Athletes Who do An Incredible Job Spreading Financial Awareness: Alex Rodriguez

Former Major League Baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez was the owner of two of the biggest contracts in the history of his sport. In his career, A-Rod banked over $420 million in contract money while playing in the big leagues. Despite his massive baseball contract earnings, Rodriguez is just the 16th highest-paid professional athlete in the history of sports. His career earnings plus extras put him closer to $600 million total vs. the likes of Michael Jordan ($1.85 billion) and Tiger Woods ($1.7 billion). Woods and Jordan send a special thanks to Nike for those absurd numbers. There’s no doubt the former New York Yankee, Seattle Mariner and Texas Ranger is one of the more polarizing figures in sports, but you cannot deny Rodriguez has emerged from all the drama of his baseball career unscathed. The next chapter of his life has been all positive. Whether it be his highly-publicized relationship with Jennifer Lopez or the founding of his business A-Rod Corp, Rodriguez has gone from media fodder to a learned businessman, who is helping others.

Monster Contracts

As mentioned above, Alex Rodriguez signed two of the five biggest contracts in Major League Baseball history. That number is surely going to change as time goes on and modern-day players get more money, but at the time A-Rod signed these deals they were considered out of this world. Before the 2001 MLB season, A-Rod shattered the record books by signing a 10-year, $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers. At the time, the highest contract in the history of the game was Mike Hampton’s $121 million deal with the Colorado Rockies. The deal was so outrageous not only was it more than double Hampton’s deal, it was exactly double the previous highest professional sports contract in the USA (Kevin Garnett’s $126 million deal with the Timberwolves in 1997). Rodriguez would end up being trading 3-years into the deal to the New York Yankees, who in 2008 after some questionable tactics by Rodriguez’ agent Scott Boras signed a new 10-year deal for $275 million. That contract in 2008 re-set the record for the largest deal in baseball (obviously) and allowed him to retire a Yankee. Before retiring, Rodriguez was able to win a World Series in 2009 with the Yankees, which was his ultimate goal and not looking to relocate on a new deal per his agent.

Busy Retirement

Alex Rodriguez started a business, A-Rod Corp, in 2003. At the time, he was still in the thick of his major league career. At the time, the business was small and focused on real estate and real estate development. Now, A-Rod corp is a massive investment firm with over 50 partners that has invested in well-known companies like Snapchat and VitaCoco. As for the real estate, in 2008 they founded Newport Property Contruction, which has managed over $1.5 billion in residential, commercial and mix-used assets. Four years later they founded Monument Capital Management, which has acquired more than $700 million of real estate assets across the country. Almost 11-years ago while he was still playing, Alex Rodriguez told CNBC’s Becky Quick he’d rather be on the cover of Fortune Magazine than Sports Illustrated. If what he says about his work ethic is accurate, than he’s validated those comments almost a decade ago,

I work so much harder at my business than I did at baseball because I don’t have the competitive advantage,” Rodriguez told Quick on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” last year. “I am going up against really, really smart people with great teams.”

As crazy as it may sound, Alex Rodriguez may end up being a more successful businessman than baseball player. Today, A-Rod Corp employs over 500 people and has not shown any signs of slowing down. As for Rodriguez himself, he’s as involved as he possibly can be. He is extremely involved in his business and he’s also very active with speaking engagements in an effort to educate and help others.

Spreading Financial Awareness

In 1995, the Golden State Warriors drafted Joe Smith #1 overall out of the University of Maryland. Throughout Joe’s 16-year NBA career he earned over $61 million dollars, but ended up squandering away his money leaving him in a precarious position. Enter A-Rod. One of the things Alex Rodriguez does is counsel former athletes who have lost their financial footing. Rodriguez would end up meeting with Smith reviewing his finances and creating a plan to help get out of debt and start enjoying life again. Rodriguez himself says he helps athletes “get back in the game” and he uses his personal experiences to help them become wiser with their finances. He preaches knowledge. Players and he, himself, should never stop learning about money, business and their life goals,

““Knowledge is power. That’s one of the reasons why I have attended business school at the University of Miami and business school at Columbia University in New York and now I’m taking classes at Stanford. I kept seeing players get hurt and basically go from being in the penthouse to the outhouse very quickly,” he said. “I realized that you can be in a good place on Monday, and by Thursday you can be out of luck with no formal education.”

The work ethic behind Rodriguez is the engine that drives everything. His managers use to comment on how hard he worked during his playing days and that hasn’t changed as he’s transitioned into the business world. The great thing about it all is he is willing to share and help. Rodriguez is always doing media bits, speaking engagements and publishing literature on success and finances. He is a unique former professional athlete in that he has continued to grow, but he’s had a positive influence over so many others. It would be challenging to find a former professional athlete that has publicly worked to help spread financial awareness as hard as A-Rod, especially to former athletes!

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