Zachary Colman (00:06):
Everyone. I’d like to welcome you to another episode of the brand power analysis and today our special guest, Derek Cox. Why don’t you tell them a little bit about yourself?

Derek Cox Story

Derek Cox (00:15):
Well, thank you for having me, Zach. It’s a pleasure to be up here on the podcast and, an honor. myself, I am currently in graduate school, prior to being in graduate school at UCLA getting my MBA. I was playing professional football and I was playing for a number of teams. I had a seven-year career and played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens, and the New England Patriots. And the career that I had, you know, it was a great experience and one for me where it helped shape and form what I’m pursuing after now with my career. And so long story short, just as a player and having that experience and, and being a part of it. I, I really realized that what I want to do is make that career that I thought I was going to have something attainable for, for other players and, you know, for guys to get more out of their playing days on the field. So for me, I’m looking at getting into the player representation side and I, and I liked the sports marketing side and being on, the, the side of just helping the athlete in general with that total, NFL contract that they will have that career that they’re going to take on and, and gaining the most on the field, but gaining the most halted field as well.

Zachary Colman (01:51):
That’s great. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your journey as a player and how that kind of, and I know you kind of summarize it a little bit there, but how that, how that kind of, what kind of thought process went through your mind as you kind of went through, and nothing, we’re not, we’re not going to bash the shield or anything, but, but, like the transitions that you went through, when the thought process, how your thought process changed from, you know, being a player and as you went and put, getting close to retirement and things of that nature.

Derek Cox (02:21):
Yeah. And I’ll go back to college and I can recall being in college and recruiting well, going through the recruiting process with agents. So I had the opportunity to go and play professional football. So I’m sitting now interviewing agents trying to figure out, okay, who do I want to represent me and helped me with my journey through the NFL. And so while I’m doing that, and I’m sitting there interviewing agents, you know, for me, it was, it was a bit of uncertainty about this whole NFL thing, because it’s just, well, I know the odds, I know the numbers, the statistics behind how long a career may last. And so I’m sitting there and I’m coming from a smaller school. I went to William and Mary in Virginia, which is a small division one AA school. We play in the football championship series and not a ton of guys are going from, you know, my, my division to the NFL.

Derek Cox (03:26):
So for me, it’s just like, okay, here’s this opportunity, but who knows how it’s going to pan out, I’m sitting here talking to these agents, but I don’t know who to select. And what’s going to make me most comfortable is to be with somebody that I feel can help me be a success, no matter what, whether I make it to the NFL or not, you know, who can help me be a success. And so school was important, you know because I realized that, Hey football, is it going to last forever? So being at William Merck, tremendous great education, and, you know, coming away from basketball with a degree, puts me in a position to, you know, sustain myself post-college and I majored in business. And so for myself, it was like, yeah, who can help me be successful? Whether or not I make it any NFL.

Derek Cox (04:14):
And so going to the NFL and happening that career, you know, I was always thinking, what is next? What about the transition? I want to be able to be a player that can transition smoothly from the game. I want to be somebody that does it come face to face with the statistics of it taking, you know, years and years and years to transition it, being a situation where guys are bankrupt, you know, guys are financially distressed. And so what myself, it was just, okay, who can I find that will help me do that? And let me, and while I’m doing that, okay, I need to be thinking about what’s next. How do I transition? And so during the course of that whole NFL career, you know, I’m thinking how to transition, trying to do things, to make sure that I’m transitioning or that I will transition properly.

Derek Cox (05:01):
And, you know, over the course of that NFL career, I entered into my second contract at some point. And so I finished up four years with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and I’m going into my second contract. And this is, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m between the new Orleans saints and the San Diego chargers. And I select to go with the San Diego chargers. But during that process, I was like, you know, I think I want to get into that role as an agent. I want to get into that role as an agent and to be a force for my players, to where I can really help them do exactly what I was trying to do, transition seamlessly from the game and, and really be an advocate and a resource and advisor, a consultant for the player, so that when they get done, while they’re playing that game, while they’re playing that game, they’re getting the most out of that career.

Transitioning from the NFL

Derek Cox (05:56):
But when they’re ready to transition from the game, it’s not something that you try to do once you decide to retire. No transitioning from the game starts from the day you step into the NFL, you’re transitioning. And so that whole experience for me in the NFL, going through a career and trying to figure out how to transition, I realized that yeah, the best place to be effective with the player is on that side as his agent, because you are in his corner, you’re the person that he, that player is going to trust the most. And you’re going to be able to have that influence on him, to help guide him and help him navigate that NFL career. And so that whole experience really opened my eyes to yes, like being on that side of an agent. And when I say, you know, as an agent, I look at myself being effective on the side of negotiating contracts and also representing players for marketing opportunities as well because that’s what I am specialized. That’s what I majored in, in college, marketing with the business or business administration with a concentration in marketing. And then here getting my MBA at UCLA, I specialized in marketing. So I want to be effective for the guys on both of those frontiers, as negotiating contracts, and then also, being a marketing representative and finding those opportunities for them. So that collectively you help that player get the most on the field and get the most off the field.

Zachary Colman (07:37):
Yeah. And, and, and it’s, it’s, it’s a tricky thing these days. And one of the reasons I kind of got into this myself is because the digital market is grown so much. and so many of these, sports marketing agencies that are out there right now, they don’t really focus on, on not just the passion around what the athlete wants as a sponsor, but they don’t really think about it in terms of the ROI when it comes to the sponsors themselves. And so there’s a connection. There’s, there’s definitely a connection there when it comes to trying to find a good sponsorship, not just from an ROI standpoint, from the sponsor opportunity, but finding some, finding actual sponsorship opportunities to relate to the athlete themselves. What helps the athlete? What, what are they passionate about? What is stuff that they use on a day-to-day basis that helps them with what they’re doing, not just in, in, in the game, but also with their existing transition? So I definitely think it’s cool what you’re doing. And I think that there’s, there’s definitely a, there’s definitely a huge opportunity to, really focus that marketing degree that you’re getting your MBA right now. what made you decide to go back to get your MBA?

Derek Cox (09:01):
Well, it was something that I, you know, our brother modeled mine, my older brother, his name is Travis. and you know, that’s, that’s, that’s my role model. And so I looked up to my brother, he’s about three he’s, three years older than I am. You know, he was the reason that I got serious about football in the ninth grade. And you know, my, my older brother, he, while he was at East Carolina University, you know, he, he was, he was on a mission and he was on a football scholarship to East Carolina University. And while he was there, yeah, he, he had a full ride and he was able to get his undergraduate degree and he got his master’s degree while he was there, he got his MBA. And so that was something that I just always wanted to do. You know, my, my, my big brother kind of sparked that desire for me.

Derek Cox (09:46):
And I said, you know, okay. Cause it’s, it’s funny when somebody is in the same house with you and you see them do things, you’re like, Oh, my all means, of course, I can do that. So for me, it was like, yeah, that’s something that I can do as well, because, you know, I, I see this man, you know, every day I know what he’s made of. And so if he can do it, I can do it. But, additionally, I knew that I wanted to get into the player representation side of things. And I look at the athlete as a business, you know, it’s a represent guys in the NFL. If I’m going to get certified, I have to have a graduate degree. It could be a law degree. It could be an MBA, you know, it could be, it could be, you could be an MD if you want, but I wanted to go the business route because I see players as a business and the law portion of it.

Derek Cox (10:39):
I’m not writing, I’m not drafting the law. I’m not. So, so for me, it’s like, okay, contracts, I need to know how to negotiate. I need to know how to read the contract and understand, you know, the salary cap, but when it comes to business, I want to be effective on that end because all athletes they’re essentially entrepreneurs and there are businesses. Each player on the field is a business. And so understanding that realm of the industry, I say, yes, that’s going to make me more effective with the athlete because of what I ultimately want to do with partnering with the athlete and then leveraging their brand so that they can generate and create ventures while they’re playing after their plan, but also have that opportunity for these sponsorships and endorsements, as you mentioned.

Zachary Colman (11:39):
Yeah. I’ve, I’ve I, and I mean, I noticed a huge, huge aspect in that a lot of, a lot of agencies, don’t understand that portion of the transition side, being an athlete, to being an entrepreneur, they don’t look at it as a business. And that’s what I try to tell all the prospect athletes that come in here, I’m like what you’re doing as a business, the NFL looks at it as a business. Yes. You’re still getting paid by them that, you know, they’re, they’re going to help you out with certain things, but it overall, it’s a business and you need to leverage that ability you have of, of being on that field and getting that free publicity while you’re playing the game. cause that’s going to help you, find a good route to go. And, and, and the hardest thing that I’ve seen from a lot of players is they do come out and they think that they can do it all themselves.

Zachary Colman (12:31):
And so that aspect of having people to help them in the necessary fields that are going to help them make it to the next level. I mean, I look at large e-commerce stores like Nike or Adidas. I mean, they, they’re not a one-man show, you know what I mean? So to get there, you need to have a team around you and to get them to understand that and to get to, really inherit the ability definitely will help them with that transition, as they’re making that, that switch over. so what makes you feel like I’m not going to put you on the spot here, but so let’s just say athletes in general, what makes athletes, what makes athletes, great business owners?

Derek Cox (13:13):
You know, I think, now when we look at, I don’t have the numbers statistically, but when they talk about some of the fortune 500 companies and might even be 50 fortune, when they look at a lot of these companies, though, they are being led by former athletes, maybe not professional athletes, but these were maybe collegiate athletes. And I think that that says a lot about the athlete and, and, and, and, and what they’re made up. And so when I look at it and I say, okay, well, why, why would that be, why would, why would so many athletes, you know, be, you know, in charge CEOs of these fortune 500 companies? Well, I think it all has to do with the way athletes get shaped and molded, and you, and I both know if we want anything in life. If we want any sort of success we want to accomplish anything, it’s going to be hard.

Derek Cox (14:18):
There’s no way around it. It’s going to be hard. If you want to achieve anything, it’s going to be hard. You have your own business. It is hard. It is, it is seven days a week, three 65, 24, seven fire comes up, do you need to put it out? It is hard. And so that’s what I think an athlete is aware of. And they’re, you know, you’re, you’re not just an athlete on Sunday for an NFL player. You’re not just an athlete on Sunday like is Sunday to Sunday. If it’s not, when you’re studying in the field or lifting weights, it’s when you’re eating right and recovering, right? All of those aspects of the game.

Zachary Colman (15:08):
It’s okay.

Derek Cox (15:10):
24, seven, three 65 to be a professional athlete. And we see that with the guys that are doing it at a high level, you can see that, no, this is, this is, this is, this is something that I’m committed to. And, and I understand that aspect of it, that it takes a high level of commitment. And this makes me think, you know, this morning, a buddy and I were leaving the gym and, you know, and then we’re talking and I’m explaining, you know, just, just going back and forth talking and, you know, and I gave him an example. I say, I say, you know, who’s the best team in the NFL? last year, obviously, we know that was the knowing the Patriots. I said, who was the worst team in the NFL based on a record? I think that was the Jacksonville Jaguars. Maybe it was a New York.

Derek Cox (15:59):
Yes. We said we set a Jacksonville Jaguars. And I said, okay, who were the quarterbacks? And so we know it’s Tom Brady for, for, for the books and probably going to miss you for the Jaguars. And I said I said, who, who had an easy season saying, no one, Sarah. Exactly. Neither one of them had an easy season. No matter if you are the worst team in the league, or you are the best, it’s going to be hard. Now, what was the difference between what was there hard that, that made it like, I’m sure if we look at a Tom Brady’s life versus other quarterbacks, it looks different? So there’s a level of hard that you’re going to have to say, Hey, I’m willing to take on. And no matter which one you choose, no matter, no matter what way you decide to go, like for instance, BIA, BNB, and broke his heart, broke his heart, and then being wealthy as hard.

Derek Cox (17:06):
You just have to choose which one you want to have. And so, as an athlete, I think that we understand that it’s hard regardless like to be lewd or have a losing season, it’s going to be hard to have a winning season. It’s going to be hard. And there is a commitment that, okay, I need to make as this athlete up, man, what’s hard. Am I going to take on, what’s hard? Am I going to accept, am I going to accept mediocrity? Or am I going to figure out, Nah, I need to, I need to figure out what type of heart it’s going to take for me to be great?

Zachary Colman (17:43):
That’s why I love this field so much. and, and why my passion moved to sports and working with athletes because I feel like there’s such a connection. There’s such a connection between the business world and being a professional athlete. is there so much, I mean, I see it in just everyday life with, with individuals and, and, and, and how much they’re willing to try to make it. And that’s why I was bringing up too early, the fake gurus and all that saying, Hey, you can make a million tomorrow. Like that stuff doesn’t even really work. Like it, it still shocks me that 90% of the community looks at that stuff and goes, I can, I can do this. It’s like, no, there’s still a lot of hard work. Even if you’re, you’re, you’re paying them. They’re, you know, trying to just, I’m not going to say, just take your money, but they’re trying to leverage all that back on you with the way they offer you some of their services.

Zachary Colman (18:30):
And, and so it’s, it is one of those, those things. When I, when I, when I talk to athletes you do have to say, Hey, listen, you have to be straightforward. This is hard. If this is what you want, you’re going to be working hard for it. Just like you were in the game on that. And it, it goes back to fans and, and, and how fans portray football games compared to how FA how business owners or people perceive business owners. It’s the same concept is they don’t see that it takes everyone on the field. You know, there are the coaches, there’s the training staff. There’s the personal, the personal, there are all the things that players do outside the game that, that helped leverage how they’re doing inside the game. It’s the same with business. You see a business, the same thing, you talk to a business about certain products or services. There’s a lock that goes into all that, you know like there’s expenses and there’s, you know, quiet management and there’s, you know, employee management and keeping happy and making it through. You’re just staying afloat on both sides. So, you know, it is crazy how much, how much of those connect. And so with that said, what, what makes you think, what are the things that you think athletes struggle with, making that transition, or are, struggles athletes make as business owners in particular?

Derek Cox (19:56):
Yeah. And looking at it, and just from conversations that I’ve had with other players. And I look at it and say, a lot of it seems to be just, they’re learning as business people like, and, and, and they almost, there’s a, there’s a level of, I don’t want to say there’s a level of confidence that we have as athletes because of the success that we’re used to having. And a lot of times that’s all, many of us have known, that’s, all we’ve known is a success. And so we just think that, Hey, we can’t walk right into the next thing and be successful. And that’s not always the case, not to say that it can’t be, but that’s not always the case. And it takes a spirit and these business leaders that are out and they’re thriving, you know, there’s a level of experience that they didn’t have.

Derek Cox (20:59):
And that only gets acquired by time, under tension, you know, within the business. And so some players have a history of business, you know, but, but I think it’s, it’s hard to, to, to, to like get all those reps. You know, when you were, when you were a player, you had reps, you were getting reps that made you good at your sport, and in businesses, it’s the same way you have to be getting those reps. Yes. You can, you can hire your people. But if you’re going to be trying to start a business, you need to, yeah. You, you’re going to have to devote your full attention to it. And so when I look at athletes, I say, okay, one thing is, yes, we don’t realize that aspect of, okay, this is, this is going to take time. And I, and I need to be able to give it my full time.

Derek Cox (21:51):
And I need to anticipate that there are going to be highs and lows and prepare myself for those highs and lows. If I want to be a business leader, a business owner. And additionally, I would say one thing that we probably need a better understanding of, and this probably comes along with just doing business and getting those repetitions in businesses that, you, you don’t have to put up all your money. I think we made that mistake as well. Like guys would think that they need to just put up their money, front, their money. And you hear from guys that like, yeah, you know, you, you should use other people’s money, try to use other people’s money, leverage, leverage your ability to have a good credit score and to have, you know, a good, a good financial base built up to where you can leverage your assets to use other people’s money to help you fund your business soldiers.

Derek Cox (22:51):
I think that as, as athletes, before we jump out and think that let’s be aggressive on, on business, there needs to be, Hey, let me spend time. And that’s what we, and that’s what we learned at business school. Before you start any venture, do your research, it’s research-driven, like do your research and ask questions and figure things out and talk to people that have done it. I mean, that’s the best thing you could do. Talk to people that have done it, you know, what’s the best direction to go. And, and we have a lot of players in the locker room that post, especially after they’re done, you know, that get into business and, and that you can talk to and find out from them, Hey, what did, what did you do? What advice do you have? What are some good steps to take? What are some things that I can do maybe while I’m playing?

Derek Cox (23:42):
What are some things that I shouldn’t do while I’m pulling it? Okay. What can I do once I retire? What shouldn’t I do once I retire? Those are the things that I think we have to be better about. And, and we know these things like we know it’s right there around us. We know that it takes reps to get good at something. We know that communication, you know, talking to my teammates on the field to figure out, okay, well, you know, Hey, well, what are we doing to attack? That’s the same, like that same communication. You take that off the field as well. What am I doing? So I know how to attack this business, and find out from others.

Zachary Colman (24:15):
And it’s funny you say that because I look at, I, I somewhat have the same, same troubles when I talk to prospects, because like I was saying earlier, how technical technology has grown so much that people just go straight out and they go, Oh, I’m going to build this myself. Or I’m going to build my own social campaign, or I’m just going to post day to day. And it’s like when I was talking to you with, when we’re doing the PF RPA group, it’s like, no, you have to do your research. The premise of what I do with some of my clients is we go through brand discovery, even website discovery because we need to do that research upfront. Because if not, you’re just kind of, it’s not a product, it’s a service. You know, you need to figure all that stuff out before you’re able to dive in and really leverage the money that you’re putting forth in your business correctly.

Taking that next Step

Zachary Colman (25:02):
Um, and so I feel like it’s good, it’s a good stepping stone for, I mean, I guess you could say this with anyone, just not athletes is, is value other people’s ability to do what they do best. If that makes sense value what they do. I see so many people coming in and even in my industry in particular, you have certain people that value, you know, the social media side, but then they don’t value the website or they’ll value the, you know the PR side. But then they don’t value the digital marketing side. And it’s like, it all works together, but you have to value each one efficiently so that it all works together. and I think it’s like you said, it’s, it’s, that’s just part of the business. The marketing side is just part of business, but it’s definitely showcasing. I think, for them to understand that value is there, you just have to find the right pieces and be able to put them together efficiently.

Derek Cox (25:59):
Hm. Yeah. I think that’s, you know, well said and, you know, think about it is, that’s something that athletes don’t realize a lot of times as well, is that you pay people for value. You pay people for value. And we are so used to, you know, getting, you know, we just received things like we were, we were always used to things being given to us, especially like on that side, like when it comes to services and products, athletes can kind of get used to being entitled. You’ve been entitled and you’ve been, you know, just nurturing and caring for, and insulated your whole life. But it’s like, no in you pay for value. You know, the reason that the team is paying you is that you bring value to the organization from the product that you’re putting out on the field for fans to watch and media, contracts, they get written. So no great point.

Zachary Colman (27:01):
Yeah. Well, what was I going to say there? I think that, and, and that’s, that’s why I pushed my business a little bit more, not say harshly, but when you don’t see the value in something, it doesn’t do anyone a service because that company that you’re working with or something, if you’re doing something for them for free, how are they going to pay the bills? So you, you have to look at it and it will, if I’m getting something from them for free, they’re going out of business or they’re, they’re spending more expenses on stuff. So they’re not going to do as well. It’s just human nature. They’re not going to do as good of a job on your stuff, because they’re going to do on the people that are understanding their value. It’s just, that’s just how society works in general. so yeah, I definitely think it’s a great point. overall, so what are some things athletes can learn in regards to building their brands, from, let’s say you let’s say from you, so to say from where you’re at with your, your all your MBA knowledge.

Derek Cox (28:00):
Yeah. And you know, the thing, when I look at it, like a lot of times academics we can get too in the weeds, we can get to academic where we want to try to, we want to try to blow your socks off with something that’s, out of this world that you’ve never heard of and what I’m finding out when it comes to branding and here go, and this is a cool equation that my professor actually uses. His name is bill, Sanders. I’m gonna give him a shout-out, bill Sanders, he’s been, and he’s been, he’s been, he’s been a tremendous help to me as well, but I took his class last fall and sports marketing clients, and bill Sanders represents people like he’s represented Yao, Ming, Steve Nash, Carmelo Anthony. Currently, he’s the athlete marketer for Clayton Kershaw pitcher of the LA Dodgers.

Derek Cox (29:05):
And he’s also, the sports marketer for Christian Yelich, the pitcher for the Milwaukee brewers. And he has an equation that is marketability equals talent, plus success, plus integrity. Plus charisma, talent, and success. I feel like it, is there for most of these guys? It’s just there. That’s what you’re, you’re, you’re an NFL. Yeah. You’re talented. You’re successful. The integrity and charisma. I think most of those guys have charisma. I think that charisma just naturally existed because there is a, there’s an appeal towards them and charisma isn’t, I don’t think charisma. I won’t say that it’s, it’s just a natural, it’s a given, but there is an alert because you are a celebrity. So you might not even be that charismatic, but because you’re a professional athlete, you might seem to have a little charisma. Somebody, somebody will lie, somebody will identify with your message.

Derek Cox (30:19):
Somebody will like the way that you deliver your message. An audience will accept your message perhaps, but the integrity piece, the integrity piece. Now that’s the differentiator. And that’s the piece where I like to focus on and say, that’s where you set yourself apart. That’s where you actually build a brand because as we know our brand, and when I think about the brand it’s, it’s basically if I’m in a room with a group of people, and these are the words, these are, these are, these are the people that gossip I’m in a room with a people, a room full of people that gossip. And then I leave out of that room. What’s being said about me when I’m gone? And in that room, what’s being said about me, that’s my brand, whatever these people are saying about me, I’m like, that’s my brand. So who am I? Am I a man of integrity am a man of honor, because it comes down to the quality of a main that I think really helps you bring in opportunities, stuff. I feel stuff will find you if the quality of the man is there. If the quality of the man is there, you set yourself apart. Because as we know it takes years to build something like trust something like a brand. It takes years to build that.

Derek Cox (32:01):
And all it takes 30 seconds or less for you to lose a big chunk of that, a big chunk of that brand and trust that you were able to build and generate. So I don’t need to get into the examples, you know, and I, and I think some brands have done a good job. I think some brands that even in the midst of controversy with their athletes have done a good job of also building their brains by how to like Nike brands. And it’s like how they felt about people that have made mistakes. And I think that can be, say something about your brand, the fact that you’re like, Hey, people mess up. We’re all humans. Like we make some mistakes. We fall short.

Derek Cox (32:49):
We, hurt others with our actions. And when we do that, sometimes we need somebody to stick by us and not just leave us and kick us to the curb, kick us while we’re down. Sometimes we need somebody to stick by. So I think even in the midst of adversity and controversy, a brand can still be established. So, it all boils down to your integrity. You’ll make up the quality of the man. And for me, it’s that simple. If a man is focused on generating a quality representation of himself in society, good things will follow your brand and will have the ability to blossom. If you will plug it into the right things to get your brand awareness.

Zachary Colman (33:38):
No, that’s, that’s. I love that. I think that’s, I think that that’s, that’s great. Cause I, I mean, I, a hundred percent agree with you. I mean, there are so many people out there that it depends on what, which field you’re in, but they’ll, they’ll just think that their brand is their logo or their brand is, how, you know, people look at them when it is, it’s very similar to marketing it’s. If you have to have the trust, you have that, the loyalty, you have to have integrity. You have to have the, the branding on the, on the, on the, you know, the visual side, like it all kind of works together in some way form or another. And social media has played a huge habit. I mean, years and years ago, 10 to 15 years ago, you know, social media wasn’t a thing.

Athletes and Public Relations

Zachary Colman (34:21):
So, you know, an athlete had said something, it would usually be over PR, which was fully controlled, or it would be, you know, over, you know, them just talking to some friends. I, since I grew up in a small town, I put it very similar to a small town. Social media is a lot like the small town effect, you know, and it is it’s, you know, you say something in a small town and, and man, it spreads like wildfire. And next thing you know, it’s completely awful. Social media is the same thing, you know, and that’s where I feel bad for a lot of athletes because they don’t understand that you put something up and some, it just takes one person to take a screenshot of it. And not just that fans, nothing against fans, there’s, there’s always a great number of fans, but you don’t see it from both sides.

Zachary Colman (35:04):
And so I see posts all the time where fans are saying something mean to the athletes. And it’s like, you know, the athletes just trying to survive here, like the athletes it’s you have to think it’s a business, you know, for both. And so the athletes are doing what they feel is necessary to, and yeah, sometimes they post wrong things or, you know, 90% of the time they don’t think they’re posting something bad and somebody else perceives it as bad. And they have to still go out and apologize, which is the integrity of going, Oh, you know, I’m still gonna apologize. Cause I hurt people, even though I, I realized and being able to take that to heart, I think it’s for, for people is probably something that could get better over time. It’s just being able to understand that people are, you know, athletes are humans too, you know, being able to understand that integrity. So I want to thank you for being on, why don’t we end off on how you feel like you, and you kind of mentioned at the beginning, how do you feel like you can help athletes, moving forward, with what you’re doing with your career?

Derek Cox (36:11):
Certainly. So for myself, you know, I’m having fun currently, talking about things in the area of athlete, marketing, and branding on the side for the high school athlete and the college athlete. And I say athlete, but I mean football player, that’s, that’s where I’m placing my focus and carving out my niche in the industry. And so I’m having fun educating guys on branding themselves and opportunities that are coming up for college football players to take advantage of their name, image, and likeness with the new NCAA rules. And so for myself, if you’re a young athlete and I have a, I have a few guys that I keep in contact with daily, pretty much the college football players. And I just like to be on that side of, yeah, let me be a guide or, you know, let me, let me be an encouragement.

Derek Cox (37:13):
Let me be an inspiration for these young men that have that desire to go and play professionally. And additionally, I want to provide you with advice and, you know, practical things that you can use as principles for building your own brand so that you can take advantage of those opportunities coming up and above all. I realized that the impact that I need to have on young men that are playing in college football that are playing high school football, the impact that needs to be made on them is the quality of the main and how I’m leading my life and how I, how, how, how, how we all need to lead our lives from a standpoint of, yeah, let’s be quality individuals. Let’s be quality people that aren’t, we are just looking out for ourselves. We aren’t just in it for our own personal gain. We want to see other people rise up.

Derek Cox (38:12):
We want to see other people thrive. We want to look out for others. We want to be honorable in the way that we live. We want to have integrity. And so that’s how I want to help athletes. If you’re following me on my social, if you’re trying to get more about what I’m doing, you know, I have my website, Derek, where that’s specifically a platform where I’m trying to give advice and practical pieces of advice that players can put into play for themselves to help brand themselves. Because if you’re in high school and you’re in college, you have that opportunity. And I want to be somebody that I ain’t just can help you. And so that’s all I’m trying to be right now in this kind of space is hell. I’m just trying to be helpful and be consistent with that being intentional and deliberate about helping these young men that played football because I’ve been there, I’ve had the experience and above all, I want guys to have the same experience of making it to the NFL and, and more where your career you’re, you’re not satisfied with. And, and your post-career you’re satisfied with because when you get done with football, it should be the best time of your life. It should be the best party a lot because you’re on to the next thing. Football is just a puzzle piece for guys. This is just a puzzle piece. Planning. NFL was just a puzzle piece to the bigger puzzle picture that’s going to get built, but use this puzzle piece to help you move forward to the best parts of the rest of your life.

Zachary Colman (39:56):
Well, I appreciate that, man. That’s, that’s definitely inspiring. Hopefully, we have a lot of, we have a lot of kids and again, I’ll, I’ll ask you, what are your, what are your handles and what are you, what is your website again? So people can find, yeah,

Derek Cox (40:07):
So my website, you can find and on that. And that’s where I’m putting up content about branding for football players. And then you can also find me on Twitter at Derek, which is D E R E K underscore Cox, which is COX_21. So Derek underscores Cox 21, you can find me on Instagram at Derek Cox, 2121. And then you can, I’m on YouTube. Excuse me. I’m on, I have a YouTube channel as well. So that’s Derek cop’s YouTube channel. I also have a, I have my late Dan Derek Cox, and then I have my Facebook, Derek. So trying to be out there on all these platforms, take, talk as well. I’m going to take it, I haven’t done much on Tik TOK, but I do have a tick.

Zachary Colman (41:05):
That’s perfect if you’re reaching the high schoolers in the college, that’s probably the perfect channel for you. That’s it.

Derek Cox (41:13):
I’m trying to hit all of them.

Zachary Colman (41:15):
All right. Well, thanks again for being on the brand power analysis.

Derek Cox (41:19):
Yes, sir. Thank you, for having me, man, I look forward to communicating more and finding out more about yourself, and diving into the resources that you’re putting out. Thank you.

View our interview with Tyrone Swoopes Here

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