, especially professional athletes, you’re getting free advertisement from being in the game. Think about it more, you have to think about fake the NFL, unfortunately as a business, it is, you have to think about it as a business and what you’re doing in your career. More so as a business and less so a career, and leverage that, that free marketing in a way to leverage it, leverage it as much as you can, you know, at the end of the day when you’re done, you’re either going to become an announcer or do something that you professionally want to do outside that you’re passionate about. So I think he did. I think he did a really good job. I think he did a really good with that.
Rodell Razor (26:44):
When it comes to the, the, the, the athlete landscape, what’s one of the things, uh, you think more athletes should be doing overall when it comes to leveraging their brands,
Rodell Razor (26:55):
Networking, networking. Yeah, I think networking, I think building authentic relationships with, uh, because trying to say this the right way, but everyone loves athletes, you know, and there’s athletes who have more influence at least as far as people knowing them. but a CEO of a small business or small to medium sized business probably has more connections that are valuable. And so I think that blending that from an app, or if you’re an athlete, you can probably get positioned pretty well. with, you know, people very high in the business world, if that’s your desires to go into business, that’s obviously the context, but I think you can, because everyone loves athletes. Like you can walk into most places and build a relationship with the owner or the CEO. that’s valuable relationship and learn some, some networking skills. and then I think there’s another part of the personal and professional development that what they do is incredibly hard work.
Rodell Razor (28:02):
Especially if you get it to get to the highest levels of professional sports, it’s, it’s more than a full-time job. if they’re able to develop themselves, you know, in the off season in some other categories, obviously they’re trying to get the competitive edge and they’re always training. Like they don’t really have the time that I’m saying that they should do, but if they’re able to network and build some professional skills that because they have so many transferable skills, but then some of the skills that can help them go operate a business or go be a contributing member to a company. because a lot of athletes, you see them get into sales really fast, just because usually they’re, they have some leadership skills, they know how to communicate. So let’s transition into pharmaceutical sales or whatever it may be. but if they can get to positions where they can network, like one of my I’m so grateful for one of my mentors, he owned a couple of car dealerships, right.
Rodell Razor (28:54):
I was grateful that I had that relationship. when I got out of sports cars, then I had a, I had a job. I had some skills was willing to train me and mentoring me. And mostly I think, I mean, he liked me as a person, but most of his, cause he was just a fan, right? Like he just kind of liked working with me, like working with athletes, like telling his kids that he was working with professional athletes. So it was like those types of things that you can do that you can leverage, his network on purpose, not just shake the hand and be, you know, kind of distance, but network on purpose. And it’s kind of hard because you do have the celebrity factor like that local plumbing company. Like she’s not going to be able to have a business conversation because everyone’s going to want to shake his hand and get his autograph.
Rodell Razor (29:33):
but if they’re able to network on purpose, build some authentic relationships with people that can help position them. and yeah, I, those are the, I think that’s something that they can do. and I also think that the, like learning more of the business side of what they do, like you said, the NFL is a business MBAs, professional sports are a business verse. You think, you know, you can go back. It’s like the collard Kaepernick situation. It’s like, I don’t believe it was about, you know, the racial tension. I believe it was about the business of it looking bad. One of their premier players doing something that made some of the nation upset. Right. so for them it was like, it was a political position. I was like, Hey, we have a, we have a company we’re running here. and that’s what the NFL has to care about so that it keeps operating.
Rodell Razor (30:22):
If they care as much about some of the other issues that would be harder and harder for them to operate if they got bogged down into every social issue, because it is a business, the businesses don’t care about people, people care about people, businesses don’t have a personality, they just are, they’re just a business, right. They’re designed to operate and maximize revenue. So, that’s capitalism. So I think athletes who can understand that the NFL is a business like Bobby Wagner, he negotiated his own contract, his highest paid linebacker in the NFL right now negotiated his own contract. You understand, this is a business I’m going to go learn this. Like in the off season, he’s studying contracts and seeing, you know, learning the CBA and things like that, where he doesn’t have to pay, you know, that three to 5% to his agent, he can negotiate all on deals. and those, you know, you think about that money over time, especially with the volume of what they get paid. It’s a, uh, it’s a wise decision to network on purpose and to learn the business of what you’re in.
Yeah. That’s, that’s a good advice. And it is, it’s, it’s hard. It’s hard to, uh, it’s not like they could go to a normal, like we were talking about earlier with chambers that sound like they go to the local chamber group and basically that’d be, that’d be almost impossible, but they, they, they, they could you’re right. Go out and they could talk to the business owners that are a great one. I mean, I, I feel like being in the corporate world myself for almost 10 years before I decided to go out and be on my own, I learned so much in the last, you know, three and a half years than I’ve learned in the world. And a lot of that too, because I like change. And that’s one, I left the corporate world, but, uh, but overall it definitely helps in learning yourself. Definitely helps a lot.
Not saying, learning everything to you, the master it, but learning the basics. So, you know, I mean, right now, this, if I could not go out and help any business make money because I, I, or even open to multiple different businesses just because I’m like, Oh, I know how to do this marketing, this marketing, this marketing now. And I have my employees on staff that can do most of it, you know? So it, it is one of those situations where learning what you want to do. So yeah, that makes total sense. what, what tool with that said, what did the chain with talking about networking? Do you think there’s any sort of tools online that you feel after you take advantage of?
Rodell Razor (32:34):
Yeah, I think, you know, for them, it’s probably safest to some form, some form of social media, whether it be Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn can be a really valuable one. I never made it to celebrity status as an athlete. So, but I, I, I believe that most, you know, you talk about in each sport, there’s probably about a hundred people in each sport, maybe 50 that like everyone knows. And then outside of that, like they just, they’re just a dude, you know, most people would have been home walking down to the grocery store. So, and so I think, you know, utilizing some things like that, right now I, I still think the hottest platform we’re still in Instagram. it seems that that’s where as far as attention, that’s where attention is going from. I think 35 and down age group, that’s where all eyeballs are.
Rodell Razor (33:26):
there’s a lot of eyeballs everywhere, but I think that’s where the most consistent brands, are being developed. but I think the ones who can utilize LinkedIn, build some relationships, set up some meetings, get on some conference calls, things like that. I saw Peyton Manning, he did a zoom with his old professor. and I thought that was pretty cool. Like you jumped into like their classroom because of what’s going on quarantine. So he jumped into like the zoom session and he just kind of shared a story. And I just thought, like if it’s athletes that are current athletes would jump in and do something like that, because someone in that it was a business class was an economics class. Someone in that class is going to go start a business and have relationships. Right. So just doing things intentionally like that.
Rodell Razor (34:07):
and I saw Matthew McConaughey did the same thing at university of Texas. So it’s like these people, they paid Manny meth and Connie, they don’t need to like, like they don’t need to network and where they’re at in their careers. but if I’m a, you know, lower tier, you know, professional athlete or aspiring professional athlete, like my teacher probably would think it’s cool. You know, if I call him my old professor, I’m like, Hey, I’d love to jump in one of the classes and just kind of share my story and like just doing those networking things on purpose. So, I think right now, if someone can utilize LinkedIn, at least as far as the online tool, and you know, and this is, you know, kind of segwayed into what I think the future is of this sports. I think that agent sports agent is going to change.
Rodell Razor (34:57):
I think it’s already forcing to change cause there’s a lot of athletes, excuse me, a lot of athletes that, are learning how to negotiate their own contracts. So an agent who just knows how to, you know, the collective bargaining agreement or knows all the X’s and O’s contracts, or, you know, they’ve got a legal background or whatever, I think that is going to go away. I think an agent is going to be a networking source and someone who could teach things like real estate, starting your own business, marketing sales, business development, uh, personal development, professional growth. I believe that that’s the agent’s role is going to be more business mentor focused than it is contract negotiation and sponsorship focused. I, I just think that that will be the least appropriate place for an agent. I think they still be certified. They’re still, they still understand all of those things, but I think, over the next 10 years, you’re going to see the information in the contracts of athletes is going to be easier to understand because it’s being forced to by players association.
Rodell Razor (36:03):
So it’s be easier to understand it’s not going to be legal jargon to where the average person could read through it and understand more of it. so the athletes can either keep more in their pocket or utilize that percentage to leverage and investing into real estate investing in the stock market and other business opportunities, things like that. and the agent is going to play a role, more Morton those things. so I think financial advisors, business people, people like that will serve as a better agent than someone who has a relationship with Nike and a local TV station, and knows how to negotiate, how to get, you know, an extra, you know, $5,000 on your contract. I think those things will be easier for the athletes to kind of do on their own easier, not easy but easier. and the other part of it, the other part of the business, which is extending your career, what are you doing at life after sports?
Rodell Razor (36:55):
Kind of like what Kobe was doing, Kobe was doing a lot of these things on his own to prepare himself. If you wanted to be a movie director, you want to write books and all these other things. and so I think agents will help guide people because Colby made that really, you know, obviously with the passing people understood like Kobe was on the move, like even while he was playing. and so I think guys are gonna want to be able to do that. They may not have the discipline of Kobe Bryant, but they’re going to want to do that. And then I think, you know, an agent or mentor is going to help guide that. And that’s going to be kind of the future of, uh, the sports agent. That’s interesting
When you say that, cause that’s kind of why I kind of got into what I did because I noticed such a huge, I see so many sports marketing companies, not understanding they’ll make a website or they’ll do something for an athlete just because the athlete wants it. And I see these and I’m like, wow, man, they could have done this. I’m not going to say way better, but utilize better opportunities for them personally, when I was first trying to get out with one of my athletes who introduced me to a lot of his agents and I was kind of talking to them and I was talking about him branding his own product. He was, he was doing, uh, a pouch, product Mike CAFCA he’s now the NSC, you know, uh, the coordinator for the Kansas city chiefs, he was coming out with this product and we were kind of talking to somebody, his agents and his agents were like, no, we don’t want you to brand yourself because Nike doesn’t like that. And it’s like, I have to tell, you know, the athletes, it’s not that Nike doesn’t like it it’s just that the agent that Nike doesn’t want to have to pay you for that loyalty fee, but they will, they will. So there was always this, this, I think this misalignment with, with, with agents. And I think I agree with you. I think
Rodell Razor (38:36):
That now that a lot of digital marketing stuff is coming out and a lot of easier ways to connect with people. I see, I leverage athletes. I tell people like you just said, tell athletes, you know, learn some of that stuff on your own. Maybe go to school for business or to be an agent that’s the double dip feature and letting them know that, Hey man, you have, you pay a lot of taxes, right. As much stuff off as you possibly. so based on your knowledge and an expertise, what’s the future. What do you think? You know, it’s kind of just mentioned that before it’s marketing, but do you see anymore, you know, stuff when it comes to digital marketing or branding and marketing in general that you see the future of for athletes? Yeah, I think, for, for athletes then my partner and I am a coroner, Jeremiah and I came up with this concept called the athlete entrepreneur.
Rodell Razor (39:33):
like athletes are in most part W2 employees, to the league that they represent that they’re representing. so like you said, they pay high, super high taxes because they are employees. They’re not business owners. I think the future is so many people talk about like the Michael Jordans deal with Nike, how, like he’s getting ripped off and we could have done it somewhat better on his own blah, blah, blah, Michael Jordan didn’t have the infrastructure to do what Nike did for Michael Jordan either. Like he had the brand and that’s where a lot of people, they think I have the brand that means I can go do it. And that’s not true. You need the infrastructure of the business operating systems on the backend busy shooting hoops and winning dunk contest and winning championships. He didn’t have the team, the marketing, the branding, how many he’s selling more shoes now retired.
Rodell Razor (40:25):
Then he was playing this, had, this, had a lot to do with this plane, but more to do with the way they positioned his brand. and they had experts in branding, marketing and sales and, design experts in those things that, yes, he could’ve hired those people, but he wouldn’t been able to manage those students, busy, still playing. and so I look at athletes now that if they can get ahead and I think that’s a good example, Michael, Darren’s a good example of like, Hey, just partnering with that brand partner with that brand gets the royalties for the rest of your life. That’s a good partnership, but then there’s the other pieces where it’s like, okay, now what do you have after playing? Thankfully, you know, the big time athletes, Michael Jordan tiger woods cubby, brine, LeBron James they’ll get royalties forever. Cause their sneakers and gear will always sell.
Rodell Razor (41:10):
but someone even like Allen Iverson, like he’s, you know, the Reebok sneakers aren’t selling the way they used to. Right? So it’s, what are you doing to create that entrepreneur and ignite the entrepreneurial spirit, so that you can have assets, digital, physical assets when you’re done playing. so that those assets in an asset, my definition, something that is increasing in value, right? It’s something that has value and it can increase in value. and I think most athletes, their number one asset is their body. and then that’s where they invest everything. and just like anything else, if you look at your body as an asset, I invest everything into the stock market, which is my body stock market crashes, or I get injured. I’m left to go way to put it right. I’m left holding nothing. So athletes, I think the future is seeing they’re seeing their physical body.
Rodell Razor (42:04):
Yes, it is an asset. It’s the most viable asset right now. It’s the most valuable, uh, thing that they have is their body and their ability and their leadership skills, all those things that they bring to the sport, but there’s other assets that they got invested into. and they have to be on the cutting edge of those things. So surrounding themselves with people, consultants, agents, advisors, people, you know, marketers, business, people surrounding themselves with people because people want to be in those circles. Like either myself, I get a call from freshman athlete, guess what? I’m probably gonna jump on a plane and go, I want to work with them. Right. So like, but, and then they have the trust issue, but if they can figure out how to get attain more assets, which could be a business which can be property, which could be platforms, which can be technology.
Rodell Razor (42:47):
they can, if they can acquire more assets and develop more assets and invest into more assets, I believe then that athlete can transition into an entrepreneur. Even if they want to be a philanthropist. Even if they want to be a teacher and a coach, they can still have a career as you know, their, their money. Doesn’t have to go through the, uh, through the toilet. and the, and then the last thing is right now, like you talked about Tom Brady, I think if athletes can truly connect that they stop, you know, just posting the one picture of them getting off the plane with their Louie bag and you know, like they can really connect on purpose. Like they have something to, to hang out with. Like I, and I’m using Deon a lot because I D I feel like Dion now, like, he’s always been like, so connected.
Rodell Razor (43:34):
Like, he’s always, like, you always felt like you kinda knew him, right? Like if he came into my house and be like, yo, what’s up. Right. He wouldn’t know me. I’d be like, Hey, like, I feel like I know him. And he goes on his social media. He talks about his kids all the time. you know, he’s got a kid who’s a dynamic athlete. Dionne is always going live on video, things like that. Like, you feel connected to him, ham, Shannon, sharp. Like these guys, they have personalities outside of just being so cool. like they really connect with people. They go Facebook live, they have their family in there, their branding and things like that. I think that those, they can do some of those pieces. I think that can help a lot, because people actually connect with them. And then when they’re done playing people will still be, you know, buying whatever that they’re selling or at least following them. Uh, their brand doesn’t have to die even though their career as a professional athlete is over. Yeah, no, that, that makes a little sense. You want the, you want the fans to feel more connected. And I think with digital marketing these days, that it’s, it’s, it’s a good way to, and
That helps them to less feel less intimidated. You know, what do I post about today? I have an athlete right now that I’m helping and telling her what to post helping her with her posting and stuff like that. And she she’s, she’s thinking too much. And I have to totally step back a little bit, do what you enjoy doing and how you’re helping if you’re talking about basketball, but why don’t you help with basketball tips? That’s a good idea to, and she’ll just, luckily enough probably get more followers because she is an athlete. And so I tell her to do stuff that you feel comfortable doing. It will grow, you enjoy the journey, like every bees that you have to, you have joined the journey. And it was funny that you mentioned the social aspect of assets scenario, because the way I, the way you have to kind of look at it is if you’re growing a business, you know, I see a lot of athletes trying to go cheap.
We’re trying to grow a business. I’m not saying spend millions of dollars on a business benefit, unless it’s like, you’re getting a commercial property. Like you said, you’re doing that. But learn that it does take a team. I look at, uh, undisputed itself and you don’t think that he made that hole. You know, he made a whole website himself, that whole brand, he has a whole team behind because you’re, as you know, you have to have, I won’t name them all, but there’s seven or eight people specialties that go just behind making a really good strategy and success number, you know? so leverage a team. I think that that’s a good idea, leverage team while a lot, like on the field, you know, leverage a team, it takes more than one player to win a game. So, you know, same thing with the business, same thing with doing.
So go back and going back to your networking, find the people that you feel comfortable there is that, that aspect of, of the trust issue. And I think LinkedIn is a good place where you can break that down. I think that a lot of athletes just have to watch out. Cause right now LinkedIn is very high and spamming, is I stopped using it just cause my, I can’t even connect genuinely anymore. Just people think I’m just spamming. So you actually have to really watch out to who you connect with on there. I think LinkedIn’s a great way for them to break that barrier of, of that. well again, thanks for, thanks for being on the show. I really appreciate taking the time out. it w let everyone know kind of your name again and where they can find you and all that.
Rodell Razor (46:41):
Yeah. Rodel, razor, and best way to find me right now is on Instagram. It’s at Radell razor, R O D E L L R a Z O R. and yeah, that’s the best way to connect with me right now. I, I will throw in a plug for our business. you know, we really do help maximize profits. we hope, you know, minimize your risk and maximize your profits and streamline some of your processes. And I would say that, as what you do, Zach, in the marketing fields, there’s marketing experts, there’s branding experts, there’s sales and, you know, logistics experts. What we bring is really, operationally, helping structure the company and bring the logistics together, so that the business owner can really plug and play and have fun in their business work, work more on their business than in their business, right?
Rodell Razor (47:33):
Because sometimes we become employees of our own company, in trying to help them be, you know, be visionaries. I believe there’s visionaries and there’s doers, right. There’s people that are like, just give me the job and I’ll just do it. And then the visionaries, I believe that what we do and what I’m great at is I’m that middle piece that helps connect the vision to the action. and so, yeah, I appreciate you having me on, it’s been a pleasure. whenever I get an opportunity to talk about athletes and athletes and business athletes in life, I think, you know, if you move your body, you’re an athlete, that’s the way Nike defines it. but those of those athletes out there that have a big span of influence, they have the greatest opportunity to, create some leverage in their life. so they don’t have to be a statistic of a professional athlete or even a college athlete where, you know, once they’re done catching the ball or Dunkin, Dunkin a ball or swinging the bat, whatever it is, that they just become forgotten, that there’s, there’s a life after that. And for most people, you know, careers are over in their thirties, like me and you that’s when our careers get started. Right. So, uh, yeah, so I think that’s, uh, something that, I’m very passionate about. So I appreciate you having me on.