IN THE NEWS.

Building value is a 24/7 job. Alex Rodriguez and his A-Rod Corp team work constantly to find great investments and to help the firm’s portfolio companies and partners build their businesses and create value for investors.

A-Rod Corp Hires Inner Circle Sports Executive David Becker as Chief Financial Officer

New CFO bolsters leadership at A-Rod Corp, adding to the firm’s diverse team of professionals

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A-Rod Corp (AROD), the investment firm of entrepreneur and former MLB All-Star Alex Rodriguez, announced today the addition of David Becker as Chief Financial Officer. David joins A-Rod Corp from Inner Circle Sports, where he spent over a decade executing on M&A advisory, capital raising, valuation, and restructuring in the global sports industry. Most recently, David played a pivotal role in the $1.5 billion Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx transaction between Rodriguez, his business partner Marc Lore, and current owner, Glen Taylor.

“Walking away from that experience, I knew David would be a great fit at A-Rod Corp and I am thrilled to welcome him to the team as CFO.”

“We had the pleasure of working with David and the excellent Inner Circle team during our acquisition of the Timberwolves and the Lynx this summer. David’s strategic insights, work ethic, and depth of knowledge shined,” said Chairman and CEO, Alex Rodriguez. “Walking away from that experience, I knew David would be a great fit at A-Rod Corp and I am thrilled to welcome him to the team as CFO.”

As CFO, David will be responsible for overseeing financial planning and operations across the firm’s portfolio of investments in real estate, sports, technology, wellness, and media and entertainment.

“I am excited to join A-Rod Corp’s deep roster of creative minds and strategic leaders as the firm continues to grow,” said David. “I look forward to beginning this next chapter and working with the full team to unlock long-term value and growth opportunities with entrepreneurs and innovators around the world.”

Prior to spending 10 years at Inner Circle, David worked in investment banking coverage at J.P. Morgan as an Analyst and an Associate, covering companies in the financial institutions and real estate sectors. Outside of work, David currently sits on the Board of Trustees and the Finance/Audit Committee for the Family Health Centers at NYU Langone and on the Industry Advisory Board for the Business of Sports School. David earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Emory University, with a concentration in finance. He will be based in Miami.

About A-Rod Corp

A-Rod Corp’s diverse team of professionals supports a portfolio that includes real estate, venture, sports franchises, and various investment platforms across the consumer, media, tech, and sports industries. Chairman and CEO Alex Rodriguez applies the lessons he learned as an MLB champion (and MLB’s 4th all-time home run leader) to lead the A-Rod Corp team—and win in every business that the firm backs.

Contacts

Media Contact
Ashleigh Honig, A-Rod Corp
ahonig@arodcorp.com

Russell Sherman, Prosek Partners
pro-arod@prosek.com

Source

Business Wire

Date

September 27, 2021

Category

Business

A-Rod and Lore Back Fusion-Power Startup in Funding Round

Former baseball star Alex Rodriguez is backing a startup that’s trying to develop a power plant run off of nuclear fusion -- a niche of the energy industry that’s increasingly capturing investors’ attention. 

Focused Energy, based in Germany, is raising $15 million in seed funding set to be announced Thursday. It’s led by venture capital firm Prime Movers Lab. In addition to Rodriguez, other participants include former Walmart Inc. executive Marc Lore and Tony Florence of New Enterprise Associates.

Startups around the world are stepping up efforts to harness fusion power, a much-hyped clean-energy source that’s touted as safe and virtually inexhaustible -- but one that also faces serious technological hurdles. More than $2 billion has flooded into fusion-related startups, according to the Fusion Industry Association trade group.

Related: Is the Nuclear Fusion Revolution Finally At Hand?

Rodriguez, meanwhile, is looking for opportunities as he transitions away from sports and into investment. So far, he has backed hotels, financial services and beer, among other industries. He has partnered with Lore on major deals, such as for the purchase of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves.

“Part of what I look for in an investment is a company that has the ability to solve big challenges and demonstrate long-term growth potential,” Rodriguez said in a statement. 

Getting Ignition

The ex-Yankee began dabbling in the energy sector in 2018, putting money into Petros PACE Finance, which finances energy efficiency improvements for commercial buildings.

Focused Energy was formed in July in Darmstadt, Germany, by a group that included two physicists. It seeks to develop and sell inertial fusion energy, which uses laser beams to start a fusion reaction. It’s also starting operations in Austin, Texas.

The technology is still years away. Management’s goal is to have a working plant in the 2030s. They’ll use the funds on laser development, design, testing and analysis. The method the company is using, if successful, will create “a large surplus of clean, climate-friendly energy for commercial use,” according to the statement. 

“The long-term goal is energy production from fusion,” said Chief Executive Officer Thomas Forner. “The big milestone here is to get ignition.”


Source

Bloomberg

Date

September 22, 2021

Category

Business

Alex Rodriguez Is Back In His New York Yankees Uniform for Real-Life 'Field of Dreams' Game

Alex Rodriguez is suiting back up into his New York Yankees uniform!

The former Major League Baseball star, who retired from the Yankees in 2016, stepped back into his signature sports gear for the "Field of Dreams" game in Dyersville, Iowa. The Yankees and Chicago White Sox faced off at a specially-constructed ballpark next to the 1989 Field of Dreams film set on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The matchup marks the first MLB game ever played in the state of Iowa.

"Field of Dreams⚾️," Rodriguez, 46, captioned an Instagram video of himself in the cornfields. "Who has seen this movie?! Comment below your favorite moment."

Field of Dreams star Kevin Costner is also at the game, and spoke about seeing the dream of the movie's fictional field become a reality while talking to CBS This Morning early Thursday. Costner portrayed Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella in the film, who heard a voice in the cornfields telling him, "If you build it, he will come." Eventually, he builds a baseball field unlike any other.

"I think everybody is taken aback," Costner said. "Whenever you are a kid and see grass this nice, you know it should say 'keep off.' It's just a perfect field, and to see this thing, it really captured the hearts of America, this film, nobody saw it coming. I knew it was a great film and written beautifully but nobody saw this coming and to see what's happened here is fantastic."

"My two great friends who made giant movies, they didn't have to come make this. They could have done another blockbuster but instead they believed in this story," he recalled. "This thing has a heartbeat. That being said, this is a movie that could also have fallen right off the cliff and been incredibly goofy. It was just magical what happened."

Speaking to ET back in 2019, Costner revealed that starring in Field of Dreams "almost didn't happen."

"I remember the first time I first read it, I thought, 'Wow, this feels really special,'" he said, telling ET that he was slated to do a different movie, but a delay in production made room in his schedule. "That movie has struck a cord with people. You understand the power of movies when you see a movie like that become part of the vocabulary."

Source

ET

Date

August 12, 2021

Category

Media

Exclusive: A-Rod and Lore on how the Wolves purchase came together and their plans for Minnesota

Jon Krawczynski Aug 5, 2021

Seated next to each other in a Springfield, Mass., auditorium in May, Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore found themselves surrounded by NBA legends as they listened intently to Kevin Garnett give his Hall of Fame induction speech on the stage in front of them.

Just two days prior, Lore and Rodriguez signed documents setting up a succession plan with Glen Taylor that will culminate in the two friends from New York eventually becoming majority owners of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx. It had been a whirlwind negotiation, starting with a text message in March that opened the door, a pair of face-to-face meetings with Taylor in April to hammer out the deal and some final negotiations in May that locked down a $1.5 billion transaction in 45 dizzying days.

Now here they were, listening to the Timberwolves icon thank former executive Kevin McHale, the late Flip Saunders, some of his favorite teammates and pledge to rebuild the city of Minneapolis. It dawned on them right then and there: they now were representing a team that had become synonymous with KG, even if that relationship is strained now, and were preparing to be stewards of the same city that Garnett still holds close to his heart to this day.

“Kevin Garnett was giving this wonderful speech and we looked at each other and said, ‘Can you believe this?’ We’re two kids from New York who started at the bottom and now we’re part of this group,” Rodriguez told The Athletic.

“We both felt it at the same time,” Lore said. “It really hit us both. We looked at each other and we both knew what each one was thinking. We’re here. We’re owners. It’s a childhood dream.”

They had spoken with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver earlier in the evening, an unofficial welcome for a pair that had not yet received approval from the league’s board of governors (that came in July). During that evening, Lore wasn’t the entrepreneur who has built and sold businesses for millions, and sometimes billions, of dollars and has talked about building a “city of the future” with a reformed version of capitalism. Rodriguez wasn’t the ex-Yankee who hit homers and stirred controversy during his playing days, was engaged to Jennifer Lopez and has reinvented himself as a businessman and broadcaster in retirement. They were just two giddy friends taking selfies and preparing to join an NBA franchise looking for a jolt.

“Adam Silver came over and was very generous,” Rodriguez said. “We took a picture and were sending it to our moms and to our kids. That moment for me was like, ‘Oh my God, this thing is fucking happening.”

On its face, the marriage of a Minnesota basketball team run by one of the few legacy owners left in the NBA with a big-thinking tech mogul and a polarizing ex-baseball star doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But Taylor believes he has found the two partners for which he has long been searching — young, energetic and competitive — with more in common than meets the eye.

“You just felt when you shook their hands that you had a deal. Sometimes when you shake hands with people, I wonder if they’re going to come through,” Taylor said. “But I was really confident. How they do business is so similar to how I do business.”

While Timberwolves and Lynx fans bite their nails about the future of the teams in the Twin Cities after two outsiders have positioned themselves to take over, Lore and Rodriguez say that one of the biggest things they share in common with Taylor is a belief in the Minneapolis market.

“We can’t wait to immerse ourselves in the community. We’re both looking to get a place there. We’re going to spend a lot of time in Minnesota,” Lore said. “We’re going to get to know the people, the fans, the business community. It’s a great town. Couldn’t be more excited.”

Rodriguez called the Twin Cities, the 13th-largest media market in the NBA, “a huge asset” in their eyes as they looked at the pros and cons of buying the Wolves and Lynx.

“Marc and I love the town. Long term, our vision is Minnesota all the way,” Rodriguez said. “We love it. We think there’s tremendous upside. We think it’s a great corporate town. We think there’s great social opportunities to bring people together.”

Rodriguez called Minneapolis a favorite city of his to visit during his baseball days, but his ties don’t end there. He was an investor in the Chambers hotel downtown for a while and said he has invested in “a few thousand” apartment units in the area over the last two decades. Lore has connections from his business dealings as well.

Even if Lore and Rodriguez did want to move the team, they would be powerless to do so for at least another two years. They have invested their first $250 million and will have two more call options over the next two years to increase their holdings. Until then, Taylor is still calling the shots. But Rodriguez and Lore will have significant influence in the direction of the franchise even before they own a majority of the team, and they say that Minnesota is where they want to be.

“I think it’s one of the most underrated cities in the country,” Rodriguez said. “The summers, the lakes, we were just there for the Super Bowl a few years ago. I’m really excited. If this was somewhere else, I don’t think Marc and I would’ve done the deal. We certainly wouldn’t have been as excited.”

Taylor sees that as partial validation for the statements he has made throughout the process about his confidence the Timberwolves would be staying in Minnesota. But as much as Taylor trusts Lore and Rodriguez, words can only go so far. Taylor also believes that the NBA is fully committed to the Twin Cities market and would prefer expansion to Seattle and elsewhere over the Timberwolves relocating and breaking a Target Center lease that runs through 2035.

For Taylor, the partnership with Lore and Rodriguez was the culmination of a years-long search for someone to take over the franchise that he saved from moving in 1994. There were fits and starts along the way with several other potential buyers, but Lore and Rodriguez broke through and sealed a deal. When they signed the papers at Taylor’s winter home in Naples, Fla., on April 10, the longtime owner said he just had a feeling that his search was finally over.

“I felt really good,” Taylor said. “Everything up to that point was like, ‘I think these guys are really going to do it. I hope that they can.'”

They could, and they did.

Timberwolves CEO Ethan Casson’s phone buzzed on March 27, and he reached into his pocket to find a text message from Reed Bergman, the president and managing partner at VaynerTalent, a part of serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk’s media empire. Bergman and Casson had crossed paths over the years, most recently on Feb. 25, 2020 at a VaynerMedia event at the Hewing Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.

“Is the team still for sale?” the text read. “If it’s not done yet, I have an intriguing idea I want to run by you.”

Bergman is friends with Rodriguez and Lore, who had teamed up with Lopez last summer in an attempt to buy the New York Mets. Bergman told Casson that he thought Rodriguez and Lore would be a great fit in Minnesota and that the NBA was better suited to their sensibilities. Taylor was open to the discussion and, two days later, Casson was on a Zoom call with Rodriguez and Lore, who asked for a sober analysis of the Timberwolves, a team with one playoff appearance since 2004.

There was no sugarcoating. While the Lynx were the class of the WNBA, the Timberwolves had a lot of work to do. Season ticket numbers were dwindling amid the lack of success and the pandemic. Television ratings were down and corporate sponsorships were getting harder to come by as well in a saturated sports market. The arena leaves plenty to be desired as well. As he laid out the challenges, Casson said he noticed the interest from Lore and Rodriguez growing.

“I love it,” Rodriguez kept saying. “I love it.”

Other groups who have explored buying the team expressed reservations when they peeked behind the curtain. Lore and Rodriguez have teamed together to invest in various businesses, and they were undaunted. This is a growth stock for them, a team with revenues near the bottom of the league, but a media market just above the middle of the pack and a wealth of Fortune 500 companies in the area, presenting opportunities for partnerships.

“The piece that struck us early, Marc and Alex really leaned into the challenge of this opportunity,” Wolves COO Ryan Tanke said. “Beyond how much they cared about people and getting to know Glen and Becky, they loved the climb we have in front of us.”

Taylor, Lore and Rodriguez took part in a Zoom call on March 30 to get a feel for one another. The three hit it off, and that’s when things shifted into overdrive. For whatever reason, a sale process that had stagnated through the winter was starting to see green shoots breaking through the thawing ground in the spring. Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, former NBA player Arron Afflalo and Ryan Smith, who eventually bought the Utah Jazz, were among several groups to start sniffing around.

Lore and Rodriguez then made an important decision that would ultimately play a major role in their ability to complete a deal. After the promising initial conversation with Taylor, the two said they needed to meet Taylor and his wife, Becky, face to face to continue the discussions.

Through their research, Lore and Rodriguez knew that Taylor preferred to conduct business with a personal touch. That went double for the Timberwolves and Lynx. The Taylors see the two franchises as more than a business. It is a part of who they are and a gift of sorts from them to the community. After all, the Wolves nearly moved to New Orleans five years after entering the league when the original owners fell into dire financial straits. That is when Taylor swooped in out of nowhere to buy the team.

Taylor first started looking for a successor in 2012. Along the way, some interested parties walked away from negotiations believing Taylor never truly wanted to sell. First, there was his preference to have a buyer join first as a minority owner and ride shotgun for a few years before Taylor handed over the reins. More recently, some who explored the idea of buying the team believed that Taylor would change the terms anytime talks appeared to be progressing toward an agreement.

“I never got to the point where I wanted to get rid of it, but I was out there (trying to) sell it,” Taylor said. “I liked it. I enjoyed it. So I’m going to do it my way or I’m not going to do it.”

A big part of the Taylor way was to keep things simple, with no lawyers. He relied on face-to-face interactions and personal connections. Lore and Rodriguez wanted it that way as well, so they set about making plans to visit. Scheduling conflicts prevented them both from visiting at the same time, but the urgency to capitalize on the momentum created by their early conversations prompted Lore to fly to Naples for the first meeting on April 5th.

“I think it was all about just building that mutual trust early on, getting to know him and Becky,” Lore said. “We were at his home. We got to see where he lives and how he lives. We shared a lot about our background, about how we grew up.”

At first glance, it would be hard to identify similarities between the 80-year-old Taylor, who built his fortune in farming and agriculture and takes pride in spending most of his time at his home in Mankato, a city of 42,000 about a 90-minute drive from the Twin Cities, and the 50-year-old Lore and 46-year-old Rodriguez, two big-city guys with the cosmopolitan tastes to match. But the closer Casson looked, the more he started to see some commonality that could make a partnership work.

“There was something immediately apparent when they got together and shared their personal journeys,” Casson said. “They were all grounded from a very familiar place, albeit generations apart. And although Glen was always in search of the right framework of a deal, he was equally motivated to find partners that subtly reminded him of him.”

Lore prefers sushi for lunch on most days, but when he arrived at the Taylors’ winter home he found Becky Taylor cooking cheeseburgers on the grill, with potato salad and key lime pie for dessert. Casson and Tanke, Taylor’s two trusted allies, were there as well, and the process of peeling back the layers to find common ground began. Taylor and Lore both grew up in modest homes and ran track in their younger days, and they shared stories of their athletic exploits.

“We were both short-distance and low hurdles,” Taylor said. “We found out we did the same things, but it probably had to do with our physical makeup. We’re both not the tallest guys. They’re small things, but it’s interesting to talk to people who kind of went through the same things that we went through.”

Taylor shared stories of his ownership experiences in the NBA, how he built his business empire and told Lore what he was looking for in a partner. Lore shared some of his core values and spoke about the importance of establishing relationships within the organization and learning from Taylor’s quarter-century of experience in the league. He told Taylor that he and Rodriguez preferred a timeline that allows them to gradually assume the roles of principal owners.

“We all shared a common set of values,” Lore said. “It was just nice. It wasn’t lawyers. It wasn’t bankers involved. It was principal to principal. There was trust involved. We were all vulnerable. We shared things. We were open. And we also didn’t treat it like a typical private equity deal.”

After lunch, everyone went outside to the patio for more conversation. Taylor then went to his office, returned with five sheets of printer paper and handed one to each member of the group. On it was a simple, five-line chart with Taylor’s asking price right at the top. For Taylor, it harkened back to when he bought the Timberwolves from Marv Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner. In that meeting, he wrote out his offer on a yellow legal pad, no frills, no binding, one sheet. That offer was for $88 million. This one was $1.5 billion, on a sheet of paper faxed from his Taylor Corp. office in Mankato to his personal office in Naples.

“Marc, if I’m you, the first thing I’m wondering is, ‘How did Glen come up with $1.5 billion,” Taylor told Lore that day. “The honest answer, Marc, is I just want it.”

There was a long pause and then … “OK.”

“I think anyone else in that position would say, ‘OK that’s your starting offer. Now I’m going to go into deal mode and negotiate it. I’m going to take a slice out of it,'” Lore said. “He meant what he said. He said I’m just being honest. I’m not trying to get the most I can for the team. This is a fair price and this is what I’m looking for.”

Lore and Rodriguez discussed it and then went to work to make it happen. They knew that number was important to Taylor. They also knew that Taylor may be 80 years old and from a small town in Minnesota, but he was not to be underestimated or disrespected.

“Sometimes as a dealmaker, you really need to know when to accept the terms as they are and when to negotiate,” Lore said. “This was one of those times where the right decision was to just accept the terms as they were.”

That is what Taylor had been waiting to hear. From there, Lore, Rodriguez, Casson and Tanke went to work to hammer out the finer points of the deal over the next three days. By Thursday of that week, three days after Lore visited Taylor, they had the economic framework of an agreement in place.

“We just didn’t run into anything,” Taylor said. “Right from the very beginning we decided what we were going to do, and everything those guys said, we did. Working with the lawyers, they all were able to work those things out. There was no argument or disagreement. Some people just want to nickel and dime you to death on some issue and they won’t give you an inch. They weren’t that way. It was really a neat way to do business.”

On Friday morning, April 9, Casson and Tanke presented Taylor and his attorney, Greg Jackson, with the primary framework. After nine years of looking for a deal, Taylor said to Casson, “If these guys will do this, I’m in.”

“To Marc and Alex’s credit, they never deviated or wavered,” Casson said. “They said they wanted to do a deal, they wanted it to work for Glen and we want to be your partners and learn from you and so what type of deal do you need to see to bring this to fruition.”

It wasn’t until then that Rodriguez and Lore started to inform the people around them of how truly close they were to buying the Timberwolves and Lynx. From that point, attorneys and advisors for both sides got involved to construct the official document. From the first call with Taylor to the firm handshake on a $1.5 billion transaction with a unique, two-and-a-half-year runway: 12 days.

“The key is so many people when they get into these negotiations, they have to counter,” Rodriguez said. “If they don’t counter, they don’t feel good about themselves. I think one of the things we did well, we believed him. We came up with a fair price and we moved up on pretty quickly.”  

But there was one more step to take. Rodriguez had yet to visit face-to-face with Taylor. He was finishing up the final tweaks to the paperwork from the Masters in Augusta, Ga., on Friday night and felt it important to fly down to Naples to finish it in person.

“Well, Alex, I didn’t recognize you without your pinstripes,” Taylor joked when Rodriguez arrived.

It was Taylor’s way of breaking the ice. Rodriguez’s tenure with the New York Yankees certainly caused controversy, but he was particularly villainized in Minnesota, where the Twins have lost 18 straight playoff games dating to 2004. Thirteen of those losses have come against the Yankees. Taylor told Rodriguez playfully that he was always rooting against him when the Yankees played the Twins, but he also wanted to ask about his career as a whole, the good and the bad.

“He was frank and open about everything,” Taylor said.

One of Taylor’s go-to stories goes back to his original negotiations to buy the team. As that process was wrapping up, then-Commissioner David Stern sent a wingman named Adam Silver out to Minneapolis to find out if Taylor was legit. Silver came up to the small hotel room Taylor had rented while he was in town from Mankato. It was so small that Silver and Taylor had to sit on the bed together while they called Stern. The call lasted so long that they eventually leaned back against the pillows and kicked their feet up.

“Not lying on the bed, but sort of as if you were reading a book, on each side of the bed, having a conversation with each other and David Stern,” Silver told The Athletic last year. “Lying on this queen-size bed in a hotel room and talking through the deal with David.”

Did history repeat itself with A-Rod?

“I told them the story,” Taylor said. “That’s as close as we got to that.”

Rodriguez soaked it all in and reiterated to Taylor how much he was looking forward to learning from him over the next few years. Rodriguez and Lore are both big sports fans, but they are just starting to learn about the intricacies of the NBA, from the business to the rosters to the collective bargaining agreement.

“He reminded me of a college professor, someone who has all this information and is willing to lean in,” Rodriguez said. “From the jump, I just felt we were aligned from the vision and him wanting to be partners. He was a delight to deal with.”

Lore had pre-signed the papers before Rodriguez arrived. Taylor and Rodriguez were able to finish the process at the table in Naples. In the end, Taylor just felt comfortable not only with the financial wherewithal of Lore and Rodriguez, but of their leadership style, their vision for the Wolves and Lynx and their ability to work together to make that happen.  

“It was critically important to me in how they treat people under different circumstances,” Taylor said. “When you ask a question like how did you get where you are, what risks did you take? Both of these guys took risks to get where they are. Completely different risks. But they took risks to get where they were. I know a lot about that because I’ve had to do that myself. Nothing was given to me. That type of thing struck me as people that I was intrigued with and thought I could work with.”

Tanke is convinced that the decision to see Taylor twice at his home is what ultimately sealed the deal. It may sound trite or corny, but Taylor has always preferred it this way. And with one of just 30 teams in the league to sell, he could afford to be demanding.

“Everyone was focused on the what and not the who,” Tanke said. “Marc and Alex were genuinely interested in the who and wanted to understand what was important to Glen. Why hasn’t Glen found the right partner? Why hasn’t the team already been sold? They were truly curious about the who and the why and not just the what.”

Rodriguez and Lore may only hold a 20 percent stake in the team right now, but they are planning to hit the ground running. They will work with Casson and Tanke on any changes they want to implement right away, and Taylor will have the final say. Lore and Rodriguez are being counted on to bring a new energy and perspective to an organization that is trying to shock the system in the Twin Cities sports scene.

“This was a big idea,” Tanke said. “To reinvent the organization, it had to be bold. I don’t know that you can find bolder or more transformational than Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez and that became a really great jumping-off point for the rest of the week.”

They already have plans to introduce technological advancements to the fan experience at Target Center, but Lore said they will be deliberate in examining other aspects of the organization. They have studied other franchises and ownership groups and have noticed that new owners often make mistakes early by getting too aggressive. And they don’t feel the need to rush because they’re planning on being here for a while.

“Glen had the team for almost 30 years. We’re thinking similarly,” Lore said. “We’re going to have this team for at least the next 30 years. … We don’t think we have all the answers. We’re not ready, quite frankly, to be making all the decisions right now.”

They are joining a team that showed some promise down the stretch with Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell fully healthy, coach Chris Finch getting his system established and Anthony Edwards blossoming into a dynamic scoring threat. But they have been whisper-quiet in free agency to this point, and it appears they will rely heavily on internal improvement to move up from 13th in the Western Conference this season into the playoff conversation.

In some respects, that makes the additions of the two owners-in-waiting even more important. Glen and Becky are still fixtures courtside during games, but the pandemic protocols have led to less direct interaction with the franchises. Lore and Rodriguez figure to be plugged into the day-to-day operations to try to push the teams forward.

“I need them to be ambitious because I’m not there every day to lead them,” Taylor said. “You want somebody that believes like you do that we can grow this company, we can do better, we’re not satisfied with what’s happening.”

Rodriguez and Lore plan to be in Las Vegas next week for Summer League, their first official appearance as NBA owners since they were approved by the Board of Governors. They sure felt like owners in that Springfield auditorium for KG’s Hall of Fame speech, enough for Lore’s throat to catch as he thought about the dreams he had as a child first to be a professional athlete, and then to own a team.

“For Alex, that dream came true. For me, it didn’t,” Lore said. “I’m a little bit shorter and less athletic. Once you realize that’s not possible, the next natural thing is ‘Well, then I want to own a team someday.’ … Just thinking about it through that lens as a kid, that giddiness came right back as an adult. I was able to say, ‘Wow, if I was able to tell my teenage self that I had this dream and it’s going to happen one day, no way I would’ve believed it.'”

(Top photo images courtesy of Getty. Design by Wes McCabe)

Source

The Athletic

Date

August 5, 2021

Category

Business

CGI Merchant Group's Alex Rodriguez-backed fund acquires South Beach hotel

A 90-year-old beachfront hotel in Miami Beach recently traded for an undisclosed amount.

Miami-based CGI Merchant Group purchased the Celino South Beach hotel at 640 Ocean Drive, which will reopen this fall under the Curio Collection by Hilton. The purchase marks CGI Merchant Group's first major acquisition in South Florida using its newly created $650 million hospitality investment fund.

The fund made waves when it launched in December with the announcement that former baseball star and current ESPN commentator Alex Rodriguez joined as an investor.

Alex Rodriguez is among the investors in CGI Merchant Group's $650 million hospitality fund.

The Celino South Beach hotel, built in 1930, has 132 guest rooms, including 26 suites. The property is comprised of four buildings, including the historic Park Central Hotel, Heathcote Apartments and the Imperial Hotel.

All hotels purchased under CGI Merchant Group's hospitality fund will become Hilton-branded hotels, the company announced.

Besides this new acquisition, CGI also owns the Gabriel Miami, Curio Collection by Hilton hotel in downtown Miami. The hotel reopened this summer.

"This is a critical step in our mission to breathe new conscious energy into the hospitality space across the vibrant Florida market and beyond," said CGI Merchant Group CEO and founder Raoul Thomas, who leads the fund.

CGI Merchant Group founder Raoul Thomas at the Gabriel Miami.

Celino South Beach was previously owned by Park Central Partners LLC, an LLC led by Ricardo Tabet, CEO of Optimum Development USA, according to county records. Park Central Partners purchased the 26,000-square-foot lot for $34.1 million in 2013.

According to CGI Merchant Group, the company's hospitality fund will debut a new hotel brand later this year.

After a lull, investors are buying more hotel properties in South Florida. The biggest hotel sale of the year so far remains the purchase of the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort for $270 million in June.

Source

South Florida Business Journal

Date

August 5, 2021

Category

Business

Hims & Hers Partners With Alex Rodriguez to Launch Blur Stick Concealer

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hims & Hers, the multi-specialty telehealth platform focused on providing modern personalized health and wellness experiences to all consumers, has partnered with Alex Rodriguez to launch The Blur Stick – a new skincare solution developed specifically for men. Built to complement fan-favorite Hims products such as the Goodnight Wrinkle Cream and Customized Acne Cream, the new Blur Stick features premium ingredients like jojoba oil and aloe extract packaged in a sleek, travel-friendly tube that glides on quickly and provides long-lasting coverage for a diverse range of skin tones and textures. The Hims Blur Stick ($22) is available in eight unique shades exclusively at www.forhims.com.

Whether he is on the field or in the boardroom, Alex Rodriguez is focused on excellence in his routine. On the hunt for a product that could help him look and feel his best, covering the occasional blemish or dark circle without sacrificing on quality or convenience, Alex realized there were few options on the market for men. As an early investor, Alex turned to the skincare experts at Hims & Hers, knowing the team could develop an innovative product to meet this need. The result was The Blur Stick – a small-but-mighty concealer that applies easily across the face and neck to provide moisturizing, sweatproof coverage whenever and wherever the need may arise.

“Since I met the Hims & Hers team, it was clear to me that they were revolutionizing telehealth and direct-to-consumer products,” said Alex Rodriguez, CEO & Chairman of A-Rod Corp. and investor in Hims & Hers. “Like other Hims & Hers products, accessibility and convenience were central to the development of the Blur Stick. For years, I have been looking for something I can use to touch-up a blemish or razor bump quickly and discreetly, and the Hims & Hers product development team has delivered it.”

Sharing more about the decision to create The Blur Stick, Hims & Hers co-founder and CEO Andrew Dudum commented, “Breaking through stigmas and addressing ‘embarrassing’ topics head-on is core to what we do at Hims & Hers. To some guys, a few pimples or razor burn might seem like no big deal, but for many it’s something that can really weigh on their self-confidence and there weren’t many viable solutions out there to address that. I’m so grateful to be working with Alex on bringing this product to life and I think it will help a lot of people feel more comfortable and confident in their skin.”

The Blur Stick is available in eight shades ranging from fair to deep and comes packaged in a sleek container with a screw-top lid that makes carrying it throughout the day mess- and hassle-free. The tube—the size of a lip balm—has ingredients that soothe and moisturize while providing quick, smooth coverage that can seamlessly hide dark undereye circles and camouflage blemishes in a matter of seconds. The Blur Stick is the newest addition to the Hims & Hers suite of skincare products that also includes a selection of moisturizers, serums and supplements along with access to customizable Rx solutions for anti-aging and acne.

For more information please visit www.forhims.com.

About Hims & Hers

Hims & Hers is a multi-specialty telehealth platform that connects consumers to licensed healthcare professionals, enabling them to access high-quality medical care for numerous conditions related to primary care, mental health, sexual health, dermatology, and more. Launched in November 2017, the company also offers thoughtfully created and curated health and wellness products. With products and services available across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., Hims & Hers is able to provide access to quality, convenient and affordable care for all Americans. Hims & Hers was founded by CEO Andrew Dudum, Hilary Coles, Jack Abraham and Joe Spector at venture studio Atomic in San Francisco, California. For more information about Hims & Hers, please visit forhims.com and forhers.com.

About Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez is Chief Executive Officer of Slam Corp and the founder and CEO of A-Rod Corp. While best known as one of the world’s greatest athletes (a 14-time MLB All-Star and a 2009 World Series Champion with the New York Yankees), Mr. Rodriguez has transitioned to full-time investing. At A-Rod Corp, he leads a team of experts working to build high-growth businesses and enhance the value of more than 30 companies in the firm’s portfolio. He founded A-Rod Corp in 2003, purchasing a duplex apartment building on the theory that investing his MLB earnings wisely would protect him from the kinds of financial struggles that afflict too many professional athletes. Subsequently purchasing apartment units across the southeastern U.S., Mr. Rodriguez built a fully integrated real estate and development company. Following his success in real estate, he has invested in a variety of sectors where he has expertise, including sports, wellness, media and entertainment, and technology. Mr. Rodriguez has been a judge and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank, mentored financially distressed ex-athletes on CNBC’s Back in the Game, and currently co-hosts the podcast The Corp with Barstool Sports’ Dan Katz, interviewing CEOs, entrepreneurs, and sports legends. Committed to creating opportunities for young people to succeed, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade and the Boards of Trustees for the University of Miami and The Paley Center for Media. He is also an Emmy Award-winning MLB analyst for Fox Sports and ESPN.

Contacts

Linda O'Connor
press@forhims.com

Source

Business Wire

Date

May 20, 2021

Category

Business

The How-To Issue: Mature as an Investor

In addition to his company, which oversees the former MLB All-Star’s real estate holdings and investment portfolio, Rodriguez also runs a special purpose acquisition company and venture capital firm with former Walmart Inc. executive Marc Lore.

As a player, you’re presented with endorsement or licensing deals where you can rent your name and walk away. As an investor or owner, you have to be much more involved—it’s a different level of responsibility.

We’ve seen this power shift with personal brands becoming as powerful as big institutions. Now athletes and entertainers have a seat at the table with these conglomerates and can compete for the same asset, which would have been unthinkable 10 years ago.

As a professional athlete, you learn to go narrow and deep. You train to be perfect—or at least try. You learn from your coaches. It’s the same as an investor. You adopt attributes from mentors. I’ve learned that we can be good at a lot of things but can’t be great at everything. Narrow and deeper plays, where we invest our energy and interests, are the most worthwhile. By investing with that philosophy, others begin to learn what you like, and we’re presented with better opportunities.

To ensure we’re allocating resources where it makes sense, we like to move quickly and say no to deals that don’t fit. People appreciate clear communication, and even if that first deal doesn’t work out, it can be the beginning of a relationship. Declining certain deals properly and responsibly often creates future opportunities. —As told to Jason Kelly.

Link to full interview: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2021-05-19/a-rod-sees-level-playing-field-in-spac-space-video

By Jason Kelly

Source

Bloomberg Businessweek

Date

May 18, 2021

Category

Business

Alex Rodriguez’s Next Act: Buying the Minnesota Timberwolves

The retired MLB star and entrepreneur Marc Lore will pay $1.5 billion for the NBA’s Wolves and WNBA’s Lynx after their failed bid to acquire the New York Mets.

Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards, the No. 1 pick in last year’s NBA draft, was asked last month if he was a fan of the person who was negotiating to buy his team: former Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez. 

“I don’t know who that is,” he said. 

Edwards will soon know him as his boss: Rodriguez and billionaire entrepreneur Marc Lore reached a deal to purchase the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx for $1.5 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

While the agreement is pending league approval, the teams confirmed the sale in a Friday statement. 

The deal positions Rodriguez, a generational athletic talent who was suspended for doping and then became a face of baseball in retirement, to be a significant presence in basketball for decades to come. Glen Taylor, the billionaire Minnesota businessman who owns the team, has said he expected to remain involved through 2023, when Rodriguez and Lore would take over as the controlling owners. 

It’s the latest unexpected turn of events in the post-MLB career of Rodriguez, the former New York Yankees third baseman and one of the greatest players in his sport’s history, who also served a year-long suspension for his use of performance-enhancing drugs. But he has been able to rehabilitate a badly damaged public image after his playing career was over. He embraced broadcasting, shined on Fox Sports and ESPN’s telecasts and branded himself a charismatic business mogul on social media as the chief executive officer of A-Rod Corp. 

His successful pursuit of the Wolves comes after he failed to buy the New York Mets last year. Rodriguez was bidding for the Yankees’ rival as part of a group with Lore and the pop star and his ex-fiancée Jennifer Lopez—they called off their engagement last month in a split made for the tabloids—but they lost to the deeper pockets of hedge-fund titan Steven A. Cohen. 

What nobody expected at the time was that he would soon be the owner of another team in another sport. 

Taylor, 80, bought the Wolves in 1994 for less than $100 million and kept the team in his native Minnesota in the face of pressure to relocate. The Wolves have been in the wilderness for more than a decade—this will be their 16th playoffs absence in 17 seasons—and Taylor openly flirted with selling the team several times throughout his ownership, including as recently as last year. 

But it registered as a huge surprise across the NBA when Taylor opened negotiations last month with Rodriguez and Lore, the founder of Jet.com and U.S. e-commerce chief for Walmart Inc. before leaving the retail giant in January, in a deal that came together quickly and promised to bring glitz to a franchise that struggles to attract marquee talent. 

After their exclusive 30-day window to strike a deal expired this week, they kept negotiating after the deadline to hammer out the final details. 

Taylor has said that Rodriguez and Lore pledged to keep the team in Minnesota and he wouldn’t have sold to them otherwise.

The sale of the Wolves makes them the second NBA team to change hands since the pandemic ravaged sports business, and it makes Rodriguez, 45, and Lore, 49, the newest members of a class of younger owners poised to reshape the league. This changing of the guard includes people with billions at their disposal after striking it rich in tech, venture capital and private equity. 

The deal also puts Rodriguez and Lore on track to own the Wolves when they might actually be good. The team’s recent misery put Minnesota in position to build through the NBA draft, and intriguing young prospects like former No. 1 picks Karl-Anthony Towns and Edwards have flashed signs of promise this season despite the team’s record. 

But it’s also unclear whether Rodriguez’s fame will resonate with a generation of basketball players who don’t follow baseball. Not long after Edwards was confused by his existence, Rodriguez shared a clip on Instagram and introduced himself. 

“Hi Anthony,” he wrote. “I’m Alex!” 

“What’s good my guy,” Edwards wrote back with the grinning-while-sweating emoji. 

Write to Ben Cohen at ben.cohen@wsj.com

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the May 15, 2021, print edition as 'A-Rod Teams Up With Billionaire to Purchase Timberwolves.'


Source

The Wall Street Journal

Date

May 14, 2021

Category

Business

Boys & Girls Clubs of America Announces 2021 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees

ATLANTA – (May 5, 2021) – Boys & Girls Clubs of America will induct seven new Club alumni into their Alumni Hall of Fame tonight during the youth advocacy organization’s virtual 115th Annual Conference. The ceremony will honor seven Boys & Girls Club Alumni, who have made major contributions in their fields, including sports, government, and music.

This year’s inductees, the “Class of 2021,” include: Tara August, Vice President of Turner Sports Talent Relations and Special Projects; Ciara, Grammy Award Winning Singer/Songwriter; The Honorable Jerry Demings, Mayor of Orange County; Frank Layden, former NBA and WNBA coach; Ricardo Lockette, retired NFL special teams player and wide receiver; Titus O’Neil, WWE Global Ambassador, philanthropist and author; and Alex Rodriguez, entrepreneur, philanthropist and MLB All Star.

The honorees have forged unique, successful paths as adults, but a shared Boys & Girls Club foundation of education, support and community brought to them through invaluable programs, attentive staff, and the connections made with other Club youth.

Boys & Girls Club celebrates the achievements of alumni each year with the annual induction ceremony.

“We are proud to recognize another group of outstanding Club alumni for this 2021 class. Each one provides true inspiration for our Boys & Girls Club youth, making it clear that they can accomplish their dreams,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “With shared beginnings at Boys & Girls Club, inductees exemplify what we aim to accomplish for our youth. Given community and encouragement to grow, and opportunities to succeed, they can go on to make their mark in the world.”

The Boys & Girls Club Alumni & Friends estimates there are more than 16 million living Club alumni today, with each individual being an important piece of our story and mission. More information on this year’s inductees:

Tara August
Boys & Girls Club of Greater San Diego

Tara August was 8 when she started going to the Club. She was struck by how many women worked there. Women coached them, taught them skills, urged teamwork, helped with homework. Seeing women lead the Club on a regular basis was life-changing for Tara. Today, she is Vice President of Turner Sports Talent Relations and Special Projects. In a male-dominated field, she has risen through the ranks to managing some of the biggest names in sports, including Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Pedro Martinez. Tara facilitates on-air production, sales, marketing and promotional activities, serving as primary liaison to all sport teams, leagues, agents, and celebrities to facilitate contract negotiations and guest bookings. Tara August is also a Southeast Trustee for Boys & Girls Club of America.

Ciara
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta

Ciara Princess Harris was born in Killeen, Texas. As the only child of U.S. service members, she grew up all over, including Germany, New York, California and Atlanta, where she discovered the Boys & Girls Club. The Club was like an extended family for Ciara, with welcoming staff members who built strong bonds with all the kids. By age 14, Ciara was a talented singer and dancer. At 16, she signed her first record contract and, at age 19, released her debut album “Goodies,” which sold 5 million copies. Over her 15-year career, she has sold over 23 million records and 22 million singles. Ciara enjoys visiting Clubs to share her journey with members to let them know anything is possible.

The Honorable Jerry Demings
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

At the Carver Shores Boys Club, the close-knit Clubhouse provided Jerry Demings and his twin brother, Terry, a safe, steady space with mentors, structure, plenty of activities, and opportunities to meet new people and make new friends. Jerry’s Club experience also allowed him to develop leadership skills that provided the foundation for future success. After graduating Florida State University, Jerry embarked on a career in public service. He has since served as police chief of Orlando, sheriff for Orange County was elected Mayor of Orange Count in 2018, overseeing more than 8,000 employees and a $4.9 billion budget. He was the first African American to hold each one of those positions.  

Frank Layden
Flatbush Boys Club in Brooklyn, New York

Frank Layden was born in 1932 in Brooklyn, New York. From early on, Frank loved basketball and was known as one of Brooklyn’s best young players by the time he reached high school. His local Club invited Frank to join their basketball team. Playing for the Club provided Frank with tremendous exposure and led to Niagara University awarding him a basketball scholarship. After a post-college army stint, Frank became a high school teacher and basketball coach. He ultimately coached 10 years in high school, 10 years in college and 13 years in the NBA and WNBA. In 1984, he was named NBA Coach of the Year and NBA Executive of the Year.  

Ricardo Lockette
Boys & Girls Club of Albany, Georgia

The Club had it all for Ricardo Lockette. It is where he learned to swim, make art, use computers and show he was more than an athlete. Befriending Club kids of diverse ethnicities and backgrounds broadened Ricardo’s horizons and made it clear it was okay to be different. After graduating from high school, Ricardo played football at Fort Valley State University. In 2011, he signed with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent. As a standout special teams player and wide receiver, Ricardo became a fan favorite and a Super Bowl champ. Ricardo is now a player advisor for the Harvard Football Players Health Study, a research program that aims to make the game safer and address the well-being and health of former NFL players.  

Titus O'Neil
Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, Florida

WWE Global Ambassador Titus O’Neil, aka Thaddeus Bullard, attended Delray Beach Boys & Girls Club at the age of 8 as a safe place to go after school. When he couldn’t afford to sign up for a local youth football league, a Club counselor paid his registration fee. He excelled on the gridiron, earning a scholarship to the University of Florida, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in administrative education. After a stint in the NFL, O’Neil pursued a career in sports entertainment, and eventually signed with WWE where he has become WWE Tag Team Champion, the first-ever 24/7 Champion and was recently inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as the Warrior Award recipient, an award given to an individual who exhibits unwavering strength and perseverance and who lives life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of The Ultimate Warrior.  He is known for his humanitarian work outside the ring as much as his work inside WWE and created the Bullard Family Foundation to provide children and families in need with programs and resources to help build character, develop relationships, and strengthen the communities around them.  In addition to the Boys & Girls Clubs, O’Neil also supports The Special Olympics and Pop Warner Football.

Alex Rodriguez
Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade

Before Alex Rodriguez became a baseball star, he learned to play the game at the Hank Kline Boys & Girls Club in Miami. Alex was 9 when met unit director and baseball coach Eddie Rodriguez. Though not related, Eddie was like a father to Alex. By high school, Alex was a brilliant baseball player who led his team to the state championship. He stayed a Club member until 1993, when the Seattle Mariners made him the #1 pick in the Major League Baseball draft. Alex went on to be one of the most famous players in baseball history. Over a 22-year career, he was named AL MVP three times, hit nearly 700 home runs and became a world champion. He is now a television baseball analyst for Fox Sports and ESPN, and a board member for Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade and also for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

For more information on Boys & Girls Clubs Alumni & Friends or to join the community go to www.bgca.org/alumni.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA.org) has provided a safe place for kids and teens to learn and grow. Clubs offer caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Boys & Girls Clubs programming promotes academic success, good character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles. More than 4,700 Clubs serve 4.6 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America on Facebook or Twitter.

Media Contacts

Sara Leutzinger
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
404-487-5624
sleutzinger@bgca.org


Source

Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Date

May 5, 2021

Category

Impact

Alex Rodriguez and his Hall of Fame roster of Business’s top mentors (Excerpted from Forbes)

A-Rod, 45, one of the top earning athletes ever, has amassed a fortune of at least $400 million based on Forbes estimates. Rodriguez has used his star power, network of billionaire business leaders, and roughly $130 million in take-home pay (after deducting taxes, fees, and A-list spending and before compounded interest) to build A-Rod Inc—a sprawling portfolio with stakes in tech start-ups, trophy high-rises, construction firms, hospitality companies, and thousands of multi-family homes. “I came from very little,” says Rodriguez, whose family was often pushed out of apartments by rising rents. “I remember as a young boy, getting down to my knees and praying that one day, I would trade places with the landlord.” 

Rodriguez realized early on that he needed to start investing. "Your baseball career will take you to your mid-30s, if you’re lucky. While you’re old on the baseball field, you’re a kid in the business community,” says Rodriguez, who, following the lead of many MLB team owners, has plowed his earnings into investment properties. “I loved that as your playing career winds down, your real estate should be appreciating.” 

For advice, he leaned heavily on other sports and business moguls, like NBA great Magic Johnson. “Alex was the first athlete I met who really committed to be a great businessman. He was really serious so we clicked right away,” says Johnson, who made a fortune investing in sports, food, entertainment and real estate. “It’s funny how we’re so much alike. We don’t gravitate towards mediocrity. We want to be the best so we get with the best and do what it takes to get into those rooms with powerful people that have accomplished things we aspire to.” 

On road trips with the Rangers and Yankees, Rodriguez would reach out to the most powerful people in the city. “Magic taught me that when you go into all these cities, pick up the phone to see [if] the top business folks in town will meet you for lunch and you’ll be surprised at how many people will say yes,” says Rodriguez. “The trade was pretty simple. They taught me business. I taught them baseball. It was a good currency exchange.” 

For two decades, A-Rod collected business mentors the same way fanboys accumulate sports memorabilia. In 2000, after learning that Berkshire Hathaway had insured part of his record-breaking $252 million contract with his then team, the Texas Rangers, A-Rod cold-called Buffett’s longtime assistant Debbie Bosanek. “I said ‘It looks like Warren and I are in business together,” says Rodriguez. The call launched a twenty-year long friendship. 

A-Rod laughs when recalling how he wrangled his way into White Sox billionaire owner Jerry Reinsdorf’s office dripping in sweat, dragging orange dirt from the field behind him and still wearing his metal cleats after batting practice. “First of all, I probably smelled terrible,” says A-Rod. “Second, we never talked about baseball—it was all business.” 

A-Rod impressed Reinsdorf with his early portfolio and eagerness to learn. “He had been acquiring a lot of apartments in Florida and I told him the sunbelt was a good market,” says Reinsdorf. “I also told him he should try to acquire his assets relatively in the same geographic region so it’s easier to manage.” 

Rodriguez says there is one lesson he still follows. “Jerry said ‘Alex, if your occupancy is at 99%, your rents are too low; 88% means rent is too high. You should always be dancing around 95%.’And that's been our policy over the past 15 years.” 

There’s also an eagerness to teach himself the ropes. “In all the years I’ve known him, Alex has never shown up for a meeting without a notebook and five minutes after he leaves I always get a follow up with a to-do list,” says Mary Callahan Erdoes, CEO of J.P. Morgan’s $3.8 trillion asset and wealth management division.

A-Rod has plowed much of his energy and money into real estate in now red-hot southeastern Florida. Since inception, A-Rod Corp. has amassed a stake in more than 14,000 multifamily residential properties and developed more than 15 million square feet of real estate. The majority of the investments run through Monument Capital Management, which Rodriguez co-founded in 2012 to focus on multifamily developments. Monument’s playbook is to buy properties at a 15% to 25% discount, fix them up with its own construction team and, after years of appreciation, sell for a profit. 

It has since launched four funds, which hold properties worth at least $270 million net of debt, according to data provider Real Capital Analytics. Rodriguez won’t disclose how much of his cash he’s plowed into Monument’s funds, his stake in the firm or the company’s fee structure, but others say he’s hitting it out of the ballpark. “He convinced me to invest in his real estate funds, which have had incredible returns—amongst the best of anyone in the space,” says hedge-fund billionaire Daniel Loeb, who Rodriguez met at Art Basel in Miami over a decade ago. 

Says billionaire Jonathan Gray, the COO of private equity and real estate giant Blackstone: “It's clear that he has this attraction to real estate and a very good instinct to do a lot of it in rental housing where there's been a shortage of quality housing.” 

The cash flow from Monument has built a foundation for flashier bets. A-Rod has more than a dozen strategic joint ventures including deals with billionaire real-estate financier Barry Sternlicht of Starwood Capital, property management firm Stonehedge and Miami-based CGI Merchant Group. For the CGI deal, which was announced in mid-December, A-Rod is using his starpower to help raise $650 million to buy and develop hotel properties in white-hot Miami and other locales. (It recently announced a $30 million investment into Atlanta’s Morris Brown College with plans to convert it into a luxury hotel and training center). 

While he’s hung up his bat for good, A-Rod remains as competitive as ever. “The thing that people don’t see is Alex has a relentless pursuit of being the best,” [Jennifer] Lopez says. “It’s one thing to want it, and another thing to accomplish what he has already done.”


Source

Forbes

Date

April 19, 2021

Category

Business

Athletes Pitch Wall Street’s Hot New Toy, but Not Just to Their Fans

Super Bowl winners, N.B.A. greats and tennis royalty are tied up with blank-check companies. That can help SPACs sell themselves to start-up targets in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Madison Avenue has long known that athletes can sell almost anything. From soda to sneakers to car insurance, consumers eagerly snap up whatever their favorite sweat-drenched star is pitching.

Now a growing number of big-name athletes are taking their talents to Wall Street. Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes and Eli Manning, the tennis champion Serena Williams and the basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal are just a few of the stars lining up to sell SPACs — the so-called blank-check companies that are surging in popularity as an alternative way for buzzy start-ups, often with little or no profits, to go public.

But they’re not just there to draw in dollars: Athletes provide star power that can be a crucial asset when SPACs — special purpose acquisition companies — are courting start-ups for a merger deal.

“Certain athletes carry a certain weight that gives them the ability to generate exposure and create buzz, whether it’s in the sports world or in the finance world — and so I think that that’s the ultimate motivation behind a lot of it,” said Ryan Nece, who had a seven-year career as a linebacker in the National Football League. Now he is a managing partner at the investment firm Next Play Capital, which has been approached about starting a SPAC but has no plans to do so — yet.

SPACs are in a race against the clock from the moment they make their shares available in an initial public offering. They generally have just two years to close a deal for a target company, or they must return the money raised from investors. And with SPACs being formed at a record pace, athletes can be useful partners when trying to close a deal — or simply getting a foot in the door.

Last year, 256 special purpose acquisition companies went public, raising $83 billion from investors, which was more than five times the record of $15.5 billion in 2019, according to Dealogic, a data provider. The competition has grown only more heated: As of Wednesday, 295 SPACs had gone public in 2021, raising $93 billion and breaking last year’s record in a matter of months.

About a fifth of the SPACs launched since the start of last year involved a sports figure or focused on acquiring a sports-related business, according to the trade publication Sportico, which is keeping tabs on every new SPAC filing.

Kristi Marvin, founder of SPACinsider, which collects data on the market, said adding an athlete to a board brought marketing clout. “It’s really not geared to the retail investor, but it’s geared to getting meetings with target companies to do deals,” she said.

Consider a $300 million financing deal to complete the merger of NewHold Investment, a SPAC, with Evolv Technology. It included a number of hedge funds but also several famous athletes, such as the tennis power couple Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi and the soon-to-be Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. NewHold’s backers hope that adding star power to the deal will help attract customers for its crowd-screening technology, which is aimed at stadiums, arenas and schools, said a person who was briefed on the matter but not authorized to speak publicly.

Often, an athlete can be added to a SPAC’s board or advisory committee at little cost to the management group running it. Directors are usually compensated with shares, and some advisory board positions are unpaid until a deal gets done.

But some athletes are not content to merely add their names to someone else’s SPAC.

They include Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who is trying to raise $287 million for a SPAC with a focus on social justice, and Alex Rodriguez, a three-time most valuable player who retired from the New York Yankees in 2016 at No. 4 on the career home run list.

Mr. Rodriguez is the chief executive of his own SPAC, Slam Corp, which he established in February, and may sit on the board of whatever company it acquires. He said he and his partners had already seen more than 70 potential targets after raising $500 million.

Raising money through a SPAC allows his investment firm, A-Rod Corp, to take on opportunities that were out of reach before, he said.

“What has been the barrier for entry for us has been capital — and this levels out the playing field,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

He and his partner in Slam Corp, the hedge fund manager Himanshu Gulati, are looking to acquire a business in the sports, media, or health and wellness industry — but not a sports team, he said. (Mr. Rodriguez was also an investor in the telehealth company Hims and Hers, which went public in a SPAC transaction valuing the firm at $1.6 billion last year.)

Rich Kleiman, manager and business adviser to Kevin Durant, the All-Star forward for the Brooklyn Nets, said having an athlete on an advisory board of a SPAC might help get a meeting with a company. Mr. Durant, he said, had been approached about such an arrangement but decided against it because he would have little control over the company’s direction.

While Mr. Durant, who with Mr. Kleiman runs a growing media and investment company, Thirty Five Ventures, has fielded suitors, other athletes are reaching out on their own.

Forest Road, an investment firm, was the entry point for Mr. O’Neal, who was already an investor there when he contacted its chief executive, Zachary Tarica, about getting involved in its growing SPAC business. Mr. O’Neal was an adviser on its first SPAC, which last month announced plans to buy Beachbody, a digital fitness company, at a $2.9 billion valuation. He’s now an adviser on a second Forest SPAC.

Kevin Mayer, a former Walt Disney and TikTok executive who advised the first SPAC and is helping lead the second, described Mr. O’Neal as “a real businessman,” although he cautioned against investing in a particular venture just because a famous person was involved.

“If anyone were to ask me, I say you should definitely not invest in this SPAC because there’s a sports star or any single person,” he said. “They should look at the totality of the investment.”

Securities regulators have taken notice of the celebrity-endorsement trend, which has also attracted nonathletes ranging from Sammy Hagar to Jay-Z. The Securities and Exchange Commission put out an investor alert on March 10 cautioning retail investors not to buy shares of a SPAC simply because some boldface names are attached to it.

There’s reason for healthy skepticism.

SPAC investors buy in, usually for $10 a share, not knowing what kind of business they could ultimately own a piece of. The company could prove itself not ready for prime time — a problem that some in the financial industry see as a function of too many blank checks chasing too few start-ups in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

A forthcoming study in the Yale Journal of Regulation by professors at the Stanford and New York University law schools found that the “circuitous two-year process” from I.P.O. to merger “creates substantial costs, misaligned incentives and, on the whole, losses for investors who own shares at the time of SPAC mergers.” Investors who bought shares in the I.P.O. and sold them before the merger tended to fair best, the study found.

Adewale Ogunleye, who spent 10 seasons in the N.F.L. and now heads the sports and entertainment group at the wealth management division at UBS, said he advised athletes to be cautious with their money and not jump into every hot investment trend. He said they — and any investor, for that matter — should approach a SPAC with open eyes and a desire to get as much knowledge as possible.

And any athlete lending his or her name to a SPAC must think about potential legal exposure if something goes wrong with a deal, he said.

“You have to be OK with other people winning and sometimes just sitting on the sideline,” Mr. Ogunleye said. “It’s the hardest thing you’ve got to tell an athlete.”

Source

The New York Times

Date

March 26, 2021

Category

Business

Downtown Miami apartment tower — with A-Rod as an investor — launches leasing

Rents start at about $1,300 a month

Grand Station Apartments in downtown Miami is launching preleasing of the tower, which counts retired Yankees shortstop Alex Rodriguez as an investor.

Rovr Development, led by principals Oscar Rodriguez and Ricardo Vadia, is beginning to lease the 30-story, 300-unit building at 40 Northwest Third Street, near the federal courthouse, according to a press release.

Alex Rodriguez’s Monument Real Estate Services is the property manager, and he personally is an investor in the project, a spokesperson confirmed.

Construction is nearly completed, and move-ins are expected to begin this summer. Monthly rents for one-, two- and three-bedroom units will be $1,277, $1,427 and $1,963.

The $70 million project, a public-private partnership, is built on top of and expands the existing Courthouse Center garage. Rovr completed the P3 with the Miami Parking Authority. The property is also near the Government Center Metrorail Station and Brightline MiamiCentral.

Zyscovich Architects and Anillo, Toledo, Lopez LLC designed the building. Amenities include a rooftop terrace, a fitness center and spa rooms, indoor heated pool, business center and clubroom, and an outdoor kitchen with a grilling area, swimming pool and hot tubs.

Grand Station Partners closed on a $53 million loan in March 2020 from Kayne Anderson affiliate Saperian Capital to finance construction.

Rovr Development is also co-developing the District at 225 North Miami Avenue in downtown Miami with its partner the Related Group. The planned 37-story, mixed-use project will have 343 residential units and nearly 2,300 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Rovr also recently completed the Fairchild, a luxury condo in Coconut Grove.

Rendering of Grand Station Apartments with Alex Rodriguez, Oscar Rodriguez and Ricardo Vadia (Getty, Rovr/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)

Source

TheRealDeal

Date

March 24, 2021

Category

Business

Don’t Call A-Rod a Front Man.

This past fall, Alex Rodriguez – yes, that Alex Rodriguez, the one engaged to Jennifer Lopez and who could be on his way to the baseball Hall of Fame next year – was spit-balling with Lane LaMure, the chief investment officer of A-Rod Corp.

“We should do a SPAC,” LaMure told him. “They are custom made for us. We have more deal flow than I’ve ever seen in my entire 25-year career.”

But as A-Rod told Trillions last week, while the SPAC solved one barrier to entry – capital – he still lacked the institutional background commonly associated with mega-deals. Enter Himanshu Gulati and Antara Capital, a $1.25 billion hedge fund backed by Blackstone that has partnered with the baseball legend to raise a $500 million SPAC, branded as Slam Corp. “We’re competing with the Blackstones of the world,” A-Rod now says. “With the SPAC and Himanshu, we’re on a level playing field.”

But now the two-year clock is ticking, and with SPACs popping up faster than fly balls – and with a SPAC index cratering 20% in two weeks – there is no guarantee that Slam Corp. will hit a home run (okay, I’ll stop). What’s the plan?

  • They have a template. A-Rod name-checked DraftKings and Peloton as two companies that “have done very well in the public markets.” The duo is “comfortable with health and wellness,” and is “getting very familiar with the beauty space. But DraftKings hits a lot of my buzzwords – baseball, sports – and gaming is really on fire.”
  • The target needs tech. “We definitely want a technology component,” A-Rod says. “We want it to be the backbone of the business.” He pointed to his 2019 investment in Hims & Hers – the telehealth and wellness company – as another corollary.
  • They acknowledge there’s a bubble. “There are too many SPACs and too many people entering the market, which is why it goes back to picking the one you think is well-capitalized with better management teams,” Gulati says. But, he argues, basically everything’s a bubble: “Does a 70% move in Bitcoin makes sense?” he asks. “I have a tough time understanding that. I don’t think it’s specific to SPACs.”
  • They won’t commit to just one. “Let’s go crush the first one – the most important one,” A-Rod says. “One game at a time; one pitch at a time. But we’re not 75 trying to do one more thing — we’re entering the prime of our careers.”
  • Gulati’s investing chops are obvious, but A-Rod’s are… kinda awesome? “I’ve always tried to keep it simple,” he says about his history of real estate investing. “My mother never had the money to buy anything. We always rented and often had to move every 18 months because the landlord kept raising rents. I remember wanting to exchange places with the landlord. About 12 years later, in my late 20s, I had an opportunity to buy a duplex and sold it a few years later for double. Then I bought a four-plex, an eight-plex – 60 units was my biggest acquisition. I put about 1/3 of my liquidity into it. I remember going into spring training one year and being so nervous – not for the season, but that 60 tenants would pay the rent so I can make my mortgage.”
  • They’re fully aware of the common critique against famous faces leading SPACs. “When people talk about Alex being a celebrity SPAC, I want to be really clear,” Gulati says. “Take a look at all the other celebrity SPACs out there. They’re all directors or special advisors, which effectively means very little involvement – that they’re there for the marketing side. Alex is a CEO.”
  • Everything in perspective. “I don’t think anything can compare to playing in New York at Yankee Stadium in pinstripes – the same uniform Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, and Reggie Jackson wore,” A-Rod admits. “I can’t ever outdo my first act.”

Source

Trillions.

Date

March 9, 2021

Category

Business

​Step​, the financial services company built for teens and families, adds major star power with baseball legend Alex Rodriguez and digital megastar Josh Richards joining as investors.

Closes new venture debt facility; welcomes Alex Rodriguez and Josh Richards to the #StepFam 

SAN FRANCISCO –– February 25, 2021 –– Step, the new modern-day financial services company built for teens and families, today announced it has crossed one million users. A first of its kind, Step offers users the ability to build credit before they turn 18 through a free, FDIC insured bank account, secured spending card and P2P payments platform. The company also recently closed a new venture debt facility and added major star power with baseball legend Alex Rodriguez and digital megastar Josh Richards joining Step as investors. 

“We’ve seen explosive growth since Step’s launch a few short months ago and we’re thrilled to be helping so many teens and families tackle money management,” said CJ MacDonald, Founder and CEO at Step. “The rapid adoption of Step reflects the evolving needs of today’s teens and we’re really excited to be working with partners like Alex and Josh to help push our financial literacy movement even further.” 

Year after year, harrowing statistics have been reported about the state of financial literacy in the U.S. with 34% of teens unbanked, only 21 states teaching personal finance content in school and college students graduating with an average of $5,000 in credit card debt. Consumers have had enough and they’re looking for not just a better product, but a better partner. It takes less than two minutes to sign up for Step. There are no gimmicks or fees, and teens can start managing their money immediately, all from the palm of their hands. 

“As someone who grew up with limited resources, financial literacy has always been a mission that resonates with me,” said Alex Rodriguez, Chairman and CEO at A-Rod Corp. “I tell my kids all the time that knowledge is power. Step is the type of tool that can empower young people by helping them understand personal finance and 

money management.” 

According to Common Sense Media, teens spend an average of nine hours online every day catching up on news, following the latest trends and teaching themselves new skills. Learning is at the core of teen engagement on social media, making it the perfect place to start talking to them about the importance of financial literacy and how to avoid the common money pitfalls of past generations. 

“Step has done an incredible job of tapping into the teen market by creating authentic and engaging conversations across popular social media platforms like Instagram, Snap, TikTok, Triller and YouTube,” said Josh Richards. “I truly never thought I would see a day where teens were actively talking about their banks on social media. Learning how to manage your money is such a critical life skill so when I saw a company making these conversations cool - I just had to get involved!” 

As Step continues to grow at an exponential rate, the company recently closed a venture debt facility with Bridge Bank to prepare for future capital growth needs and focus on becoming the number one banking platform for the next generation. 

About Step 

Step was founded by financial industry veterans CJ MacDonald and Alexey Kalinichenko to provide teens and their families with financial tools for today’s modern-day banking needs and to promote financial literacy for the future. The founding team has 50+ years in combined financial technology experience from companies like Gyft, First Data, Square and Google. Step is backed by Coatue, Stripe, Crosslink Capital and Collaborative Fund. Step’s financial products are powered by its bank partner Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC and insured up to $250,000. To learn more, please visit: www.step.com.


Source

Associated Press

Date

February 25, 2021

Category

Business

Slam Corp. announces pricing of $500 Million Initial Public Offering

NEW YORK – February 22, 2021 – Slam Corp. (the “Company”) today announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 50,000,000 units at $10.00 per unit. The units will be listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market (“Nasdaq”) and trade under the ticker symbol “SLAMU” beginning on February 23, 2021. Each unit consists of one Class A ordinary share and one-fourth of one redeemable warrant, with each whole warrant entitling the holder thereof to purchase one Class A ordinary share at a price of $11.50 per share. Once the securities comprising the units begin separate trading, the Class A ordinary shares and warrants are expected to be listed on Nasdaq under the symbols “SLAM” and “SLAMW,” respectively. The initial public offering is expected to close on February 25, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and BTIG, LLC are serving as joint book-running managers for the offering. The Company has granted the underwriters a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional 7,500,000 units at the initial public offering price to cover any over-allotments.

The initial public offering is being made only by means of a prospectus. When available, copies of the prospectus relating to this offering may be obtained from: Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Attn: Prospectus Department, 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282, or email: prospectus-ny@ny.email.gs.com, or from BTIG, LLC, 65 East 55th Street, New York, New York 10022, or email: equitycapitalmarkets@btig.com.

A registration statement relating to the securities became effective on February 22, 2021 in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

This press release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking statements,” including with respect to the proposed initial public offering and the anticipated use of the net proceeds. No assurance can be given that the offering discussed above will be completed on the terms described, or at all, or that the net proceeds of the offering will be used as indicated. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous conditions, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, including those set forth in the Risk Factors section of the Company’s registration statement and preliminary prospectus for the Company’s offering filed with the SEC. Copies are available on the SEC’s website, www.sec.gov. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these statements for revisions or changes after the date of this release, except as required by law.

About Slam Corp.

Slam Corp. is a newly organized, blank check company formed for the purpose of entering into a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, recapitalization, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities. The Company has not selected any business combination target and will not be limited to a particular industry or geographic region. The Company’s Founding Partners are A-Rod Corp and Antara Capital LP

Contacts:

For investor inquiries:

Alex Jorgensen

Prosek Partners

ajorgensen@prosek.com

For media inquiries:

Russell Sherman

Prosek Partners

rsherman@prosek.com

Source

Associated Press

Date

February 23, 2021

Category

Business

A-Rod Swings for the Fences With New Hotel Real-Estate Fund

Former Major League Baseball MVP Alex Rodriguez, now a real-estate mogul, joins a $650 million hotel fund

Baseball legend Alex Rodriguez is teaming with a Miami private-equity firm to invest more than a half-billion dollars in buying or developing hotels at a time when the industry has been ravaged by the pandemic.

The former New York Yankee known as A-Rod said he is joining CGI Merchant Group in its new hotel investment fund, which the firm launched this month. The venture aims to raise $650 million to acquire and develop properties in partnership with Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. brands. Maverick Capital Partners, a New York brokerage, will also be part of the venture.

Mr. Rodriguez has been a real-estate investor for many years, going back to his playing days. He founded his own real-estate investment company in 2003, the year before he played his first game for the Bronx Bombers. His Monument Capital Management has made more than $800 million worth of property acquisitions in more than a dozen states, according to its website. Mr. Rodriguez will invest some of his personal money in the hotel fund and help source deals.

He said investing in hotels right now is a way to capitalize on a travel rebound once the pandemic is under control. “We believe we can acquire assets that are strategically positioned to be in the top-performing percentile once restrictions are eased,” the 14-time All Star and 2009 World Series Champion said.

The CGI Merchant fund will look to invest in hotels and resorts across North America and the Caribbean, CGI said, with Miami, Seattle and New York City of particular interest. Raoul Thomas, CGI Merchant’s chief executive, said the fund will avoid large hotels with open floor plans and large banquet spaces. Lodging properties dependent on large group events, like seminars and conferences, may recover more slowly than those primarily attracting tourists, he said.

The fund has already made one purchase, the 129-room Gabriel Hotel in Miami, this past June, Mr. Thomas added.

While many other investors have been raising money in anticipation of buying up distressed hotels at rock-bottom prices in the near future, fewer U.S. hotels have changed hands this year than in almost any other year. The volume of hotel sales in 2020 is coming in 84% below 2019 levels as of October, according to a report from Real Capital Analytics, a real-estate data firm.

Hotel performance continues to suffer and business travel shows no signs yet of bouncing back. Hotel-room occupancy, as of the first week of December, is down 38% from the same week in 2019, according to hospitality industry data provider STR. Hotel executives have said they don’t expect industry revenue to return to last year’s levels until at least 2023.

Despite this grim prognosis, prices of hotels sold this year have fallen just 3.3%. Few sellers have been willing to meet the lower price expectations of buyers. “The owner of a hotel asset will not sell at a loss unless forced to do so because of distress situations,” RCA’s report notes.

But ongoing debt problems for hotel owners could spell deeper distress for the sector and more opportunities for investors like CGI Merchant and A-Rod. The partners said they view the hotel fund as a long-term strategy.

“Wealth is rarely created overnight,” Mr. Rodriguez said.


Source

The Wall Street Journal

Date

December 15, 2020

Category

Business

Hims & Hers to go public through blank-check company


The direct-to-consumer telehealth startup will go public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company Oaktree Acquisition Corp. The combined entity is expected to be valued at $1.6 billion.

By ELISE REUTER

Direct-to-consumer health company Hims Inc. said it plans to go public through a blank-check company. The San Francisco-based startup confirmed ongoing reports that it was in talks to sell to a special-purpose acquisition company.

The men’s health company first made its foray with cheeky subway ads for hair loss and erectile dysfunction medications. Its similarly branded site for women, Hers, launched a few months later, offering birth control pills, and hair and skin care products.

But more recently, both brands have expanded their services beyond wellness to include virtual primary care visits and mental health services.

“From the moment we launched the company about two-and-a-half years ago, we knew we had struck a really strong chord with people,” CEO and Founder Andrew Dudum said in a phone interview. “Men were coming out of the woodwork talking about how excited they were to finally get care.”

In this case, Hims will merge with a SPAC formed by Oaktree Capital Management. The newly formed entity, called Oaktree Acquisition Corp., went public in July with the intent of using the proceeds to make an acquisition.

After the deal closes, Hims’ stock will be traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “HIMS.” The combined company will be valued at roughly $1.6 billion.

Dudum said the company chose to go the SPAC route because it provided a faster speed to market and more certainty and flexibility than a traditional IPO. Hims has seen more than 100% compounded annual revenue growth over the last two years and has more than doubled its gross margins to 70%, according to internal data provided by the company.

The past six months, in particular, have been telling. Since the start of the pandemic, Hims began offering $39 cash pay virtual primary care visits, $60 psychiatry evaluations and $15 online support groups.  It also rolled out an at-home saliva test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

“It’s been a transformative time for the company. The virus has acted as a looking glass into the future, where you can see more people than ever understand the benefits of telemedicine,” he said. “We had a four-year product roadmap with expansion that we were able to execute in two or three quarters. … We feel really confident in the business and the brand as it stands today.”

In the future, Dudum plans to expand further into managing chronic conditions. High cholesterol, diabetes, sleep and infertility are some areas the company might explore in the future, he said.

But Hims & Hers will still stick to its cash pay subscription model, rather than billing through insurance. Most treatments the two brands offer range from $20 to $40 per month, and are structured as a subscription model.

“For the conditions we’re talking about today as well as in the future, we believe we can offer cash pay prices that are cheaper than if not equal to people’s copay for their insurance,” he said.

Hims’ current management and shareholders will roll almost all of their equity into the combined company. Some of its backers include Founders Fund, Forerunner Ventures, Thrive Capital and McKesson Ventures.

After the deal closes, Hims’ shareholders will own roughly 84% of the combined company, while shareholders of Oaktree Acquisition Corp will own a 12% stake. Dudum will have roughly 90% of the voting power of the combined company, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The combined company will have $330 million in cash, including $205 million from Oaktree Acquisition Company and $75 million from a private placement. The merger has been approved by both companies’ boards and is expected to close before the end of the year.

Photo credit: Screenshot of Hims website

Source

MedCity News

Date

October 1, 2020

Category

Business

Hims & Hers, a Multi-Specialty Telehealth Platform, to Become Publicly-Traded via Merger with Oaktree Acquisition Corp.

  • Hims & Hers is a telehealth leader modernizing the delivery and accessibility of digital, consumer-focused healthcare services
  • Transaction will enable further investment in growth and new product categories that will accelerate Hims & Hers’ plan to become the digital front door to the healthcare system
  • Combined company to have an implied initial enterprise value of approximately $1.6 billion, with the company expected to have an estimated $330 million in cash after closing
  • Top-tier investors, including Franklin Templeton and clients of Oaktree, anchoring a $75 million PIPE
  • Leading existing institutional backers of Hims & Hers, including Founders Fund, Forerunner Ventures, IVP, Redpoint Ventures, Thrive Capital, McKesson Ventures, and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board intend to roll 100% of their equity

October 01, 2020 09:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time

SAN FRANCISCO & LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hims, Inc. (“Hims & Hers” or the “Company”), a market leading telehealth company, and Oaktree Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: OAC.U, OAC, OAC WS), a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by an affiliate of Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”), announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company’s securities are expected to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol “HIMS.”

Hims & Hers is on its way to becoming a publicly-traded company!

Company Overview

Launched in 2017, Hims & Hers has built a proprietary platform that connects consumers to licensed healthcare professionals for care across numerous specialties, including primary care, mental health, sexual health and dermatology, among others. Since its founding, the Company has facilitated more than two million telehealth consultations, enabling greater access to high quality, convenient and affordable care for people in all 50 states. The Company has driven 100%+ compounded annual revenue growth over the last two years and has more than doubled gross margins to 70%+, with revenue that is over 90% recurring in nature.

The future of healthcare will be led by consumer brands that empower people and give them full control over their healthcare. A direct relationship with consumers is the most valuable component in the healthcare system. Hims & Hers has endeavored to build a healthcare system that squarely focuses on the needs of the healthcare consumer. Hims & Hers directs the consumer experience from start to finish, uniquely positioning the Company in the rapidly-emerging telemedicine landscape to lead the industry in B2C-focused telehealth solutions.

Hims & Hers has built a strong customer base of highly loyal brand ambassadors who represent the future of the healthcare system. The Company’s customers embrace its convenient, digitally native product, generating organic growth through word of mouth and user-generated content, which enhances brand awareness and lowers customer acquisition costs. The majority of its consumers are millennials, a high-value generation at the beginning of its lifetime value curve that is poised to expand its purchasing power. The Hims & Hers platform is set up to serve these customers over the long-term by offering great user experience and access to high quality medical care.

As of June 2020, Hims & Hers had approximately 260,000 subscriptions on the platform.

Management Comments

“We’re thrilled to partner with Oaktree Acquisition Corp. to usher Hims & Hers into our next phase of growth as we work to become the front door to the healthcare system, serving as the first stop for peoples’ health and wellness needs across hundreds of conditions,” said Andrew Dudum, CEO and founder of Hims & Hers. “Hims & Hers was founded to make it easier and more affordable for everyone to get the healthcare they need. We remain committed to advancing that goal as we expand into new categories of care and build an enduring healthcare company that brings choice, affordability and access to consumers.”

“We are very pleased to launch our Oaktree Acquisition Corp. franchise with this partnership with Hims & Hers, a rapidly-growing provider of much-needed innovation to the healthcare system,” said Howard Marks, Co-Chairman of Oaktree. “This transaction shows Oaktree Acquisition Corp. to be a complementary extension of Oaktree’s capabilities and builds on our strength in sourcing opportunities throughout the market cycle.”

“We founded Oaktree Acquisition Corp. to partner with a high quality, growing company that will benefit from a public currency for its next leg of growth,” said Patrick McCaney, CEO of Oaktree Acquisition Corp. “Hims & Hers is an ideal match and represents a unique opportunity to invest in a rapidly-growing company that is modernizing the delivery and accessibility of healthcare and wellness solutions. Over the past two years, the Company has experienced significant growth bolstered by the continuing widespread adoption of telehealth and digital patient care solutions – and we think this is just the beginning. We look forward to partnering with Hims & Hers to accelerate the expansion of its high-quality, end-to-end care services across the broader healthcare marketplace.”

Key Transaction Terms

The business combination values the combined company at an enterprise value of approximately $1.6 billion and is expected to deliver up to $280 million of cash to the combined company through the contribution of up to $205 million of cash held in Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s trust account, and a $75 million concurrent private placement (PIPE) of common stock of the combined company, priced at $10.00 per share, from leading institutional investors, including funds managed by Franklin Templeton and certain Oaktree clients. The enterprise value equals 8.9x estimated 2021 revenue and 12.2x estimated 2021 gross profit, an attractive valuation relative to telehealth peers despite the Company’s leading growth and margin profile.

As part of the transaction, Hims & Hers’ current management and existing equity holders will roll nearly 100% of their equity into the combined company. Leading existing institutional backers of the Company including Founders Fund, Forerunner Ventures, IVP, Redpoint Ventures, Thrive Capital, McKesson Ventures, and the Canadian Pension Fund intend to roll 100% of their shares and the transaction agreement provides for up to $75 million of cash consideration at closing to shareholders, at their election. Assuming no public shareholders of Oaktree Acquisition Corp. exercise their redemption rights and before any potential cash consideration to Hims & Hers shareholders, current Hims & Hers equity holders will own approximately 84%, Oaktree Acquisition Corp. shareholders will own approximately 12%, and PIPE investors will own approximately 4% of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock, respectively, of the combined company at closing. Furthermore, the combined company will be capitalized with up to $330 million in cash, including proceeds received from the transaction together with existing cash on Hims & Hers’ balance sheet. The business combination includes a minimum cash closing condition of $200 million, which is calculated as cash delivered from Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s trust account, plus cash delivered from the PIPE, minus the up to $75 million of cash consideration at closing to shareholders as described above. Hims & Hers intends to continue investing in growth and new product categories to accelerate its goal of becoming the digital front door to the healthcare system.

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of each Hims & Hers and Oaktree Acquisition Corp., is subject to approval by Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020.

A more detailed description of the transaction terms and a copy of the Agreement and Plan of Merger will be included in a current report on Form 8-K to be filed by Oaktree Acquisition Corp. with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Oaktree Acquisition Corp. will file a registration statement (which will contain a proxy statement/ prospectus) with the SEC in connection with the transaction.

Advisors

LionTree Advisors is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Hims & Hers and Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian LLP is serving as legal counsel.

Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank Securities are serving as capital markets advisors and private placement agents to Oaktree Acquisition Corp. Deutsche Bank Securities is acting as financial advisor to Oaktree Acquisition Corp. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel to Oaktree Acquisition Corp.

Management Presentation

A presentation made by the management teams each of Hims & Hers and Oaktree Acquisition Corp. regarding the transaction will be available on the websites of Oaktree Acquisition Corp. at https://www.oaktreeacquisitioncorp.com/news and Hims & Hers at forhims.com/investor and forhers.com/investor. Oaktree Acquisition Corp. will also file the presentation with the SEC as an exhibit to a Current Report on Form 8-K, which can be viewed on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

About Hims & Hers

Hims & Hers is a multi-specialty telehealth platform that connects consumers to licensed healthcare professionals, enabling them to access high quality medical care for numerous conditions related to primary care, mental health, sexual health, dermatology, and more. Launched in November 2017, the company also offers thoughtfully created and curated health and wellness products. With products and services available across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., Hims & Hers is able to provide all Americans access to quality, convenient and affordable care through a computer or smartphone. Hims & Hers was founded by CEO Andrew Dudum, Hilary Coles, Jack Abraham and Joe Spector at venture studio Atomic in San Francisco, California. For more information about Hims & Hers, please visit forhims.com and forhers.com.

About Oaktree Acquisition Corp.

The Oaktree Acquisition Corp. franchise was formed to partner with high-quality, growing companies to facilitate their successful entry to the public markets. By leveraging the deep capabilities and experience of its sponsor, an affiliate of Oaktree, which manages $122 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2020, Oaktree Acquisition Corp. seeks to provide best-in-class resources and execution, coupled with a focus on long-term partnership and shareholder value creation. For more information about Oaktree Acquisition Corp. or Oaktree Acquisition Corp. II, please visit oaktreeacquisitioncorp.com.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

Oaktree Acquisition Corp. intends to file with the SEC a Registration Statement on Form S-4 containing a proxy statement/prospectus relating to the proposed business combination, which will be mailed to its shareholders once definitive. This press release does not contain all the information that should be considered concerning the proposed business combination and is not intended to form the basis of any investment decision or any other decision in respect of the proposed business combination. Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s shareholders and other interested persons are advised to read, when available, the preliminary proxy statement/prospectus and the amendments thereto and the definitive proxy statement/prospectus and other documents filed in connection with the proposed business combination, as these materials will contain important information about the Company, Oaktree Acquisition Corp. and the proposed business combination. When available, the definitive proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials for the proposed business combination will be mailed to shareholders of Oaktree Acquisition Corp. as of a record date to be established for voting on the proposed business combination. Shareholders of Oaktree Acquisition Corp. will also be able to obtain copies of the preliminary proxy statement/prospectus, the definitive proxy statement/prospectus and other documents filed with the SEC, without charge, once available, at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov, or by directing a written request to: Oaktree Acquisition Corp., 333 South Grand Avenue, 28th Floor, Los Angeles, California.

Participants in the Solicitation

Oaktree Acquisition Corp. and its directors and executive officers may be deemed participants in the solicitation of proxies from Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s shareholders with respect to the proposed business combination. A list of the names of those directors and executive officers and a description of their interests in Oaktree Acquisition Corp. is contained in Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, which was filed with the SEC and is available free of charge at the SEC’s web site at www.sec.gov, or by directing a written request to Oaktree Acquisition Corp., 333 South Grand Avenue, 28th Floor, Los Angeles, California. Additional information regarding the interests of such participants will be contained in the proxy statement/prospectus for the proposed business combination when available.

Hims & Hers and its directors and executive officers may also be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the shareholders of Oaktree Acquisition Corp. in connection with the proposed business combination. A list of the names of such directors and executive officers and information regarding their interests in the proposed business combination will be included in the proxy statement/prospectus for the proposed business combination when available.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release may be considered forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements generally relate to future events or Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s or Hims & Hers’ future financial or operating performance. For example, statements about the expected timing of the completion of the proposed business combination, the benefits of the proposed business combination, the competitive environment, and the expected future performance (including future revenue, pro forma enterprise value, and cash balance) and market opportunities of Hims & Hers are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may”, “should”, “expect”, “intend”, “will”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “predict”, “potential” or “continue”, or the negatives of these terms or variations of them or similar terminology. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements.

These forward-looking statements are based upon estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by Oaktree Acquisition Corp. and its management, and Hims & Hers and its management, as the case may be, are inherently uncertain. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to: (1) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the definitive agreements with respect to the proposed business combination; (2) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against Oaktree Acquisition Corp., Hims & Hers, the combined company or others following the announcement of the proposed business combination; (3) the inability to complete the proposed business combination due to the failure to obtain approval of the shareholders of Oaktree Acquisition Corp. or to satisfy other conditions to closing, including the satisfaction of the minimum trust account amount following any redemptions; (4) changes to the proposed structure of the business combination that may be required or appropriate as a result of applicable laws or regulations or as a condition to obtaining regulatory approval of the proposed business combination; (5) the ability to meet stock exchange listing standards at or following the consummation of the proposed business combination; (6) the risk that the proposed business combination disrupts current plans and operations of Hims & Hers as a result of the announcement and consummation of the proposed business combination; (7) the ability to recognize the anticipated benefits of the proposed business combination, which may be affected by, among other things, competition, the ability of the combined company to grow and manage growth profitably, maintain relationships with customers and suppliers and retain its management and key employees; (8) costs related to the proposed business combination; (9) changes in applicable laws or regulations; (10) the possibility that Hims & Hers or the combined company may be adversely affected by other economic, business, and/or competitive factors; (11) the limited operating history of Hims & Hers; (12) the Hims & Hers business is subject to significant governmental regulation; (13) the Hims & Hers business may not successfully expand into other markets, including womens’ health; and (14) other risks and uncertainties set forth in the section entitled “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, and which will be set forth in registration statement on Form S-4 to be filed by Oaktree Acquisi-tion Corp. with the SEC in connection with the proposed business combination.

Nothing in this press release should be regarded as a representation by any person that the forward-looking statements set forth herein will be achieved or that any of the contemplated results of such forward-looking statements will be achieved. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Neither Oaktree Acquisition Corp. nor Hims & Hers undertakes any duty to update these forward-looking statements.

Non-Solicitation

This press release is not a proxy statement or solicitation of a proxy, consent or authorization with respect to any securities or in respect of the potential business combination and shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the securities of Oaktree Acquisition Corp., the Company or the combined company, nor shall there be any sale of any such securi-ties in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such state or jurisdiction. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

Contacts

Investor Relations

Hims & Hers
Bob East or Jordan Kohnstam
Westwicke, an ICR company
HIMSIR@westwicke.com
(443) 213-0500

Oaktree Acquisition Corp.
infoOAC1@oaktreeacquisitioncorp.com

Media Relations

Hims & Hers
Chelsea Harrison
charrison@forhims.com

Sean Leous
Westwicke, an ICR company
HIMSPR@westwicke.com
(646) 866-4012

Oaktree Acquisition Corp.
mediainquiries@oaktreecapital.com

Source

BusinessWire

Date

October 1, 2020

Category

Business

Jennifer Lopez And Alex Rodriguez Invest In Coffee Brand Super Coffee Cofounded By 30 Under 30 Honorees

Kitu Life Inc, the company behind the coffee brand Super Coffee cofounded by three brothers who made our 2019 30 Under 30 Food and Drink list, announced today that it has picked up a minority investment from superstar couple Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez.

JLo’s and ARod’s investment is a follow on to the Series B round the company closed in July, which at the time put its valuation at over $200 million. Super Coffee expanded the terms of the round for the celebrity couple and closed the investment from Lopez and Rodriguez in August. Per Super Coffee, the post-money valuation is now $240 million.

Jim DeCicco, the oldest brother and the company’s CEO, says that it’s surreal for them that five years after starting the company they have attracted the attention of their childhood idol. (DeCicco says that growing up as Yankees fans the brothers pretended to be Alex Rodriguez while playing baseball in their backyard).

“The cool thing about them is that Jen is a global icon, Alex is one of the best baseball players to ever play the game, and they are at a point in their career where they are shifting from their huge personal brand to being known for their business acumen,” DeCicco says. “We view them as business partners rather than celebrity endorsement or brand advocates. They are going to coach us, this is a real partnership and as minority owners in our company they have a vested interest in seeing it succeed.”

In a press statement, Rodriguez says that they like winning companies with winning founders, who have energy and who are coachable.

“The brothers behind Super Coffee fit the bill. They have built a strong business in a short time and we look forward to helping the brand reach its full potential,” Rodriguez says.

Lopez adds that when Alex and she first heard the Super Coffee story and tasted the product, they wanted to be a part of it.

“We knew we could use our networks to build this brand globally,” Lopez says.

The investment comes after Super Coffee signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev’ for national distribution to over 25,000 stores in June of this year. A few months earlier, in January, Alex Rodriguez became a co-owner and chairman of the Dominican Republic’s Presidente beer (owned by Anheuser-Busch).

“Initially the connection was serendipitous, but I think it was really part of the strategic value that Alex brings to our brand,” DeCicco says. “Once he found out that we were given an exclusive distribution deal, Alex realized that he can have an influence on the future and the outcome of our business by simply picking up the phone and leveraging his top-to-top relationship with Anheuser Busch’s executives.”

Photo
Super Coffee cofounders during their pitch on Shark Tank (L to R): Jim DeCicco, Jake DeCicco, Jordan ... [+] KITU LIFE

Rodriguez first heard of Super Coffee from Shark Tank where the brothers appeared in 2018. Then, the DeCiccos didn’t get a deal, nor an offer from any of the sharks (Rodriguez was a guest judge, but wasn’t present during the filming of that episode). At the time, the three of them asked for a $500,000 investment in exchange of 4.5%. Today, at a $240 million valuation, 4.5% share would amount to just under $11 million.

With the investment, JLo and ARod join a growing list of celebrity investors that have acquired a stake in Super Coffee, which already includes actor Patrick Schwarzenegger, Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Denver Nuggets’ center Mason Plumlee, and former NFL MVP Boomer Esiason, among others.

The company was started in 2015, when the youngest brother Jordan, who was a starting basketball player at Philadelphia University, started brewing coffee in his dorm room as a way to stay up late nights and manage a busy student athlete schedule.

Once they turned it into a company, Jim left his job as financial analyst for The Blackstone Group, the middle brother Jake stayed on for just one more year to get his undergraduate degree, and Jordan decided to drop out of school to accept the Peter Thiel Fellowship.

The NY-based enterprise currently has 90 full-time employees and has seen an explosive growth in revenue since its inception.  In 2016 Super Coffee made $200,000 in sales, in 2017 it was $800,000, in 2018 it grew to $3.5 million, in 2019 it was $26 million, and in 2020 their estimates are that they’re going to clear $70 million in sales.

Source

Forbes

Date

September 25, 2020

Category

Business

"Shark Tank" Heads to Las Vegas, Adds Two New Guest Sharks

"Shark Tank," the critically acclaimed and multi-Emmy® Award-winning business-themed unscripted series that celebrates entrepreneurship in America, adds two brand-new guest Sharks for its 12th season, premiering FRIDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS and co-founder of Madefor, and Kendra Scott, founder and CEO, Kendra Scott, LLC, and one of only 16 women to found a $1 billion company, will appear individually alongside Sharks Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O'Leary in various episodes during the 2020-2021 season. Alex Rodriguez, legendary baseball player and founder and CEO of A-Rod Corp, and Daniel Lubetzky, founder and executive chairman of KIND, also return for the show's 12th season. Episodes can be viewed the day after their premiere on demand and on Hulu.

Produced by MGM Television and Sony Pictures Television, the unrivaled and beloved show, which has become a culturally defining series, filmed for the first time ever in Las Vegas, hosted by The Venetian®  and Sands Expo & Convention Center.

The new guest Sharks are (alphabetically) as follows:

Blake Mycoskie – Blake Mycoskie is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and bestselling author most known for founding TOMS Shoes, and is the person behind the idea of One for One®, a business model that helps a person in need with every product purchased. Since its inception, TOMS Shoes has provided almost 96 million pairs of shoes to children around the globe. In 2014, after selling half of the company to Bain Capital, Mycoskie stepped down as CEO of TOMS. Utilizing half of his proceeds, he started the Social Entrepreneurship Fund to help early startups with core social missions get off the ground with much-needed funding.  Since then, he has invested in over 25 social enterprises. More recently, Mycoskie co-founded his newest company, Madefor. A 10-month program that applies the principles of modern neuroscience, psychology and physiology to make your brain and body better. Created alongside scientists from Stanford, Harvard and other top universities, Madefor helps people learn and sustain positive habits and practices that have the greatest impact on their lives. Mycoskie has achieved numerous accolades for his unique approach to business including the Secretary of State's 2009 Award of Corporate Excellence, the 2015 Next Generation Award from Harvard's School of Public Health, the 2016 Cannes Lion Heart Award and the 2018 amfAR Award of Courage. Mycoskie has also been featured in People Magazine in the "Heroes Among Us" section and in Fortune Magazine's "40 Under 40," among others. Mycoskie also recently expanded his philanthropic efforts to include the funding of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins, making it the first such research center in the U.S. and the largest of its kind in the world. Born and raised in Texas, Mycoskie now resides in Jackson, Wyoming, with his family, dogs and horses. In his free time, he can be found outside enjoying nature whether it is rock climbing, surfing or snowboarding.

Follow Blake Mycoskie on Twitter and Instagram.

Kendra Scott – Designer, founder and CEO Kendra Scott started her company in 2002 with only $500 and just three months after her first son was born. As a creative mind with a love of natural gemstones, Scott began going door-to-door to Austin boutiques armed only with a tea box full of her jewelry, captivating businesses and customers with her vibrant personality and unique eye for design. Determined to maintain growth and preserve the vision of her business, Scott waited over 10 years to accept outside investments. She has since grown the company to a billion-dollar valuation with over 100 stores nationwide and a thriving e-commerce and wholesale business. According to a 2018 PitchBook study, Scott is among only 16 women in the United States to carry the title of founder of a company valued at $1 billion. Today, Scott's company continues to operate out of Austin, Texas, with their state-of-the-art corporate office complete with a design lab and an industry-leading distribution center, both catering to her employees' career goals and family-life balance.  With family and fashion as two core pillars of her business, Scott maintains a focus on her third core pillar of philanthropy in all she does. Since 2010, the company has given back over $30 million to local, national and international causes. On a national level, Scott supports organizations that actively help women and children live their brightest, healthiest and most empowered lives. This comes to life through initiatives like the Kendra Cares program, where the brand brings its customizable Color Bar™ to pediatric hospitals across the country as a creative arts program. Scott has been awarded with the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 National Award, the Breakthrough Award from the Accessories Council Excellence Awards, named Outstanding Mother of the Year by the Mother's Day Council, awarded Texas Businesswoman of the Year by the Women's Chamber of Commerce, listed by Forbes as one of America's Richest Self-Made Women, listed among the Top 100 Entrepreneurs of the Year by Upstart Business Journal, and named Best CEO by Austin Business Journal. In 2019, Scott was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. She is a member of the board of directors for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Follow Kendra Scott on Twitter and Instagram.

Watch the season premiere FRIDAY OCT 16 8|7c on ABC!

Source

ABC

Date

September 21, 2020

Category

Media

Hispanic Heritage Month: Alex Rodriguez in Conversation at Paley Front Row 2020

Paley Front Row 2020 with Alex Rodriguez and Natalie Morales. The Paley Center welcomes baseball legend, acclaimed broadcaster, and entrepreneur Alex Rodriguez for an intimate conversation about his career on and off the field. Alex will discuss his many successes through the lens of his iconic presence on television as a baseball star; Emmy-winning broadcaster for ESPN, Fox Sports, and CNBC’s Back in the Game; and role as CEO of A-Rod Corp. Acclaimed journalist Natalie Morales of the Today Show will moderate this conversation.

Source

The Paley Center for Media

Date

September 17, 2020

Category

Business, Media

‘From pinstripes to the boardroom,’ A-Rod is building investment clout with lessons from Warren Buffett and Magic Johnson

Welcome to Human Capital, an open exploration of the ideas and people moving financial services forward. In each edition, we feature a leader or rising star who's changing the game in his or her own way. "Finance is an apprentice business," one often hears in this sector. Here are some of the teachers. Click Subscribe above to be notified of future editions.

When Alex Rodriguez popped into my Zoom window one day last week, I squinted. Who was this 45-year-old in a suit and tie? Where were the Yankees pinstripes?

Like many, my memories of Rodriguez are anchored to his career in Major League Baseball — to the 2009 World Series championship; to the three most-valuable-player awards; to the 2014 season, or lack of it for A-Rod, when he was suspended for the use of performance-enhancing drugs; and to the unceremonious exit from the New York Yankees and MLB a few years later.

Today's Rodriguez is different: measured, somewhat philosophical, and a student — not of sports, but of business. His investment holding company, A-Rod Corp, has been both busier than ever and in the midst of a strategy revamp. Expanding from its roots in real estate, it has been an investor in well-known consumer companies such as Snapchat developer Snap Inc. and private-aviation business Wheels Up, as well as other companies thriving during the coronavirus pandemic, such as telemedicine provider Hims & Hers and investing app Acorns.

Most recently, vying to buy the New York Mets has taken up much of his time, energy, and patience. Billionaire investor Steve Cohen this week reached an agreement to acquire the team, though the purchase awaits approval by MLB club owners.

I wanted to sit down with A-Rod to learn where his inspiration for investing came from, how he is honing the craft, and the lessons he's learned along the way. Our discussion went in other directions too, including a global deal he's preparing to announce and his take on business leaders' responsibilities during the pandemic and into the future.

Below are excerpts from the conversation.

It's clear, looking at the history of your investing and business-building activity, that the interest was there even at the height of your professional sports career. When did it begin?

It started when I was 10 years old. I've always wanted to be in business and I've always wanted to be a major league baseball player. Of course, every young kid wants to be a major league baseball player.

Watching my mother and how hard she worked gave me an inspiration that I wanted to do better. Early on, as a young man — my father left when I was 10 — I started to realize that I needed to do well to take care of my mother. That's really where the inspiration came from. And from her, I got my grit.

In my early 20s, I had my first crack at business by buying an apartment complex. I needed a $48,000 down payment, which was a lot of money and very scary to invest. I bought a duplex, then sold that, bought a fourplex, so on and so forth, and I built that portfolio to north of 10,000 apartment units in over 14 states all over the Southeast, predominantly secondary and tertiary markets like the Carolinas, Virginia, Houston, and markets like that.

Where did you turn to learn how to do this well?

I think the common theme for me has always been curiosity. I've had an intellectual curiosity and appetite that's always been really large. It's been an important vessel for me, both in sports and in business.

I also knew that you're only as good as the team you're surrounded with — that's true both in baseball and business. I studied people like Magic Johnson and Greg Norman, who were spectacular in their field and then went on to be even better businesspeople. That gave me the hope that, if they can do it, so can I — the same hope that Cal Ripken gave me when he was a six-foot-four shortstop and I said, hey, if I'm six-foot-three, then I can also be a shortstop.

A lot of my inspiration came from these male figures because my father had left home.

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Magic sat down with me really early in my career and gave me some great advice. One was that, as a professional athlete, as you travel the country, you have two options. You can sleep in or go play golf or go shopping; or, when your game schedule is set far in advance and you know you're going to be flying into these places, why not make calls around the country, whether it's Warren Buffett or Howard Schultz or Barry Sternlicht? As you're traveling the country, the one common theme is people will want to meet you because you play for the Yankees; people will want to meet you because they may be fans. And the one thing that everyone wants to talk about is baseball. If you can exchange currencies and say, I'll teach you about baseball if you teach me about business, you'll be surprised at how many "yes"es you have. And that was the case.

What skills have you found transferrable from being a top athlete?

There are so many attributes, lessons good and bad, that I've brought over from wearing pinstripes to the boardroom. Number one is hard work. I know I have to be resilient, gritty, and roll up my sleeves.

There's no such thing as a schedule — you play until the job is done. And: You're there to win.

When you make mistakes, as I have done, own them. Get ahead of them. Understand the lessons, internalize the lessons, then get them behind you and move on.

And don't fall in love with a deal. Don't fall in love with ideas. Because if you're wrong, you have to be able to pivot quickly and change direction.

What do you want your investment portfolio to look like?

It goes back to the lessons that Warren Buffett taught me: Stay in your circle of competence. Go narrow and deep, not wide and shallow.

We really understand the things that we're passionate about so that we can bring to the table more than just capital. With anything we get involved with, we look for ways where our brands, our reach, or our team can infuse a lot of energy and create enterprise value.

That's why we've gotten into things that we really understood, whether it's health and fitness, whether it's consumer products. They are things that we believe in. We wouldn't get involved with something were we not also a consumer.

You mentioned bringing more than just capital to the table. What do you like your relationship with founders and entrepreneurs to be like?

We strongly believe that companies that we invest in have to have a great leader.

But the interactions are all so different — I can't think of one that is exactly the same. One may need help with assembling a great team, so we'll make introductions or we'll bring them in the right rooms, and a lot of times I'll be there with them. Another may have a great team but need help with marketing, and that's a whole different conversation that we have.

It's very fluid. But one of the things we take a lot of pride in is under-promising and over-delivering.

Looking at your own team, as well as your other projects and philanthropy, clearly diversity is a focus of yours. Why is that?

Selfishly, I think it’s the best way to run a business.

Growing up raised by a single mother who had two jobs, by a strong sister, and now having two daughters, I'm surrounded with strong women.

When you look at our 2009 World Series championship team, our MVP was from Japan. Our shortstop and our best pitcher was African American. Our two catchers were Puerto Rican. I'm Dominican. Our second baseman was Dominican. We had a white person playing first base who went to Georgia Tech.

We had the most beautiful, diverse team. That made us great. We all brought different things to the table. I think the same is true for business.

You mentioned earlier that you're surrounded by strong women. One of them is your fiancée, Jennifer Lopez, who has successfully done what we're talking about, becoming a business builder. What have you learned from her?

Devin, you're talking about a powerhouse. I've never met anyone who has the work ethic, the vision, the principles that Jennifer possesses. She does so many things that people call her a triple threat. I call her an octopus threat.

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(Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)

She has over 200 million followers across her platforms. She's sold over $8 billion of consumer goods, over $2 billion in her fragrance alone. And I think the biggest shift I've watched her make is she has taken an absolute juggernaut of a business that's been about licensing and now has converted it to an ownership business. That is a massive change when you're moving those type of products at that volume.

The past six months have thrown all of our lives and plans into disarray. How has it affected your approach to leading A-Rod Corp?

It goes back to the team. We've always thought communication is very important, so we have tripled down on it to the point where we try to have daily meetings for at least 30 minutes or an hour. While people are at home and working like you and I are right now, through Zoom, we want to preserve connectivity and also give confidence to the team that we're hanging tough, that when we get to the other side, we're going to be better than we were before.

Leaders have to step up when moments are dark. Later, when you're winning championships and things are going well, you can slide to the back and let everybody share the credit.

These are the times when leaders need to be heard and seen.

Looking forward three or five years, how do you want your portfolio to look relative to how it does today?

We've had a lot of internal talks with our senior management team about that strategy moving forward.

If we have over 30 companies now, I can see in five years having maybe 12 or 15. The idea is that we want to make more concentrated bets. We want to go deeper with our partners.

We have some really exciting announcements coming around the corner. One in particular will, I think, shock the world — it's a global project we've been working on for over three years.

So, those are the kind of bets we are looking to make — both allocating capital but also allocating our time, which is the most valuable currency that we have.

Anything you can share on that upcoming announcement? The space it's in? The size?

Not yet.

One thing everybody now knows you have been pursuing is the New York Mets. At the moment, Steve Cohen is awaiting approval to complete that deal. Is the process fully in your rear-view mirror?

When you think about these national treasures, it's something we have pursued rigorously and with a lot of passion. I'm really proud of the process and the effort that we have put forth. Just out of respect to the process, because it's kind of live until it's over, I would feel more comfortable if we don't talk about that just yet.

When you look to other professional athletes seeking to transition their careers into business, what do you think they must know?

They have to know that it's going to be difficult, that you have to put in the work. That if you're looking for a shortcut, it's going to be just that — it's going to be a shortcut and there's going to be a short outcome.

I've always thought about: What does the perfect team look like? If you have a really smart guy from Omaha who's 21 years old with a crew cut, and you have another 21-year-old at Michigan playing quarterback with a crew cut, and one day they take their competitive advantages and put them together, they have a dream team. That to me looks like Warren Buffett and Tom Brady. Tom Brady says, I'm going to go out and throw touchdowns, win championships, and make some capital. I'm going to give it to you, Warren. You go out and you invest it, and together we'll be a dream team.

That's what I think young players, both men and women, should be thinking about: Who is the Warren Buffett in your community with incredible intelligence, business acumen, experience? Then you have to create an alignment, both spiritually and economically, that works and gives everyone protection. You sign those documents, then you put your head down and go have a bunch of fun. Then Tom Brady can go throw touchdowns and win championships, and Warren Buffett can do what he does best, which is take that money and invest it. It's as simple as that.

That alignment of interest you're talking about must be important for high-earning athletes.

I'm 45 now. I've been a professional since I was 18 years old. So, I've made every mistake in the book. I've had the fortune to sign two large contracts. That gave me the time and the ability to come back to the table. Not every athlete is going to have that great fortune that I was fortunate to have.

But along the way, there are some key pieces that you need in your camp, whether that's a great attorney, a great business manager, making sure that you're aligned with them and that they understand your vision and goals.

One of your goals should be that when you make this type of great income from, say, age 20 to 30, you have a plan to be putting that money away. That way, when you're 35, 45, 55, and 65, you are reaping the rewards of those great decisions you made in your 20s.

Today you're building businesses, investing, spending time with your family, spending time on philanthropy, retaining your connection to the world of sports. What's one method that helps you juggle it all?

I think I have good training. I played for 25 years professionally, and nothing would ever compare to the grueling schedule of playing 200 games in 232 days every year. Nothing.

I have this thing that I always carry with me — it's a little piece of paper. On one side, I have my list of five or 10 people I owe something to, and then on the other side, who owes me something. One at a time, I check them off. Honestly, that's the only way I can operate. If I don't check them off, I feel like I'm missing something.

I think I'll try that myself. Who do you find you owe things to these days?

When I think about the people I want to always be communicating to, I think about people of color. I want to open doors for them. I think about the sports community. I think about the entertainment community. I want people to learn from my experience — mainly my mistakes, of which there have been plenty.

I think athletes have an opportunity to be some of the best businesspeople in the world, because they possess things that you can't really teach.

They have incredible work ethic. They're resilient. They're thick-skinned. They're coachable. They understand that they're not punching a clock — they're there until they win the game.

So, I would love to see the sports community convert from being "not good businesspeople." I think they can change that narrative. They can proactively start thinking ahead of it, and they can surround themselves with great people who have alignment with them. That will help make them winners post a career in sports.

We spoke about your passion for diversity earlier. The focus on diversity has taken on renewed significance nationwide in recent months. What has that meant to you?

First of all, I say kudos because conversation and change is happening — that's important to recognize. But more changes need to happen, and they need to happen faster.

Speaking to what I know best, I'd love to see women, people of color, minorities holding more of the executive positions in sports.

I think there could be a woman manager in the dugout — why not?

These are the kind of things that, if we all do our job, and if we make a difference in each of our spaces, then together we can make real change happen. We can give everyone an opportunity to enter the room, to come to the table, and to do big things. I know that when I see a young person who grew up like me become a business executive, it gives me great inspiration and hope.

I believe that opening doors for people is our responsibility as leaders. It's at the very top of my list of things to do for the next several decades. My work is just starting.

Source

LinkedIn News

Date

September 16, 2020

Category

Business

A-Rod and "Big Cat" Launch Season 3 of The Corp

NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez and Dan “Big Cat” Katz are back with another season of The Corp for Barstool Sports. It marks the third season for the podcast which launched in 2018.

Click here to listen!

World Series Champion & CEO and Chairman of A-Rod Corp Alex Rodriguez and Barstool Sports’ Big Cat interview industry leaders, sports legends, and entrepreneurs on what makes them successful in their specific profession. Business, humor, and stories from people who have lived the American Dream

Season 3 of The Corp features an entertaining guest list: Actress, Singer, dancer, fashion designer, and businesswoman Jenifer Lopez, 2-time NBA Champion, and Finals MVP Kevin Durant, late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon, Rapper, Actor and Businessman Ice Cube, Broadcaster Joe Buck, Penn National Gaming CEO Jay Snowden and Designer and businessman Steve Madden.

Jennifer Lopez discusses her incredible career in entertainment, what drives her and keeps her motivated, her epic Super Bowl performance and more.

Kevin Durant talks about what drives him as a Champion, who inspires him, how he and Alex have had similar professional experiences and more.

Jimmy Fallon touches on growing up in comedy, being on SNL & more. Ice Cube shares how he navigated his successful career and how he has evolved.

Joe Buck discusses growing up in sports, calling World Series games, and injuring Alex. Jay Snowden talks about his career in the gaming industry and purchasing Barstool sports.

Finally, Steve Madden breaks down the rise of his shoe business, his time in jail & reclaiming his career.

The Corp is executive produced by Alex Rodriguez and Jeff Lee for ARod Productions along with Erika Nardini, Dan Katz and Henry Lockwood for Barstool Sports. Season 3 is sponsored by Presidente Beer.

Source

Barstool Sports

Date

August 28, 2020

Category

Media

In Search Of The Next 1000: The Entrepreneurs Creating Their Own American Dreams

From pandemic curves to unemployment spikes to protest march estimates, the spring and summer of 2020 has introduced us to all sorts of mind-bending statistics. The one that surprised me most, though, came last month via America’s most successful Black entrepreneur, Robert F. Smith of Vista Equity Partners: More than 90% of Black-owned businesses, he explained, are sole proprietorships. In many ways, these business owners are the most entrepreneurial entrepreneurs: completely self-funded, self-driven and self-reliant. Tired of waiting for others to help deliver prosperity, they have to take it and make it themselves.

For Forbes, which has helped define what success looks like in America for over a century, this cohort and others like it offer us an opportunity to expand the continuum of who we cover, laud and learn from. Today, we’re introducing our next big franchise, the Next 1000, a platform that will scour the country to find those entrepreneurs working harder and thinking smarter as they blaze new trails to success.

Different than our “counting” lists, such as Billionaires or Self-Made Women, which numerically chronicle those at the very top, or achievement lists like the Midas List or 30 Under 30, which reward immediate past results, the Next 1000 will seek and highlight doers on their way, overcoming any and all obstacles to get there. These types of journeys tend to prove the most inspiring and, in finding them, we hope to elevate a new class of super-achievers.

We’ve tried to democratize the process of making this list. Any entrepreneur in America can apply, or be nominated, as long as you’ve been in business at least a year (whether full-time, part-time or side hustle), and have less than $10 million in revenue and have raised no more than Series A funding (with extra points for the do-it-yourself heroes extolled by Robert F. Smith). We’re looking for people with compelling personal stories and business models, as well those having an impact on their community, industry and the world. The application process will run through October.

This criteria will produce a list that looks like America, providing a platform for under-represented communities. Besides the racial, ethnic and gender diversity that will naturally occur by focusing on bootstrappers, we’ve designed the Next 1000 for geographic representation, carving up the country into eight zones, each with their own nomination pools, since amazing nascent entrepreneurs exist in every state, not just the coasts.

It’s a big task. Luckily, we have an incredible team helping us sort through the nominations. The Next 1000 judging panel includes billionaire tech pioneers like LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg; investment ceiling-breakers like Ariel Investments co-CEO Mellody Hobson and Cowboy Ventures founder Aileen Lee; sports superstars turned entrepreneurial heavyweights like Alex Rodriguez and Russell Wilson; world-class mentors like National Geographic Society Chairman Jean Case and Morgan Stanley Vice Chairman Carla Harris; and self-starters like restaurateur Ayesha Curry, comedian Lilly Singh and Grammy Award-winning singer Ciara, who all understand how to translate influence into business — middlemen not required. Overseeing it all, we have one of own superstars, Maneet Ahuja, our senior editor for Small Business.

The past few months have underscored the hurdles faced by so many in America. With the Next 1000, we look forward to celebrating and accelerating those who haven’t let anything stop them from creating their own American Dream.


Source

Forbes

Date

July 29, 2020

Category

Business

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez Partner with Company Hims & Hers on Accessible Healthcare

"We remember what it was to grow up not being able to afford decent care," says Jennifer Lopez


Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez's star power might be astronomical, but the two will never forget their humble beginnings growing up in the Bronx and New York City, respectively. It's part of the reason why today, the duo are expanding their role with telehealth company Hims & Hers to help make healthcare and self-care accessible to, and affordable for, those in underserved communities. And in an exclusive interview with People, the new brand partners opened up about this important collaboration.

“We're always focused on providing for people who grew up the way we did,” says Lopez. "We feel like now we're in a different kind of privilege and our kids are growing up differently, but we remember what it was to grow up not being able to afford decent care.”

With a team of more than 200 licensed physicians and nurse practitioners across the U.S., and appointment prices starting at $39 (including the cost of any medication, if necessary), the company’s goal is for everyone to be able to seek treatment. (Hims & Hers’ providers are authorized to diagnose and fill prescriptions for more than two dozen conditions, from asthma to urinary tract infections.)

“We saw it as a company that was offering a modern approach to health and wellness in a way that was responsible and accessible. It's so great to be a part of,” says Lopez.

And Rodriguez notes that the platform combats the stigma associated with talking about sensitive issues.

“It facilitates things that can be very challenging, whether that's [discussing] embarrassing issues, or going to the pharmacy and waiting on-line.”

Lopez agrees. "All of that anonymity and the distance, it's a plus."

Not only are the two hoping to help democratize healthcare, they’re also trying to encourage self-care.

“Like everybody else, we're just trying to hold it together and not get too depressed over the situation that we've been in over the past few months,” Lopez says. “For me, meditating really helps to quiet the mind. But Hims & Hers offers mental health services, which is really great.”

But Hims & Hers doesn’t stop at services. The company also provides personal care products — and Lopez and Rodriguez are weaving them into their routines.

“My hair was over-worked, and so burnt out from so many years and so many jobs,” says Lopez. The damage led her to a mission to find a solution.

“Since I started trying the Minoxidil 2% [topical scalp treatment], honestly, my hair's grown about four inches in the past six months,” she says, adding that it feels thicker, too.

Now, Lopez uses the treatment in combination with the company’s shampoo and conditioner. “[Hims & Hers] has really basic, clean products with the right ingredients. It's nothing overly-fancy, and perfumed. It's just good.”

“[Skin-care] really hasn't been that important to me for a long time, unfortunately. And playing over 25 years of professional baseball and being exposed to the sun pretty much every day of my life, in many ways I'm paying the price now. But I'm catching up, and I do see improvement,” Rodriguez says, adding, “The Goodnight Wrinkle Cream is my favorite. Also, the Morning Glow Vitamin C Serum. I wish I'd had this at the beginning of my career.”

The products are available for a one-time purchase, but once you’re hooked like these two, you can set up a subscription.

Especially right now, with the population practicing social distancing, “It’s very easy to have your products just come every month,” Lopez says.

Another plus? Ranging from $15 to $39, they don’t come with a hefty price tag.

“It’s really important to make products that are affordable for everybody,” says Rodriguez.

And amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has made primary care visits available in Spanish, and also have FDA-authorized at-home COVID-19 test kits, both additions Lopez praises.

The company’s ability to pivot to meet the needs of the public, especially in underserved communities, impresses Rodriguez as well.

“We really believe in [Co-Founder] Jack Abraham to [CEO] Andrew Dudum’s vision, the ability to execute. Anybody can have a good idea. Not too many people can execute at the level.”

Adds Lopez, "It's serving 100% of the population. That's always important to us."

Source

People Magazine

Date

July 20, 2020

Category

Business

Major Real Estate Firms Step Up To Save Black and Hispanic Internships that Coronavirus Wiped Out

NEW YORK  (June 19th, 2020) — When Covid-19 struck, Cedric Bobo moved his internship program for Black and Hispanic students program online. But when he heard that New York City had canceled 75,000 paid summer internships, he took the program one step further.  He decided to use Project Destined’s learning platform as a gateway to replace at least some of those lost internships.

The project destined will administer the internship program in partnership with  Walker & Dunlop, inc.,  REPLI and REIRail. The paid summer internship program for high school and college students from diverse backgrounds is six-weeks in length and will provide students with the opportunity to work with leading commercial real estate firms, where live transactions will help participants gain real-world experience in digital marketing.

Click here for more information and internship opportunities.

HIGHLIGHTING CEDRIC BOBO:

Click here for the original CNBC article

For the past few weeks, Cedric Bobo, a former investment executive at the Carlyle Group, has spent the better part of his days on video calls, welcoming mostly Black and Hispanic students to paid summer internship programs.

When he’s not welcoming them, he’s pitching the programs to real estate executives, hoping they’ll fund even more students.

Bobo is co-founder of Project Destined, a nonprofit real estate learning platform that he launched four years ago. It teaches minority kids in cities basic finance by working with them to understand how property investments in their own neighborhoods work. They learn about how to value buildings, how mortgages work and how investors decide if a property is worth buying. They then pitch deals to panels of experts. Project Destined then invests in the some of the properties and offers the students a chance to profit from the deals through scholarship funds if they stay engaged.

Bobo teaches finance, but he preaches community ownership. Project Destined runs these programs in several major cities across the country, including New York, Detroit and Atlanta.

When Covid-19 struck, he moved the entire program online. But when he heard that New York City had canceled 75,000 paid summer internships, he took the program one step further. He decided to use Project Destined’s learning platform as a gateway to replace at least some of those lost internships.

“So many of our cities are challenged right now with budget issues. Seventy-five thousand students in New York alone lost their jobs for the summer, many of them Black and Brown youth. I talked to the [Real Estate Board of New York], and overnight we created 100 internships for students, and that was a real stimulus around the country,” said Bobo. “We went from there and began working with different corporates to begin to create more and more internships around the country.”

Bobo has recruited some of the biggest names in the real estate business: Brookfield Asset Management, Tishman Speyer, and Walker & Dunlop. The internships are five or six weeks and pay either $500 or $750, depending on the program. Students learn the basics from Project Destined’s courses and then connect directly with executives at the real estate firms sponsoring them. They will also hear live lectures from top executives at Brookfield, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Amazon and former Yankee Alex Rodriguez, who runs his own real estate firm.

“We went straight to the real estate folks, and we went straight to CEOs. That’s really important because if you want to have action, you’ve got to have the leaders create action and then measure it,” said Bobo.

When the Black Lives Matter protests erupted, even more companies, large and small, began stepping up. He now hopes to fund more than 1,000 internships through the fall.

“The protests are critical because they create awareness, and we need to sustain that awareness, but the next piece is how do you translate that into action. So what we’ve been doing is working with the corporates to create true training opportunities where they can hire those folks,” Bobo said.

Another sponsor in the program is Vincent Harris, co-founder of a small, Black-owned proptech firm called REIRail. It is a lead generation platform for smaller real estate investors to source property deals. Harris has been passionate about financial literacy since he was a child. His mother lost their home to foreclosure because she didn’t understand how to manage her finances.

“That was a really formative experience for me. I remember the trauma, frankly, of that, and vowed to never be in a position like that, to never have my children be in a position like that,” said Harris.

What drew him to the internship program, he said, was that it’s not just about education; it’s about putting those lessons into practice and getting both finances and invaluable professional connections into the hands of students.

“A lot of the lack of access, that you see people demanding in the streets right now, comes from the fact that folks who have power, the power to hire, etc., don’t interface with Black and Brown communities. They don’t have a means of entry and so Project Destined is really cementing a pipeline of talent into these organizations,” he said.

On a recent Zoom call, Bobo welcomed Samuel Obasi to his new internship. Obasi, a Black junior at Towson University in Baltimore, explained why he wanted to make real estate his future.

“Not only can you build wealth for yourself, but you can use that to build affordable housing for your own people in your own area, your own neighborhood,” said Obasi.

Source

News Break

Date

June 19, 2020

Category

Business, Impact

Virtual Moderated Discussion - Masks, restarting the economy, & how to build a brand

Source

Alex Rodriguez

Date

May 11, 2020

Category

Media

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez Donate Meals to Hospitality Workers in Miami

MIAMI (April 21, 2020) – Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are doing their part amid the coronavirus crisis.

http://http://https://www.miamiherald.com/news/coronavirus/article242168676.html

The pair have donated thousands of meals that will be distributed this weekend and next week to help hard-hit hospitality workers in the Miami area.

In all, Lopez and Rodriguez donated 20,000 chef-prepared frozen meals from their food line, Tiller & Hatch Supply Co., to feed unemployed hospitality and restaurant workers who have either been laid off or furloughed because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Meals will be distributed at the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort as well as the adjacent Beach Bar restaurant at the Newport Pier. Other hotels that will receive donated meals include The Shelborne South Beach, DoubleTree By Hilton Ocean Point Resort, The Mayfair at Coconut Grove and The Mondrian South Beach.

Source

Miami Herald

Date

April 21, 2020

Category

Impact

Virtual Programming: How to Turn Rejection into a Home Run with Alex Rodriguez

Renowned worldwide for his unparalleled accomplishments on the baseball field, ALEX RODRIGUEZ stands as one of the greatest athletes of all time, as well as an accomplished media personality and philanthropist. A leading voice on resilience and dedication, leadership and teamwork, and how to truly master your craft, Rodriguez delivered a compelling, engaging and informative virtual presentation on how to turn rejection into a home run. It's a powerful, high-quality, 45-minute interview, chock-full of personal anecdotes and actionable lessons that incorporates both multi-media and Q&A. Since quarantine, Rodriguez has been involved in numerous charitable and virtual initiatives, including the All In challenge to raise money to help feed people around the world, and giving a baseball lesson from his backyard.

A 3-time MVP, 14-time all-star, and a 2009 World Series Champion with the New York Yankees, Rodriguez is also the founder of A-Rod Corp, having built a fully-integrated real estate investment and development firm, all while managing a record-breaking baseball career. At engagements Rodriguez shares his “mindset of a champion” philosophy, leaving audiences prepared to excel in their own personal and professional lives. His rave reviews speak for themselves, such as: "Powerful, poignant, persuasive – a truly passionate performance... To say impressed in an understatement. Your expressive and raw discussion turned heads and changed mindsets. A remarkable feat. I believe what captured many hearts was your humility. The surprise and delight of your talk had everyone on the edge of their seats. The question and answer session in particular where many of your themes and advice organically came forth proved to be invaluable." (Intuit)

Watch "How to Turn Rejection into a Home Run"

Source

Ed Mylett Show

Date

April 13, 2020

Category

Business

A-Rod Corp Invests in Nova Credit

NEW YORK (Feb. 22, 2019) – A-Rod Corp announced its newest investment in Nova Credit on Friday afternoon.

“We are excited about this investment,” said CEO, Alex Rodriguez, “This venture celebrates our diversification. As a Dominican-American I am proud to be able to help out fellow immigrants who struggle differently. We believe in changing lives at A-Rod Corp and Nova echos that mission.”

This month, Nova Credit raised a $50M round led by Kleiner Perkins to finally make the global consumer credit reporting system whole. Mr. Rodriguez participated in the Series B funding along with Canapi Ventures and existing investors General Catalyst, Index Ventures, and NYCA Partners. Nova also welcomed Avid Ventures, Endeavor, Susa Ventures and Sound Ventures and the Edge of U2.

ABOUT NOVA:  Nova Credit is the premier cross-border bureau. Lack of a domestic credit history keeps millions of immigrants in the United States from realizing their dreams. The award-winning fintech helps newcomers and other global citizens apply for financial services using their international credit history from countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea, and the UK. We translate international credit data into a U.S.-equivalent score and report in a format familiar to American underwriters, who use it to evaluate applications for credit products. Founded by immigrants, we have a diverse team from around the globe who are creating a world beyond borders to help newcomers arrive and thrive.

ON A MISSION: We strive to enable the flow of humans not just for their economic potential, but because of the value of that movement itself in bringing new perspectives, creativity, community, and innovation. For Nova Credit, we are here to dream up a world beyond borders and our mission is to inspire and facilitate the flow of human diversity. The modern world as we know it has been created through the movement and collaboration of humans. Across changing borders, regions, and cultures, a continuous cycle of human migration and settlement is what defines us as different nations, composes our family histories, and shapes our personal stories.

PROBLEM SOLVING: All newcomers to the U.S. are rendered “credit invisible” upon arrival because American underwriters can’t access international credit data. Even if they have a good credit rating at their prior home countries, recent immigrants often struggle to accomplish the most basic tasks such as getting an apartment lease, a cell phone plan, credit card or student loan. Before Nova Credit translated international credit data to a U.S.-equivalent score, all newcomers had to build their U.S. credit history back to its previous levels from scratch, which can take as long as five years.

INNOVATION: Nova Credit’s core innovation is a U.S.-equivalent global credit scoring and reporting format, the Credit Passport®. Similar to a U.S. credit report, it contains a FICO-equivalent score, tradelines and inquiry history, allowing consumers who have recently arrived in the U.S. to attempt to demonstrate their creditworthiness to lenders. Partners like American Express, MPOWER Financing and Yardi can seamlessly underwrite qualifying newcomers without a U.S. credit score using Nova Credit. The solution requires consumer consent.For most countries, Nova Credit aligns the country-of-origin credit score to U.S. credit risk levels by matching the default rates. For example, a score of 1050 in the originating country that represents a default rate of 3% might equate to a score of 710 at the same default rate in the U.S. In that case the consumer’s score is adjusted to 710 for U.S. underwriting purposes.

Source

Arod-Corp

Date

February 22, 2020

Category

Business, Impact

Alex Rodriguez knocks it out of the park at Mortgage Bankers Association event

Iconic athlete, businessman, media personality and philanthropist ALEX RODRIGUEZ wowed a crowd of 800 executives at the Mortgage Bankers Association's CREF conference, engaging in a 45-minute conversation that touched on everything from business disruption, to lessons from the world of baseball, to insights into how to stay ahead of the curve, find your passion, and connect with the right people at the right time. Chock-full of riveting anecdotes and stories from an iconic 25-year career in baseball plus his latest ventures in business and entertainment, Rodriguez's remarks made headlines in industry press, and had the audience laughing, thinking, and inspired.

Besides being a legendary athlete, media personality, and philanthropist, Rodriguez is also a business powerhouse. He's the founder and CEO of A-Rod Corp-- a tremendously successful, fully-integrated real estate investment and development firm-- and so his remarks infused lots of insights into his business ethic and decision-making, how he built his corporate team from the bottom up, and the new investments he's most excited about.

Rodriguez is also the host of his own podcast, The Corp, and show on CNBC, Back in the Game. He seamlessly weaves his diverse portfolio into the conversation. Sought-out to speak everywhere from Intuit to Capital One, Rodriguez receives race reviews such as: "Alex, wow! You knocked it out of the park... You were beyond spectacular. There were so many takeaways. Thanks so much for sharing your personal story." (The NDP Group, Inc."

Watch Alex Rodriguez at the Mortgage Bankers Association event >>

Source

Harry Walker

Date

February 19, 2020

Category

Business, Media

Alex Rodriguez Teams Up with Fox Sports to Support Gamechanger Fund

MIAMI (Jan. 29, 2020) – FOX SPORTS SUPPORTS, the community impact arm of FOX Sports, today announced the inaugural donation from its newly-formed “Gamechanger Fund” to the Hank Kline Club of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.

To present the $200,000 contribution, FOX MLB Studio Analyst Alex Rodriguez, a Miami-Dade Boys & Girls Clubs Board Member, visited the club he attended during his youth in Coconut Grove, along with Eric Shanks, Chief Executive Officer & Executive Producer, FOX Sports, and Adrian Garcia-Marquez, NFL Announcer, FOX Deportes. Shanks and Garcia-Marquez also grew up in the Boys & Girls Clubs. The contribution was received by Alejandro Rodriguez-Roig, President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.

“The Boys & Girls Clubs could not have played a more important role in my development as both an athlete and a person,” said Rodriguez. “I’m very grateful that FOX Sports is supporting the organization and investing in the club I attended as a child, and the futures of the kids here today.”

The Gamechanger Fund, which is proudly supported by both FOX Sports and its parent company, Fox Corporation, is part of a lasting community commitment ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl LIV on FOX. The Fund will provide AV equipment and education space for the club’s youth to explore future careers in television, digital and social media production. Club members will also be connected with FOX Sports employees and productions around the country for ongoing extracurricular learning and mentorship opportunities.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it were not for the Boys & Girls Clubs,” said Shanks, who also serves as the organization’s Pacific Region Chair. “Everyone at FOX Sports hopes the Gamechanger Fund will help to inspire the next generation and that one or more of these girls or boys is producing the Super Bowl someday.”

This project is rooted in FOX Sports Supports’ belief that increasing youths’ exposure to sports, in both on-the-field athletic pursuits and off-the-field professional ones, can deepen their connection to the game and become a driving force of change in their lives.

About FOX Sports
FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing FOX Corporation’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, the business has ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing relationships. FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Network; FS1, FS2, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Deportes. FOX Sports’ digital properties include FOXSports.com and the FOX Sports App, which provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content, instant scores, stats and alerts to iOS and Android devices. Additionally, FOX Sports and social broadcasting platform, Caffeine jointly own Caffeine Studios which creates exclusive eSports, sports and live entertainment content. Also included in FOX Sports’ portfolio are FOX’s interests in joint-venture business Big Ten Network, a licensing and commercial relationship with The Stars Group that created the FOX Bet sports betting platform and the FOX Sports Super 6 free-to-play game, and a licensing agreement that established the FOX Sports Radio Network.

Source

Fox Sports

Date

January 30, 2020

Category

Impact, Media

Ex-Yankee Alex Rodriguez Goes to Bar...For Beer

The former New York Yankees slugger is joining Anheuser-Busch as partner and chairman for Presidente Beer, which is based in the Dominican Republic.

Rodriguez received a shout-out on Instagram from his No. 1 fan: Jennifer Lopez.

Congrats Alex on your new adventure with @presidente__usa, so proud of you! @arod

Rodriguez will return to the broadcast booth this season on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.” In two years, he will appear on the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. His former teammate Derek Jeter was elected to the Hall on Tuesday. But Rodriguez, despite his 696 career home runs, is expected to face an uphill climb for induction because of his season-long suspension for PED use.

Rodriguez also will be appearing on the ballot with former Red Sox DH David Ortiz, who, despite hitting 150 less home runs, could have a stronger Hall of Fame case given his three World Series rings, although the Boston slugger also was linked to PEDs during his career.

Below is the press release announcing Rodriguez’s news:

Anheuser-Busch today announced a landmark partnership between the iconic Dominican pilsner Presidente Beer and Alex Rodriguez, with the baseball legend and entrepreneur joining as Chairman of Presidente USA.

Long associated with Miami sports, Presidente USA is taking the next step in its legacy by partnering with Rodriguez, who will bring a new energy to the brand by transcending the role of spokesperson and truly helping direct the brand’s efforts toward the rich, Dominican culture that Presidente represents.

Rodriguez, the son of Dominican immigrants, first picked up a baseball on the fields of Washington Heights, New York, before rising to the pinnacle of America’s pastime. His journey embodies the pride and passion that has driven Presidente Beer forward since its inception in 1935.

“Growing up as a Dominican-American in the US, Presidente was not only a beer, it was part of our community. It connected my parents to their home and was a part of every major community event, big or small,” said Rodriguez. “It is truly an honor to get behind a brand with such a deep connection to my heritage and culture, and I cannot wait to help build its future.”

Presidente beer is a powerful symbol of Dominican culture both stateside and abroad, known as a true taste of the Caribbean.

“We could not be more excited about this partnership with Alex Rodriguez, who is himself an incredible ambassador for the Dominican culture. Presidente is the number one Dominican beer brand in the world with tremendous growth potential here in the US on the back of this unique partnership,” said Ricardo Marques, Group VP Marketing for Value and Core, Anheuser-Busch.

As Chairman of Presidente USA, Rodriguez will help grow the Presidente brand presence in the U.S. in 2020 and beyond, including the release of new products and materials

Source

NJ.com

Date

January 23, 2020

Category

Business

Alex Rodriguez Joins Anheuser-Busch as Co-Owner, Chairman for Presidente Beer

HOUSTON (Jan. 23, 2020) – After 22 seasons of baseball, superstar shortstop and third baseman Alex Rodriguez is taking a swing at something new: marketing beer.

The former New York Yankee, Texas Ranger and Seattle Mariner is the new chairman and co-owner of Presidente, the Dominican beer brand now owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but to Rodriguez—the son of Dominican immigrants—the beer brand has an emotional connection. In an exclusive interview with Forbes, he said he feels “like it’s family”—adding that unless someone is from the Dominican Republic or grew up with it, “it’s hard to explain to others.”

“Presidente is one of the most prestigious brands in the entire country,” he said. “It’s what PepsiCo means to America. It’s synonymous with our country, synonymous with our flag. It’s unfortunate my father is not still here to watch this, but I think that he would be more proud of this partnership than my home runs.”

So what does this partnership entail? Details are still scant. However, according to Rodriguez, part of the reason the beer hasn’t caught on as much in the U.S. is that it all about the temperature that it’s served. (For him, it has to be “very, very cold” and “frothy white.”)

“The consumer will get very, very offended if it’s not at least that cold,” he said.

Presidente—first released by Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana in the Dominican Republic in the 1930s—was acquired by Anheuser-Busch in 2012 for $1.2 billion. Ricardo Marques, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Group VP of Marketing for Core & Value Brands, said Presidente has been having growth in the “single-digits.” However, he said the partnership with Rodriguez will be “with us every day looking to grow the Presidente brand.”

“He’s so passionate about the brand and I assure you that he knows this brand better than I do,” Marques said. “It’s part of his culture and where he comes from so what we’re really looking for his vision of where he thinks this brand should go.”

While this is the first beer brand Rodriguez has worked with, it’s not the first brand he’s worked with. Others in the past include Pepsi, Planters peanuts and the coconut water Vita Coco.

“I don’t look at this from an investment or a marketing opportunity,” he said. “I look at this as a way to story-tell and brag about one of the best brands.”

So what comes next? Until now, the focus for the brand has been on East Coast cities with large Dominican populations such as New York and Miami but now the plan is to have a national strategy in place by opening day of the next baseball season—starting with a big activation at Yankee Stadium. Rodriguez said he might recruit some of his fellow Presidente-drinking, baseball-playing friends to help out.

“It’s the ripple affect,” Rodriguez said. “The hundreds of Dominican major league players and Latin American players that have played in this country, the first thing they do after a game is have a Presidente.”

(Article by: Marty Swant Forbes Staff)

Source

Forbes

Date

January 23, 2020

Category

Business

Alex Rodriguez Buys Stake in Presidente Beer, Will Serve as Chairman

HOUSTON (Jan. 23, 2020) – What goes with baseball more than a cold beer?

Alex Rodriguez is buying a minority stake in Dominican beer Presidente through his investment firm A-Rod Corp, sources told Page Six, and the former slugger will serve as chairman of the brand.

The deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev is expected to be announced Thursday at a sales conference put on by the beer giant, we hear.

A source told us, “Alex bought a minority stake. They’re partners, and he’ll be the chairman, and work very closely with Anheuser-Busch as they look to do more together. There really is unlimited potential of what can be done. It’s real involvement and real ownership.”

A-Rod grew up in the Dominican Republic and Miami. Presidente has previously been the official beer of the University of Miami Hurricanes football team, as well as the Orange Bowl in Miami. The brew’s also been the official beer of Miami squads the Heat and the Marlins.

Sources said that A-Rod’s previously been brought dozens of offers to endorse or invest in liquor brands, but that he was ultimately only interested in pursuing Presidente as an organic match to his Dominican roots. Major League Baseball is also rife with Dominican stars from Robinson Cano to recently retired David Ortiz.

“Presidente and baseball are like a religion there. It’s a perfect fit for him,” said an observer, adding that in the States, “The upside is tremendous. There is a ton of growth space.”

A-Rod Corp encompasses a real estate investment and development firm, has investments in fitness studios by TruFusion, UFC and Energy Fitness. The firm also backs numerous media and tech startups.

“He’s building business in a big way with everything he’s built and learned,” said a source of A-Rod.

He’s also a commentator for Fox Sports and ESPN, and hosts “Back in the Game” on CNBC

(Article by: Ian Mohr)

Source

Page Six

Date

January 23, 2020

Category

Business

Alex Rodriguez and Barstool Sports Release Season Two of "The Corp Podcast"

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 27, 2019) – Alex Rodriguez and Barstool Sports Release Season Two of “The Corp” Podcast

After the first season of The Corp became the No. 1 overall podcast last year, legendary baseball player Alex Rodriguez has reunited with Barstool Sports personality and host of No.1 sports podcast, Pardon My Take, Dan “Big Cat” Katz, for another season. Combining comedy, business and sports into one relatable platform, The Corp takes Rodriguez and Katz around the country to interview business leaders, sports legends, entertainment veterans and entrepreneurs to uncover the roots of their success and the mindset that let them overcome the inevitable obstacles.

Season two will open on August 27 with interviews with iconic actor Kevin Bacon and America’s first self-made female billionaire, Martha Stewart. Each week, the podcast will drop on Tuesdays, with accompanying video on Thursdays on YouTube. Guests also include storied racing driver Danica Patrick, WWE executive Stephanie McMahon, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and entrepreneurs Dylan Lauren of Dylan’s Candy Bar and Ty Haney of Outdoor Voices.

In this second outing for the team, Rodriguez continues to share the untold stories of his baseball career and his experience founding the real-life ARod Corp, an investment conglomerate that has deployed hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate, media, consumer and fitness ventures. “It doesn’t matter where you competed. These guests, from Martha Stewart to Danica Patrick and Dylan Lauren, all stared failure in the eye and won that standoff,” says Rodriguez. “It’s a great lesson for us all.”

Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz is known for his ability to bring out the most unexpected and candid moments from athletes and celebrities alike on his No. 1 podcast Pardon My Take. He brings those skills to The Corp and continues to infuse his refreshing and unique comedic point of view. “The goal of the podcast is to let successful people open up in a more relaxed atmosphere, tell their story and relate to the audience what it was like to climb their respective professional mountain,” says Katz. “I think listeners will enjoy what we accomplished with season 2.”

Along the way there will be five appearances from Barstool Sports CEO, Erika Nardini, who says, “In television, you’re working toward someone else’s definition of what’s funny or what’s allowed. With podcasts, you’re getting graded on by the fans…we control our own destiny here.”

The Corp is executive produced by Alex Rodriguez and Jeff Lee for ARod Productions along with Erika Nardini, Dan Katz and Henry Lockwood for Barstool Sports.

Source

PR Newswire

Date

August 27, 2019

Category

Media

A-Rod On Working On His Business Portfolio Post-Baseball Career

Source

CNBC

Date

May 17, 2017

Category

Business, Media

In Conversation - What I've learned from 22 years in baseball

Source

Google Zeitgest

Date

September 24, 2016

Category

Media

A-Rod Corp Hires Inner Circle Sports Executive David Becker as Chief Financial Officer

New CFO bolsters leadership at A-Rod Corp, adding to the firm’s diverse team of professionals

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A-Rod Corp (AROD), the investment firm of entrepreneur and former MLB All-Star Alex Rodriguez, announced today the addition of David Becker as Chief Financial Officer. David joins A-Rod Corp from Inner Circle Sports, where he spent over a decade executing on M&A advisory, capital raising, valuation, and restructuring in the global sports industry. Most recently, David played a pivotal role in the $1.5 billion Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx transaction between Rodriguez, his business partner Marc Lore, and current owner, Glen Taylor.

“Walking away from that experience, I knew David would be a great fit at A-Rod Corp and I am thrilled to welcome him to the team as CFO.”

“We had the pleasure of working with David and the excellent Inner Circle team during our acquisition of the Timberwolves and the Lynx this summer. David’s strategic insights, work ethic, and depth of knowledge shined,” said Chairman and CEO, Alex Rodriguez. “Walking away from that experience, I knew David would be a great fit at A-Rod Corp and I am thrilled to welcome him to the team as CFO.”

As CFO, David will be responsible for overseeing financial planning and operations across the firm’s portfolio of investments in real estate, sports, technology, wellness, and media and entertainment.

“I am excited to join A-Rod Corp’s deep roster of creative minds and strategic leaders as the firm continues to grow,” said David. “I look forward to beginning this next chapter and working with the full team to unlock long-term value and growth opportunities with entrepreneurs and innovators around the world.”

Prior to spending 10 years at Inner Circle, David worked in investment banking coverage at J.P. Morgan as an Analyst and an Associate, covering companies in the financial institutions and real estate sectors. Outside of work, David currently sits on the Board of Trustees and the Finance/Audit Committee for the Family Health Centers at NYU Langone and on the Industry Advisory Board for the Business of Sports School. David earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Emory University, with a concentration in finance. He will be based in Miami.

About A-Rod Corp

A-Rod Corp’s diverse team of professionals supports a portfolio that includes real estate, venture, sports franchises, and various investment platforms across the consumer, media, tech, and sports industries. Chairman and CEO Alex Rodriguez applies the lessons he learned as an MLB champion (and MLB’s 4th all-time home run leader) to lead the A-Rod Corp team—and win in every business that the firm backs.

Contacts

Media Contact
Ashleigh Honig, A-Rod Corp
ahonig@arodcorp.com

Russell Sherman, Prosek Partners
pro-arod@prosek.com

Source

Business Wire

Date

September 27, 2021

Category

Business

A-Rod and Lore Back Fusion-Power Startup in Funding Round

Former baseball star Alex Rodriguez is backing a startup that’s trying to develop a power plant run off of nuclear fusion -- a niche of the energy industry that’s increasingly capturing investors’ attention. 

Focused Energy, based in Germany, is raising $15 million in seed funding set to be announced Thursday. It’s led by venture capital firm Prime Movers Lab. In addition to Rodriguez, other participants include former Walmart Inc. executive Marc Lore and Tony Florence of New Enterprise Associates.

Startups around the world are stepping up efforts to harness fusion power, a much-hyped clean-energy source that’s touted as safe and virtually inexhaustible -- but one that also faces serious technological hurdles. More than $2 billion has flooded into fusion-related startups, according to the Fusion Industry Association trade group.

Related: Is the Nuclear Fusion Revolution Finally At Hand?

Rodriguez, meanwhile, is looking for opportunities as he transitions away from sports and into investment. So far, he has backed hotels, financial services and beer, among other industries. He has partnered with Lore on major deals, such as for the purchase of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves.

“Part of what I look for in an investment is a company that has the ability to solve big challenges and demonstrate long-term growth potential,” Rodriguez said in a statement. 

Getting Ignition

The ex-Yankee began dabbling in the energy sector in 2018, putting money into Petros PACE Finance, which finances energy efficiency improvements for commercial buildings.

Focused Energy was formed in July in Darmstadt, Germany, by a group that included two physicists. It seeks to develop and sell inertial fusion energy, which uses laser beams to start a fusion reaction. It’s also starting operations in Austin, Texas.

The technology is still years away. Management’s goal is to have a working plant in the 2030s. They’ll use the funds on laser development, design, testing and analysis. The method the company is using, if successful, will create “a large surplus of clean, climate-friendly energy for commercial use,” according to the statement. 

“The long-term goal is energy production from fusion,” said Chief Executive Officer Thomas Forner. “The big milestone here is to get ignition.”

Source

Bloomberg

Date

September 22, 2021

Category

Business

Exclusive: A-Rod and Lore on how the Wolves purchase came together and their plans for Minnesota

Jon Krawczynski Aug 5, 2021

Seated next to each other in a Springfield, Mass., auditorium in May, Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore found themselves surrounded by NBA legends as they listened intently to Kevin Garnett give his Hall of Fame induction speech on the stage in front of them.

Just two days prior, Lore and Rodriguez signed documents setting up a succession plan with Glen Taylor that will culminate in the two friends from New York eventually becoming majority owners of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx. It had been a whirlwind negotiation, starting with a text message in March that opened the door, a pair of face-to-face meetings with Taylor in April to hammer out the deal and some final negotiations in May that locked down a $1.5 billion transaction in 45 dizzying days.

Now here they were, listening to the Timberwolves icon thank former executive Kevin McHale, the late Flip Saunders, some of his favorite teammates and pledge to rebuild the city of Minneapolis. It dawned on them right then and there: they now were representing a team that had become synonymous with KG, even if that relationship is strained now, and were preparing to be stewards of the same city that Garnett still holds close to his heart to this day.

“Kevin Garnett was giving this wonderful speech and we looked at each other and said, ‘Can you believe this?’ We’re two kids from New York who started at the bottom and now we’re part of this group,” Rodriguez told The Athletic.

“We both felt it at the same time,” Lore said. “It really hit us both. We looked at each other and we both knew what each one was thinking. We’re here. We’re owners. It’s a childhood dream.”

They had spoken with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver earlier in the evening, an unofficial welcome for a pair that had not yet received approval from the league’s board of governors (that came in July). During that evening, Lore wasn’t the entrepreneur who has built and sold businesses for millions, and sometimes billions, of dollars and has talked about building a “city of the future” with a reformed version of capitalism. Rodriguez wasn’t the ex-Yankee who hit homers and stirred controversy during his playing days, was engaged to Jennifer Lopez and has reinvented himself as a businessman and broadcaster in retirement. They were just two giddy friends taking selfies and preparing to join an NBA franchise looking for a jolt.

“Adam Silver came over and was very generous,” Rodriguez said. “We took a picture and were sending it to our moms and to our kids. That moment for me was like, ‘Oh my God, this thing is fucking happening.”

On its face, the marriage of a Minnesota basketball team run by one of the few legacy owners left in the NBA with a big-thinking tech mogul and a polarizing ex-baseball star doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But Taylor believes he has found the two partners for which he has long been searching — young, energetic and competitive — with more in common than meets the eye.

“You just felt when you shook their hands that you had a deal. Sometimes when you shake hands with people, I wonder if they’re going to come through,” Taylor said. “But I was really confident. How they do business is so similar to how I do business.”

While Timberwolves and Lynx fans bite their nails about the future of the teams in the Twin Cities after two outsiders have positioned themselves to take over, Lore and Rodriguez say that one of the biggest things they share in common with Taylor is a belief in the Minneapolis market.

“We can’t wait to immerse ourselves in the community. We’re both looking to get a place there. We’re going to spend a lot of time in Minnesota,” Lore said. “We’re going to get to know the people, the fans, the business community. It’s a great town. Couldn’t be more excited.”

Rodriguez called the Twin Cities, the 13th-largest media market in the NBA, “a huge asset” in their eyes as they looked at the pros and cons of buying the Wolves and Lynx.

“Marc and I love the town. Long term, our vision is Minnesota all the way,” Rodriguez said. “We love it. We think there’s tremendous upside. We think it’s a great corporate town. We think there’s great social opportunities to bring people together.”

Rodriguez called Minneapolis a favorite city of his to visit during his baseball days, but his ties don’t end there. He was an investor in the Chambers hotel downtown for a while and said he has invested in “a few thousand” apartment units in the area over the last two decades. Lore has connections from his business dealings as well.

Even if Lore and Rodriguez did want to move the team, they would be powerless to do so for at least another two years. They have invested their first $250 million and will have two more call options over the next two years to increase their holdings. Until then, Taylor is still calling the shots. But Rodriguez and Lore will have significant influence in the direction of the franchise even before they own a majority of the team, and they say that Minnesota is where they want to be.

“I think it’s one of the most underrated cities in the country,” Rodriguez said. “The summers, the lakes, we were just there for the Super Bowl a few years ago. I’m really excited. If this was somewhere else, I don’t think Marc and I would’ve done the deal. We certainly wouldn’t have been as excited.”

Taylor sees that as partial validation for the statements he has made throughout the process about his confidence the Timberwolves would be staying in Minnesota. But as much as Taylor trusts Lore and Rodriguez, words can only go so far. Taylor also believes that the NBA is fully committed to the Twin Cities market and would prefer expansion to Seattle and elsewhere over the Timberwolves relocating and breaking a Target Center lease that runs through 2035.

For Taylor, the partnership with Lore and Rodriguez was the culmination of a years-long search for someone to take over the franchise that he saved from moving in 1994. There were fits and starts along the way with several other potential buyers, but Lore and Rodriguez broke through and sealed a deal. When they signed the papers at Taylor’s winter home in Naples, Fla., on April 10, the longtime owner said he just had a feeling that his search was finally over.

“I felt really good,” Taylor said. “Everything up to that point was like, ‘I think these guys are really going to do it. I hope that they can.'”

They could, and they did.

Timberwolves CEO Ethan Casson’s phone buzzed on March 27, and he reached into his pocket to find a text message from Reed Bergman, the president and managing partner at VaynerTalent, a part of serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk’s media empire. Bergman and Casson had crossed paths over the years, most recently on Feb. 25, 2020 at a VaynerMedia event at the Hewing Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.

“Is the team still for sale?” the text read. “If it’s not done yet, I have an intriguing idea I want to run by you.”

Bergman is friends with Rodriguez and Lore, who had teamed up with Lopez last summer in an attempt to buy the New York Mets. Bergman told Casson that he thought Rodriguez and Lore would be a great fit in Minnesota and that the NBA was better suited to their sensibilities. Taylor was open to the discussion and, two days later, Casson was on a Zoom call with Rodriguez and Lore, who asked for a sober analysis of the Timberwolves, a team with one playoff appearance since 2004.

There was no sugarcoating. While the Lynx were the class of the WNBA, the Timberwolves had a lot of work to do. Season ticket numbers were dwindling amid the lack of success and the pandemic. Television ratings were down and corporate sponsorships were getting harder to come by as well in a saturated sports market. The arena leaves plenty to be desired as well. As he laid out the challenges, Casson said he noticed the interest from Lore and Rodriguez growing.

“I love it,” Rodriguez kept saying. “I love it.”

Other groups who have explored buying the team expressed reservations when they peeked behind the curtain. Lore and Rodriguez have teamed together to invest in various businesses, and they were undaunted. This is a growth stock for them, a team with revenues near the bottom of the league, but a media market just above the middle of the pack and a wealth of Fortune 500 companies in the area, presenting opportunities for partnerships.

“The piece that struck us early, Marc and Alex really leaned into the challenge of this opportunity,” Wolves COO Ryan Tanke said. “Beyond how much they cared about people and getting to know Glen and Becky, they loved the climb we have in front of us.”

Taylor, Lore and Rodriguez took part in a Zoom call on March 30 to get a feel for one another. The three hit it off, and that’s when things shifted into overdrive. For whatever reason, a sale process that had stagnated through the winter was starting to see green shoots breaking through the thawing ground in the spring. Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, former NBA player Arron Afflalo and Ryan Smith, who eventually bought the Utah Jazz, were among several groups to start sniffing around.

Lore and Rodriguez then made an important decision that would ultimately play a major role in their ability to complete a deal. After the promising initial conversation with Taylor, the two said they needed to meet Taylor and his wife, Becky, face to face to continue the discussions.

Through their research, Lore and Rodriguez knew that Taylor preferred to conduct business with a personal touch. That went double for the Timberwolves and Lynx. The Taylors see the two franchises as more than a business. It is a part of who they are and a gift of sorts from them to the community. After all, the Wolves nearly moved to New Orleans five years after entering the league when the original owners fell into dire financial straits. That is when Taylor swooped in out of nowhere to buy the team.

Taylor first started looking for a successor in 2012. Along the way, some interested parties walked away from negotiations believing Taylor never truly wanted to sell. First, there was his preference to have a buyer join first as a minority owner and ride shotgun for a few years before Taylor handed over the reins. More recently, some who explored the idea of buying the team believed that Taylor would change the terms anytime talks appeared to be progressing toward an agreement.

“I never got to the point where I wanted to get rid of it, but I was out there (trying to) sell it,” Taylor said. “I liked it. I enjoyed it. So I’m going to do it my way or I’m not going to do it.”

A big part of the Taylor way was to keep things simple, with no lawyers. He relied on face-to-face interactions and personal connections. Lore and Rodriguez wanted it that way as well, so they set about making plans to visit. Scheduling conflicts prevented them both from visiting at the same time, but the urgency to capitalize on the momentum created by their early conversations prompted Lore to fly to Naples for the first meeting on April 5th.

“I think it was all about just building that mutual trust early on, getting to know him and Becky,” Lore said. “We were at his home. We got to see where he lives and how he lives. We shared a lot about our background, about how we grew up.”

At first glance, it would be hard to identify similarities between the 80-year-old Taylor, who built his fortune in farming and agriculture and takes pride in spending most of his time at his home in Mankato, a city of 42,000 about a 90-minute drive from the Twin Cities, and the 50-year-old Lore and 46-year-old Rodriguez, two big-city guys with the cosmopolitan tastes to match. But the closer Casson looked, the more he started to see some commonality that could make a partnership work.

“There was something immediately apparent when they got together and shared their personal journeys,” Casson said. “They were all grounded from a very familiar place, albeit generations apart. And although Glen was always in search of the right framework of a deal, he was equally motivated to find partners that subtly reminded him of him.”

Lore prefers sushi for lunch on most days, but when he arrived at the Taylors’ winter home he found Becky Taylor cooking cheeseburgers on the grill, with potato salad and key lime pie for dessert. Casson and Tanke, Taylor’s two trusted allies, were there as well, and the process of peeling back the layers to find common ground began. Taylor and Lore both grew up in modest homes and ran track in their younger days, and they shared stories of their athletic exploits.

“We were both short-distance and low hurdles,” Taylor said. “We found out we did the same things, but it probably had to do with our physical makeup. We’re both not the tallest guys. They’re small things, but it’s interesting to talk to people who kind of went through the same things that we went through.”

Taylor shared stories of his ownership experiences in the NBA, how he built his business empire and told Lore what he was looking for in a partner. Lore shared some of his core values and spoke about the importance of establishing relationships within the organization and learning from Taylor’s quarter-century of experience in the league. He told Taylor that he and Rodriguez preferred a timeline that allows them to gradually assume the roles of principal owners.

“We all shared a common set of values,” Lore said. “It was just nice. It wasn’t lawyers. It wasn’t bankers involved. It was principal to principal. There was trust involved. We were all vulnerable. We shared things. We were open. And we also didn’t treat it like a typical private equity deal.”

After lunch, everyone went outside to the patio for more conversation. Taylor then went to his office, returned with five sheets of printer paper and handed one to each member of the group. On it was a simple, five-line chart with Taylor’s asking price right at the top. For Taylor, it harkened back to when he bought the Timberwolves from Marv Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner. In that meeting, he wrote out his offer on a yellow legal pad, no frills, no binding, one sheet. That offer was for $88 million. This one was $1.5 billion, on a sheet of paper faxed from his Taylor Corp. office in Mankato to his personal office in Naples.

“Marc, if I’m you, the first thing I’m wondering is, ‘How did Glen come up with $1.5 billion,” Taylor told Lore that day. “The honest answer, Marc, is I just want it.”

There was a long pause and then … “OK.”

“I think anyone else in that position would say, ‘OK that’s your starting offer. Now I’m going to go into deal mode and negotiate it. I’m going to take a slice out of it,'” Lore said. “He meant what he said. He said I’m just being honest. I’m not trying to get the most I can for the team. This is a fair price and this is what I’m looking for.”

Lore and Rodriguez discussed it and then went to work to make it happen. They knew that number was important to Taylor. They also knew that Taylor may be 80 years old and from a small town in Minnesota, but he was not to be underestimated or disrespected.

“Sometimes as a dealmaker, you really need to know when to accept the terms as they are and when to negotiate,” Lore said. “This was one of those times where the right decision was to just accept the terms as they were.”

That is what Taylor had been waiting to hear. From there, Lore, Rodriguez, Casson and Tanke went to work to hammer out the finer points of the deal over the next three days. By Thursday of that week, three days after Lore visited Taylor, they had the economic framework of an agreement in place.

“We just didn’t run into anything,” Taylor said. “Right from the very beginning we decided what we were going to do, and everything those guys said, we did. Working with the lawyers, they all were able to work those things out. There was no argument or disagreement. Some people just want to nickel and dime you to death on some issue and they won’t give you an inch. They weren’t that way. It was really a neat way to do business.”

On Friday morning, April 9, Casson and Tanke presented Taylor and his attorney, Greg Jackson, with the primary framework. After nine years of looking for a deal, Taylor said to Casson, “If these guys will do this, I’m in.”

“To Marc and Alex’s credit, they never deviated or wavered,” Casson said. “They said they wanted to do a deal, they wanted it to work for Glen and we want to be your partners and learn from you and so what type of deal do you need to see to bring this to fruition.”

It wasn’t until then that Rodriguez and Lore started to inform the people around them of how truly close they were to buying the Timberwolves and Lynx. From that point, attorneys and advisors for both sides got involved to construct the official document. From the first call with Taylor to the firm handshake on a $1.5 billion transaction with a unique, two-and-a-half-year runway: 12 days.

“The key is so many people when they get into these negotiations, they have to counter,” Rodriguez said. “If they don’t counter, they don’t feel good about themselves. I think one of the things we did well, we believed him. We came up with a fair price and we moved up on pretty quickly.”  

But there was one more step to take. Rodriguez had yet to visit face-to-face with Taylor. He was finishing up the final tweaks to the paperwork from the Masters in Augusta, Ga., on Friday night and felt it important to fly down to Naples to finish it in person.

“Well, Alex, I didn’t recognize you without your pinstripes,” Taylor joked when Rodriguez arrived.

It was Taylor’s way of breaking the ice. Rodriguez’s tenure with the New York Yankees certainly caused controversy, but he was particularly villainized in Minnesota, where the Twins have lost 18 straight playoff games dating to 2004. Thirteen of those losses have come against the Yankees. Taylor told Rodriguez playfully that he was always rooting against him when the Yankees played the Twins, but he also wanted to ask about his career as a whole, the good and the bad.

“He was frank and open about everything,” Taylor said.

One of Taylor’s go-to stories goes back to his original negotiations to buy the team. As that process was wrapping up, then-Commissioner David Stern sent a wingman named Adam Silver out to Minneapolis to find out if Taylor was legit. Silver came up to the small hotel room Taylor had rented while he was in town from Mankato. It was so small that Silver and Taylor had to sit on the bed together while they called Stern. The call lasted so long that they eventually leaned back against the pillows and kicked their feet up.

“Not lying on the bed, but sort of as if you were reading a book, on each side of the bed, having a conversation with each other and David Stern,” Silver told The Athletic last year. “Lying on this queen-size bed in a hotel room and talking through the deal with David.”

Did history repeat itself with A-Rod?

“I told them the story,” Taylor said. “That’s as close as we got to that.”

Rodriguez soaked it all in and reiterated to Taylor how much he was looking forward to learning from him over the next few years. Rodriguez and Lore are both big sports fans, but they are just starting to learn about the intricacies of the NBA, from the business to the rosters to the collective bargaining agreement.

“He reminded me of a college professor, someone who has all this information and is willing to lean in,” Rodriguez said. “From the jump, I just felt we were aligned from the vision and him wanting to be partners. He was a delight to deal with.”

Lore had pre-signed the papers before Rodriguez arrived. Taylor and Rodriguez were able to finish the process at the table in Naples. In the end, Taylor just felt comfortable not only with the financial wherewithal of Lore and Rodriguez, but of their leadership style, their vision for the Wolves and Lynx and their ability to work together to make that happen.  

“It was critically important to me in how they treat people under different circumstances,” Taylor said. “When you ask a question like how did you get where you are, what risks did you take? Both of these guys took risks to get where they are. Completely different risks. But they took risks to get where they were. I know a lot about that because I’ve had to do that myself. Nothing was given to me. That type of thing struck me as people that I was intrigued with and thought I could work with.”

Tanke is convinced that the decision to see Taylor twice at his home is what ultimately sealed the deal. It may sound trite or corny, but Taylor has always preferred it this way. And with one of just 30 teams in the league to sell, he could afford to be demanding.

“Everyone was focused on the what and not the who,” Tanke said. “Marc and Alex were genuinely interested in the who and wanted to understand what was important to Glen. Why hasn’t Glen found the right partner? Why hasn’t the team already been sold? They were truly curious about the who and the why and not just the what.”

Rodriguez and Lore may only hold a 20 percent stake in the team right now, but they are planning to hit the ground running. They will work with Casson and Tanke on any changes they want to implement right away, and Taylor will have the final say. Lore and Rodriguez are being counted on to bring a new energy and perspective to an organization that is trying to shock the system in the Twin Cities sports scene.

“This was a big idea,” Tanke said. “To reinvent the organization, it had to be bold. I don’t know that you can find bolder or more transformational than Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez and that became a really great jumping-off point for the rest of the week.”

They already have plans to introduce technological advancements to the fan experience at Target Center, but Lore said they will be deliberate in examining other aspects of the organization. They have studied other franchises and ownership groups and have noticed that new owners often make mistakes early by getting too aggressive. And they don’t feel the need to rush because they’re planning on being here for a while.

“Glen had the team for almost 30 years. We’re thinking similarly,” Lore said. “We’re going to have this team for at least the next 30 years. … We don’t think we have all the answers. We’re not ready, quite frankly, to be making all the decisions right now.”

They are joining a team that showed some promise down the stretch with Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell fully healthy, coach Chris Finch getting his system established and Anthony Edwards blossoming into a dynamic scoring threat. But they have been whisper-quiet in free agency to this point, and it appears they will rely heavily on internal improvement to move up from 13th in the Western Conference this season into the playoff conversation.

In some respects, that makes the additions of the two owners-in-waiting even more important. Glen and Becky are still fixtures courtside during games, but the pandemic protocols have led to less direct interaction with the franchises. Lore and Rodriguez figure to be plugged into the day-to-day operations to try to push the teams forward.

“I need them to be ambitious because I’m not there every day to lead them,” Taylor said. “You want somebody that believes like you do that we can grow this company, we can do better, we’re not satisfied with what’s happening.”

Rodriguez and Lore plan to be in Las Vegas next week for Summer League, their first official appearance as NBA owners since they were approved by the Board of Governors. They sure felt like owners in that Springfield auditorium for KG’s Hall of Fame speech, enough for Lore’s throat to catch as he thought about the dreams he had as a child first to be a professional athlete, and then to own a team.

“For Alex, that dream came true. For me, it didn’t,” Lore said. “I’m a little bit shorter and less athletic. Once you realize that’s not possible, the next natural thing is ‘Well, then I want to own a team someday.’ … Just thinking about it through that lens as a kid, that giddiness came right back as an adult. I was able to say, ‘Wow, if I was able to tell my teenage self that I had this dream and it’s going to happen one day, no way I would’ve believed it.'”

(Top photo images courtesy of Getty. Design by Wes McCabe)

Source

The Athletic

Date

August 5, 2021

Category

Business

CGI Merchant Group's Alex Rodriguez-backed fund acquires South Beach hotel

A 90-year-old beachfront hotel in Miami Beach recently traded for an undisclosed amount.

Miami-based CGI Merchant Group purchased the Celino South Beach hotel at 640 Ocean Drive, which will reopen this fall under the Curio Collection by Hilton. The purchase marks CGI Merchant Group's first major acquisition in South Florida using its newly created $650 million hospitality investment fund.

The fund made waves when it launched in December with the announcement that former baseball star and current ESPN commentator Alex Rodriguez joined as an investor.

Alex Rodriguez is among the investors in CGI Merchant Group's $650 million hospitality fund.

The Celino South Beach hotel, built in 1930, has 132 guest rooms, including 26 suites. The property is comprised of four buildings, including the historic Park Central Hotel, Heathcote Apartments and the Imperial Hotel.

All hotels purchased under CGI Merchant Group's hospitality fund will become Hilton-branded hotels, the company announced.

Besides this new acquisition, CGI also owns the Gabriel Miami, Curio Collection by Hilton hotel in downtown Miami. The hotel reopened this summer.

"This is a critical step in our mission to breathe new conscious energy into the hospitality space across the vibrant Florida market and beyond," said CGI Merchant Group CEO and founder Raoul Thomas, who leads the fund.

CGI Merchant Group founder Raoul Thomas at the Gabriel Miami.

Celino South Beach was previously owned by Park Central Partners LLC, an LLC led by Ricardo Tabet, CEO of Optimum Development USA, according to county records. Park Central Partners purchased the 26,000-square-foot lot for $34.1 million in 2013.

According to CGI Merchant Group, the company's hospitality fund will debut a new hotel brand later this year.

After a lull, investors are buying more hotel properties in South Florida. The biggest hotel sale of the year so far remains the purchase of the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort for $270 million in June.

Source

South Florida Business Journal

Date

August 5, 2021

Category

Business

Hims & Hers Partners With Alex Rodriguez to Launch Blur Stick Concealer

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hims & Hers, the multi-specialty telehealth platform focused on providing modern personalized health and wellness experiences to all consumers, has partnered with Alex Rodriguez to launch The Blur Stick – a new skincare solution developed specifically for men. Built to complement fan-favorite Hims products such as the Goodnight Wrinkle Cream and Customized Acne Cream, the new Blur Stick features premium ingredients like jojoba oil and aloe extract packaged in a sleek, travel-friendly tube that glides on quickly and provides long-lasting coverage for a diverse range of skin tones and textures. The Hims Blur Stick ($22) is available in eight unique shades exclusively at www.forhims.com.

Whether he is on the field or in the boardroom, Alex Rodriguez is focused on excellence in his routine. On the hunt for a product that could help him look and feel his best, covering the occasional blemish or dark circle without sacrificing on quality or convenience, Alex realized there were few options on the market for men. As an early investor, Alex turned to the skincare experts at Hims & Hers, knowing the team could develop an innovative product to meet this need. The result was The Blur Stick – a small-but-mighty concealer that applies easily across the face and neck to provide moisturizing, sweatproof coverage whenever and wherever the need may arise.

“Since I met the Hims & Hers team, it was clear to me that they were revolutionizing telehealth and direct-to-consumer products,” said Alex Rodriguez, CEO & Chairman of A-Rod Corp. and investor in Hims & Hers. “Like other Hims & Hers products, accessibility and convenience were central to the development of the Blur Stick. For years, I have been looking for something I can use to touch-up a blemish or razor bump quickly and discreetly, and the Hims & Hers product development team has delivered it.”

Sharing more about the decision to create The Blur Stick, Hims & Hers co-founder and CEO Andrew Dudum commented, “Breaking through stigmas and addressing ‘embarrassing’ topics head-on is core to what we do at Hims & Hers. To some guys, a few pimples or razor burn might seem like no big deal, but for many it’s something that can really weigh on their self-confidence and there weren’t many viable solutions out there to address that. I’m so grateful to be working with Alex on bringing this product to life and I think it will help a lot of people feel more comfortable and confident in their skin.”

The Blur Stick is available in eight shades ranging from fair to deep and comes packaged in a sleek container with a screw-top lid that makes carrying it throughout the day mess- and hassle-free. The tube—the size of a lip balm—has ingredients that soothe and moisturize while providing quick, smooth coverage that can seamlessly hide dark undereye circles and camouflage blemishes in a matter of seconds. The Blur Stick is the newest addition to the Hims & Hers suite of skincare products that also includes a selection of moisturizers, serums and supplements along with access to customizable Rx solutions for anti-aging and acne.

For more information please visit www.forhims.com.

About Hims & Hers

Hims & Hers is a multi-specialty telehealth platform that connects consumers to licensed healthcare professionals, enabling them to access high-quality medical care for numerous conditions related to primary care, mental health, sexual health, dermatology, and more. Launched in November 2017, the company also offers thoughtfully created and curated health and wellness products. With products and services available across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., Hims & Hers is able to provide access to quality, convenient and affordable care for all Americans. Hims & Hers was founded by CEO Andrew Dudum, Hilary Coles, Jack Abraham and Joe Spector at venture studio Atomic in San Francisco, California. For more information about Hims & Hers, please visit forhims.com and forhers.com.

About Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez is Chief Executive Officer of Slam Corp and the founder and CEO of A-Rod Corp. While best known as one of the world’s greatest athletes (a 14-time MLB All-Star and a 2009 World Series Champion with the New York Yankees), Mr. Rodriguez has transitioned to full-time investing. At A-Rod Corp, he leads a team of experts working to build high-growth businesses and enhance the value of more than 30 companies in the firm’s portfolio. He founded A-Rod Corp in 2003, purchasing a duplex apartment building on the theory that investing his MLB earnings wisely would protect him from the kinds of financial struggles that afflict too many professional athletes. Subsequently purchasing apartment units across the southeastern U.S., Mr. Rodriguez built a fully integrated real estate and development company. Following his success in real estate, he has invested in a variety of sectors where he has expertise, including sports, wellness, media and entertainment, and technology. Mr. Rodriguez has been a judge and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank, mentored financially distressed ex-athletes on CNBC’s Back in the Game, and currently co-hosts the podcast The Corp with Barstool Sports’ Dan Katz, interviewing CEOs, entrepreneurs, and sports legends. Committed to creating opportunities for young people to succeed, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade and the Boards of Trustees for the University of Miami and The Paley Center for Media. He is also an Emmy Award-winning MLB analyst for Fox Sports and ESPN.

Contacts

Linda O'Connor
press@forhims.com

Source

Business Wire

Date

May 20, 2021

Category

Business

The How-To Issue: Mature as an Investor

In addition to his company, which oversees the former MLB All-Star’s real estate holdings and investment portfolio, Rodriguez also runs a special purpose acquisition company and venture capital firm with former Walmart Inc. executive Marc Lore.

As a player, you’re presented with endorsement or licensing deals where you can rent your name and walk away. As an investor or owner, you have to be much more involved—it’s a different level of responsibility.

We’ve seen this power shift with personal brands becoming as powerful as big institutions. Now athletes and entertainers have a seat at the table with these conglomerates and can compete for the same asset, which would have been unthinkable 10 years ago.

As a professional athlete, you learn to go narrow and deep. You train to be perfect—or at least try. You learn from your coaches. It’s the same as an investor. You adopt attributes from mentors. I’ve learned that we can be good at a lot of things but can’t be great at everything. Narrow and deeper plays, where we invest our energy and interests, are the most worthwhile. By investing with that philosophy, others begin to learn what you like, and we’re presented with better opportunities.

To ensure we’re allocating resources where it makes sense, we like to move quickly and say no to deals that don’t fit. People appreciate clear communication, and even if that first deal doesn’t work out, it can be the beginning of a relationship. Declining certain deals properly and responsibly often creates future opportunities. —As told to Jason Kelly.

Link to full interview: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2021-05-19/a-rod-sees-level-playing-field-in-spac-space-video

By Jason Kelly

Source

Bloomberg Businessweek

Date

May 18, 2021

Category

Business

Alex Rodriguez’s Next Act: Buying the Minnesota Timberwolves

The retired MLB star and entrepreneur Marc Lore will pay $1.5 billion for the NBA’s Wolves and WNBA’s Lynx after their failed bid to acquire the New York Mets.

Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards, the No. 1 pick in last year’s NBA draft, was asked last month if he was a fan of the person who was negotiating to buy his team: former Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez. 

“I don’t know who that is,” he said. 

Edwards will soon know him as his boss: Rodriguez and billionaire entrepreneur Marc Lore reached a deal to purchase the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx for $1.5 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

While the agreement is pending league approval, the teams confirmed the sale in a Friday statement. 

The deal positions Rodriguez, a generational athletic talent who was suspended for doping and then became a face of baseball in retirement, to be a significant presence in basketball for decades to come. Glen Taylor, the billionaire Minnesota businessman who owns the team, has said he expected to remain involved through 2023, when Rodriguez and Lore would take over as the controlling owners. 

It’s the latest unexpected turn of events in the post-MLB career of Rodriguez, the former New York Yankees third baseman and one of the greatest players in his sport’s history, who also served a year-long suspension for his use of performance-enhancing drugs. But he has been able to rehabilitate a badly damaged public image after his playing career was over. He embraced broadcasting, shined on Fox Sports and ESPN’s telecasts and branded himself a charismatic business mogul on social media as the chief executive officer of A-Rod Corp. 

His successful pursuit of the Wolves comes after he failed to buy the New York Mets last year. Rodriguez was bidding for the Yankees’ rival as part of a group with Lore and the pop star and his ex-fiancée Jennifer Lopez—they called off their engagement last month in a split made for the tabloids—but they lost to the deeper pockets of hedge-fund titan Steven A. Cohen. 

What nobody expected at the time was that he would soon be the owner of another team in another sport. 

Taylor, 80, bought the Wolves in 1994 for less than $100 million and kept the team in his native Minnesota in the face of pressure to relocate. The Wolves have been in the wilderness for more than a decade—this will be their 16th playoffs absence in 17 seasons—and Taylor openly flirted with selling the team several times throughout his ownership, including as recently as last year. 

But it registered as a huge surprise across the NBA when Taylor opened negotiations last month with Rodriguez and Lore, the founder of Jet.com and U.S. e-commerce chief for Walmart Inc. before leaving the retail giant in January, in a deal that came together quickly and promised to bring glitz to a franchise that struggles to attract marquee talent. 

After their exclusive 30-day window to strike a deal expired this week, they kept negotiating after the deadline to hammer out the final details. 

Taylor has said that Rodriguez and Lore pledged to keep the team in Minnesota and he wouldn’t have sold to them otherwise.

The sale of the Wolves makes them the second NBA team to change hands since the pandemic ravaged sports business, and it makes Rodriguez, 45, and Lore, 49, the newest members of a class of younger owners poised to reshape the league. This changing of the guard includes people with billions at their disposal after striking it rich in tech, venture capital and private equity. 

The deal also puts Rodriguez and Lore on track to own the Wolves when they might actually be good. The team’s recent misery put Minnesota in position to build through the NBA draft, and intriguing young prospects like former No. 1 picks Karl-Anthony Towns and Edwards have flashed signs of promise this season despite the team’s record. 

But it’s also unclear whether Rodriguez’s fame will resonate with a generation of basketball players who don’t follow baseball. Not long after Edwards was confused by his existence, Rodriguez shared a clip on Instagram and introduced himself. 

“Hi Anthony,” he wrote. “I’m Alex!” 

“What’s good my guy,” Edwards wrote back with the grinning-while-sweating emoji. 

Write to Ben Cohen at ben.cohen@wsj.com

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the May 15, 2021, print edition as 'A-Rod Teams Up With Billionaire to Purchase Timberwolves.'

Source

The Wall Street Journal

Date

May 14, 2021

Category

Business

Alex Rodriguez and his Hall of Fame roster of Business’s top mentors (Excerpted from Forbes)

A-Rod, 45, one of the top earning athletes ever, has amassed a fortune of at least $400 million based on Forbes estimates. Rodriguez has used his star power, network of billionaire business leaders, and roughly $130 million in take-home pay (after deducting taxes, fees, and A-list spending and before compounded interest) to build A-Rod Inc—a sprawling portfolio with stakes in tech start-ups, trophy high-rises, construction firms, hospitality companies, and thousands of multi-family homes. “I came from very little,” says Rodriguez, whose family was often pushed out of apartments by rising rents. “I remember as a young boy, getting down to my knees and praying that one day, I would trade places with the landlord.” 

Rodriguez realized early on that he needed to start investing. "Your baseball career will take you to your mid-30s, if you’re lucky. While you’re old on the baseball field, you’re a kid in the business community,” says Rodriguez, who, following the lead of many MLB team owners, has plowed his earnings into investment properties. “I loved that as your playing career winds down, your real estate should be appreciating.” 

For advice, he leaned heavily on other sports and business moguls, like NBA great Magic Johnson. “Alex was the first athlete I met who really committed to be a great businessman. He was really serious so we clicked right away,” says Johnson, who made a fortune investing in sports, food, entertainment and real estate. “It’s funny how we’re so much alike. We don’t gravitate towards mediocrity. We want to be the best so we get with the best and do what it takes to get into those rooms with powerful people that have accomplished things we aspire to.” 

On road trips with the Rangers and Yankees, Rodriguez would reach out to the most powerful people in the city. “Magic taught me that when you go into all these cities, pick up the phone to see [if] the top business folks in town will meet you for lunch and you’ll be surprised at how many people will say yes,” says Rodriguez. “The trade was pretty simple. They taught me business. I taught them baseball. It was a good currency exchange.” 

For two decades, A-Rod collected business mentors the same way fanboys accumulate sports memorabilia. In 2000, after learning that Berkshire Hathaway had insured part of his record-breaking $252 million contract with his then team, the Texas Rangers, A-Rod cold-called Buffett’s longtime assistant Debbie Bosanek. “I said ‘It looks like Warren and I are in business together,” says Rodriguez. The call launched a twenty-year long friendship. 

A-Rod laughs when recalling how he wrangled his way into White Sox billionaire owner Jerry Reinsdorf’s office dripping in sweat, dragging orange dirt from the field behind him and still wearing his metal cleats after batting practice. “First of all, I probably smelled terrible,” says A-Rod. “Second, we never talked about baseball—it was all business.” 

A-Rod impressed Reinsdorf with his early portfolio and eagerness to learn. “He had been acquiring a lot of apartments in Florida and I told him the sunbelt was a good market,” says Reinsdorf. “I also told him he should try to acquire his assets relatively in the same geographic region so it’s easier to manage.” 

Rodriguez says there is one lesson he still follows. “Jerry said ‘Alex, if your occupancy is at 99%, your rents are too low; 88% means rent is too high. You should always be dancing around 95%.’And that's been our policy over the past 15 years.” 

There’s also an eagerness to teach himself the ropes. “In all the years I’ve known him, Alex has never shown up for a meeting without a notebook and five minutes after he leaves I always get a follow up with a to-do list,” says Mary Callahan Erdoes, CEO of J.P. Morgan’s $3.8 trillion asset and wealth management division.

A-Rod has plowed much of his energy and money into real estate in now red-hot southeastern Florida. Since inception, A-Rod Corp. has amassed a stake in more than 14,000 multifamily residential properties and developed more than 15 million square feet of real estate. The majority of the investments run through Monument Capital Management, which Rodriguez co-founded in 2012 to focus on multifamily developments. Monument’s playbook is to buy properties at a 15% to 25% discount, fix them up with its own construction team and, after years of appreciation, sell for a profit. 

It has since launched four funds, which hold properties worth at least $270 million net of debt, according to data provider Real Capital Analytics. Rodriguez won’t disclose how much of his cash he’s plowed into Monument’s funds, his stake in the firm or the company’s fee structure, but others say he’s hitting it out of the ballpark. “He convinced me to invest in his real estate funds, which have had incredible returns—amongst the best of anyone in the space,” says hedge-fund billionaire Daniel Loeb, who Rodriguez met at Art Basel in Miami over a decade ago. 

Says billionaire Jonathan Gray, the COO of private equity and real estate giant Blackstone: “It's clear that he has this attraction to real estate and a very good instinct to do a lot of it in rental housing where there's been a shortage of quality housing.” 

The cash flow from Monument has built a foundation for flashier bets. A-Rod has more than a dozen strategic joint ventures including deals with billionaire real-estate financier Barry Sternlicht of Starwood Capital, property management firm Stonehedge and Miami-based CGI Merchant Group. For the CGI deal, which was announced in mid-December, A-Rod is using his starpower to help raise $650 million to buy and develop hotel properties in white-hot Miami and other locales. (It recently announced a $30 million investment into Atlanta’s Morris Brown College with plans to convert it into a luxury hotel and training center). 

While he’s hung up his bat for good, A-Rod remains as competitive as ever. “The thing that people don’t see is Alex has a relentless pursuit of being the best,” [Jennifer] Lopez says. “It’s one thing to want it, and another thing to accomplish what he has already done.”

Source

Forbes

Date

April 19, 2021

Category

Business

Athletes Pitch Wall Street’s Hot New Toy, but Not Just to Their Fans

Super Bowl winners, N.B.A. greats and tennis royalty are tied up with blank-check companies. That can help SPACs sell themselves to start-up targets in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Madison Avenue has long known that athletes can sell almost anything. From soda to sneakers to car insurance, consumers eagerly snap up whatever their favorite sweat-drenched star is pitching.

Now a growing number of big-name athletes are taking their talents to Wall Street. Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes and Eli Manning, the tennis champion Serena Williams and the basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal are just a few of the stars lining up to sell SPACs — the so-called blank-check companies that are surging in popularity as an alternative way for buzzy start-ups, often with little or no profits, to go public.

But they’re not just there to draw in dollars: Athletes provide star power that can be a crucial asset when SPACs — special purpose acquisition companies — are courting start-ups for a merger deal.

“Certain athletes carry a certain weight that gives them the ability to generate exposure and create buzz, whether it’s in the sports world or in the finance world — and so I think that that’s the ultimate motivation behind a lot of it,” said Ryan Nece, who had a seven-year career as a linebacker in the National Football League. Now he is a managing partner at the investment firm Next Play Capital, which has been approached about starting a SPAC but has no plans to do so — yet.

SPACs are in a race against the clock from the moment they make their shares available in an initial public offering. They generally have just two years to close a deal for a target company, or they must return the money raised from investors. And with SPACs being formed at a record pace, athletes can be useful partners when trying to close a deal — or simply getting a foot in the door.

Last year, 256 special purpose acquisition companies went public, raising $83 billion from investors, which was more than five times the record of $15.5 billion in 2019, according to Dealogic, a data provider. The competition has grown only more heated: As of Wednesday, 295 SPACs had gone public in 2021, raising $93 billion and breaking last year’s record in a matter of months.

About a fifth of the SPACs launched since the start of last year involved a sports figure or focused on acquiring a sports-related business, according to the trade publication Sportico, which is keeping tabs on every new SPAC filing.

Kristi Marvin, founder of SPACinsider, which collects data on the market, said adding an athlete to a board brought marketing clout. “It’s really not geared to the retail investor, but it’s geared to getting meetings with target companies to do deals,” she said.

Consider a $300 million financing deal to complete the merger of NewHold Investment, a SPAC, with Evolv Technology. It included a number of hedge funds but also several famous athletes, such as the tennis power couple Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi and the soon-to-be Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. NewHold’s backers hope that adding star power to the deal will help attract customers for its crowd-screening technology, which is aimed at stadiums, arenas and schools, said a person who was briefed on the matter but not authorized to speak publicly.

Often, an athlete can be added to a SPAC’s board or advisory committee at little cost to the management group running it. Directors are usually compensated with shares, and some advisory board positions are unpaid until a deal gets done.

But some athletes are not content to merely add their names to someone else’s SPAC.

They include Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who is trying to raise $287 million for a SPAC with a focus on social justice, and Alex Rodriguez, a three-time most valuable player who retired from the New York Yankees in 2016 at No. 4 on the career home run list.

Mr. Rodriguez is the chief executive of his own SPAC, Slam Corp, which he established in February, and may sit on the board of whatever company it acquires. He said he and his partners had already seen more than 70 potential targets after raising $500 million.

Raising money through a SPAC allows his investment firm, A-Rod Corp, to take on opportunities that were out of reach before, he said.

“What has been the barrier for entry for us has been capital — and this levels out the playing field,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

He and his partner in Slam Corp, the hedge fund manager Himanshu Gulati, are looking to acquire a business in the sports, media, or health and wellness industry — but not a sports team, he said. (Mr. Rodriguez was also an investor in the telehealth company Hims and Hers, which went public in a SPAC transaction valuing the firm at $1.6 billion last year.)

Rich Kleiman, manager and business adviser to Kevin Durant, the All-Star forward for the Brooklyn Nets, said having an athlete on an advisory board of a SPAC might help get a meeting with a company. Mr. Durant, he said, had been approached about such an arrangement but decided against it because he would have little control over the company’s direction.

While Mr. Durant, who with Mr. Kleiman runs a growing media and investment company, Thirty Five Ventures, has fielded suitors, other athletes are reaching out on their own.

Forest Road, an investment firm, was the entry point for Mr. O’Neal, who was already an investor there when he contacted its chief executive, Zachary Tarica, about getting involved in its growing SPAC business. Mr. O’Neal was an adviser on its first SPAC, which last month announced plans to buy Beachbody, a digital fitness company, at a $2.9 billion valuation. He’s now an adviser on a second Forest SPAC.

Kevin Mayer, a former Walt Disney and TikTok executive who advised the first SPAC and is helping lead the second, described Mr. O’Neal as “a real businessman,” although he cautioned against investing in a particular venture just because a famous person was involved.

“If anyone were to ask me, I say you should definitely not invest in this SPAC because there’s a sports star or any single person,” he said. “They should look at the totality of the investment.”

Securities regulators have taken notice of the celebrity-endorsement trend, which has also attracted nonathletes ranging from Sammy Hagar to Jay-Z. The Securities and Exchange Commission put out an investor alert on March 10 cautioning retail investors not to buy shares of a SPAC simply because some boldface names are attached to it.

There’s reason for healthy skepticism.

SPAC investors buy in, usually for $10 a share, not knowing what kind of business they could ultimately own a piece of. The company could prove itself not ready for prime time — a problem that some in the financial industry see as a function of too many blank checks chasing too few start-ups in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

A forthcoming study in the Yale Journal of Regulation by professors at the Stanford and New York University law schools found that the “circuitous two-year process” from I.P.O. to merger “creates substantial costs, misaligned incentives and, on the whole, losses for investors who own shares at the time of SPAC mergers.” Investors who bought shares in the I.P.O. and sold them before the merger tended to fair best, the study found.

Adewale Ogunleye, who spent 10 seasons in the N.F.L. and now heads the sports and entertainment group at the wealth management division at UBS, said he advised athletes to be cautious with their money and not jump into every hot investment trend. He said they — and any investor, for that matter — should approach a SPAC with open eyes and a desire to get as much knowledge as possible.

And any athlete lending his or her name to a SPAC must think about potential legal exposure if something goes wrong with a deal, he said.

“You have to be OK with other people winning and sometimes just sitting on the sideline,” Mr. Ogunleye said. “It’s the hardest thing you’ve got to tell an athlete.”

Source

The New York Times

Date

March 26, 2021

Category

Business

Downtown Miami apartment tower — with A-Rod as an investor — launches leasing

Rents start at about $1,300 a month

Grand Station Apartments in downtown Miami is launching preleasing of the tower, which counts retired Yankees shortstop Alex Rodriguez as an investor.

Rovr Development, led by principals Oscar Rodriguez and Ricardo Vadia, is beginning to lease the 30-story, 300-unit building at 40 Northwest Third Street, near the federal courthouse, according to a press release.

Alex Rodriguez’s Monument Real Estate Services is the property manager, and he personally is an investor in the project, a spokesperson confirmed.

Construction is nearly completed, and move-ins are expected to begin this summer. Monthly rents for one-, two- and three-bedroom units will be $1,277, $1,427 and $1,963.

The $70 million project, a public-private partnership, is built on top of and expands the existing Courthouse Center garage. Rovr completed the P3 with the Miami Parking Authority. The property is also near the Government Center Metrorail Station and Brightline MiamiCentral.

Zyscovich Architects and Anillo, Toledo, Lopez LLC designed the building. Amenities include a rooftop terrace, a fitness center and spa rooms, indoor heated pool, business center and clubroom, and an outdoor kitchen with a grilling area, swimming pool and hot tubs.

Grand Station Partners closed on a $53 million loan in March 2020 from Kayne Anderson affiliate Saperian Capital to finance construction.

Rovr Development is also co-developing the District at 225 North Miami Avenue in downtown Miami with its partner the Related Group. The planned 37-story, mixed-use project will have 343 residential units and nearly 2,300 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Rovr also recently completed the Fairchild, a luxury condo in Coconut Grove.

Rendering of Grand Station Apartments with Alex Rodriguez, Oscar Rodriguez and Ricardo Vadia (Getty, Rovr/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)

Source

TheRealDeal

Date

March 24, 2021

Category

Business

Don’t Call A-Rod a Front Man.

This past fall, Alex Rodriguez – yes, that Alex Rodriguez, the one engaged to Jennifer Lopez and who could be on his way to the baseball Hall of Fame next year – was spit-balling with Lane LaMure, the chief investment officer of A-Rod Corp.

“We should do a SPAC,” LaMure told him. “They are custom made for us. We have more deal flow than I’ve ever seen in my entire 25-year career.”

But as A-Rod told Trillions last week, while the SPAC solved one barrier to entry – capital – he still lacked the institutional background commonly associated with mega-deals. Enter Himanshu Gulati and Antara Capital, a $1.25 billion hedge fund backed by Blackstone that has partnered with the baseball legend to raise a $500 million SPAC, branded as Slam Corp. “We’re competing with the Blackstones of the world,” A-Rod now says. “With the SPAC and Himanshu, we’re on a level playing field.”

But now the two-year clock is ticking, and with SPACs popping up faster than fly balls – and with a SPAC index cratering 20% in two weeks – there is no guarantee that Slam Corp. will hit a home run (okay, I’ll stop). What’s the plan?

  • They have a template. A-Rod name-checked DraftKings and Peloton as two companies that “have done very well in the public markets.” The duo is “comfortable with health and wellness,” and is “getting very familiar with the beauty space. But DraftKings hits a lot of my buzzwords – baseball, sports – and gaming is really on fire.”
  • The target needs tech. “We definitely want a technology component,” A-Rod says. “We want it to be the backbone of the business.” He pointed to his 2019 investment in Hims & Hers – the telehealth and wellness company – as another corollary.
  • They acknowledge there’s a bubble. “There are too many SPACs and too many people entering the market, which is why it goes back to picking the one you think is well-capitalized with better management teams,” Gulati says. But, he argues, basically everything’s a bubble: “Does a 70% move in Bitcoin makes sense?” he asks. “I have a tough time understanding that. I don’t think it’s specific to SPACs.”
  • They won’t commit to just one. “Let’s go crush the first one – the most important one,” A-Rod says. “One game at a time; one pitch at a time. But we’re not 75 trying to do one more thing — we’re entering the prime of our careers.”
  • Gulati’s investing chops are obvious, but A-Rod’s are… kinda awesome? “I’ve always tried to keep it simple,” he says about his history of real estate investing. “My mother never had the money to buy anything. We always rented and often had to move every 18 months because the landlord kept raising rents. I remember wanting to exchange places with the landlord. About 12 years later, in my late 20s, I had an opportunity to buy a duplex and sold it a few years later for double. Then I bought a four-plex, an eight-plex – 60 units was my biggest acquisition. I put about 1/3 of my liquidity into it. I remember going into spring training one year and being so nervous – not for the season, but that 60 tenants would pay the rent so I can make my mortgage.”
  • They’re fully aware of the common critique against famous faces leading SPACs. “When people talk about Alex being a celebrity SPAC, I want to be really clear,” Gulati says. “Take a look at all the other celebrity SPACs out there. They’re all directors or special advisors, which effectively means very little involvement – that they’re there for the marketing side. Alex is a CEO.”
  • Everything in perspective. “I don’t think anything can compare to playing in New York at Yankee Stadium in pinstripes – the same uniform Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, and Reggie Jackson wore,” A-Rod admits. “I can’t ever outdo my first act.”

Source

Trillions

Date

March 9, 2021

Category

​Step​, the financial services company built for teens and families, adds major star power with baseball legend Alex Rodriguez and digital megastar Josh Richards joining as investors.

Closes new venture debt facility; welcomes Alex Rodriguez and Josh Richards to the #StepFam 

SAN FRANCISCO –– February 25, 2021 –– Step, the new modern-day financial services company built for teens and families, today announced it has crossed one million users. A first of its kind, Step offers users the ability to build credit before they turn 18 through a free, FDIC insured bank account, secured spending card and P2P payments platform. The company also recently closed a new venture debt facility and added major star power with baseball legend Alex Rodriguez and digital megastar Josh Richards joining Step as investors. 

“We’ve seen explosive growth since Step’s launch a few short months ago and we’re thrilled to be helping so many teens and families tackle money management,” said CJ MacDonald, Founder and CEO at Step. “The rapid adoption of Step reflects the evolving needs of today’s teens and we’re really excited to be working with partners like Alex and Josh to help push our financial literacy movement even further.” 

Year after year, harrowing statistics have been reported about the state of financial literacy in the U.S. with 34% of teens unbanked, only 21 states teaching personal finance content in school and college students graduating with an average of $5,000 in credit card debt. Consumers have had enough and they’re looking for not just a better product, but a better partner. It takes less than two minutes to sign up for Step. There are no gimmicks or fees, and teens can start managing their money immediately, all from the palm of their hands. 

“As someone who grew up with limited resources, financial literacy has always been a mission that resonates with me,” said Alex Rodriguez, Chairman and CEO at A-Rod Corp. “I tell my kids all the time that knowledge is power. Step is the type of tool that can empower young people by helping them understand personal finance and 

money management.” 

According to Common Sense Media, teens spend an average of nine hours online every day catching up on news, following the latest trends and teaching themselves new skills. Learning is at the core of teen engagement on social media, making it the perfect place to start talking to them about the importance of financial literacy and how to avoid the common money pitfalls of past generations. 

“Step has done an incredible job of tapping into the teen market by creating authentic and engaging conversations across popular social media platforms like Instagram, Snap, TikTok, Triller and YouTube,” said Josh Richards. “I truly never thought I would see a day where teens were actively talking about their banks on social media. Learning how to manage your money is such a critical life skill so when I saw a company making these conversations cool - I just had to get involved!” 

As Step continues to grow at an exponential rate, the company recently closed a venture debt facility with Bridge Bank to prepare for future capital growth needs and focus on becoming the number one banking platform for the next generation. 

About Step 

Step was founded by financial industry veterans CJ MacDonald and Alexey Kalinichenko to provide teens and their families with financial tools for today’s modern-day banking needs and to promote financial literacy for the future. The founding team has 50+ years in combined financial technology experience from companies like Gyft, First Data, Square and Google. Step is backed by Coatue, Stripe, Crosslink Capital and Collaborative Fund. Step’s financial products are powered by its bank partner Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC and insured up to $250,000. To learn more, please visit: www.step.com.

Source

Associated Press

Date

February 25, 2021

Category

Business

Slam Corp. announces pricing of $500 Million Initial Public Offering

NEW YORK – February 22, 2021 – Slam Corp. (the “Company”) today announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 50,000,000 units at $10.00 per unit. The units will be listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market (“Nasdaq”) and trade under the ticker symbol “SLAMU” beginning on February 23, 2021. Each unit consists of one Class A ordinary share and one-fourth of one redeemable warrant, with each whole warrant entitling the holder thereof to purchase one Class A ordinary share at a price of $11.50 per share. Once the securities comprising the units begin separate trading, the Class A ordinary shares and warrants are expected to be listed on Nasdaq under the symbols “SLAM” and “SLAMW,” respectively. The initial public offering is expected to close on February 25, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and BTIG, LLC are serving as joint book-running managers for the offering. The Company has granted the underwriters a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional 7,500,000 units at the initial public offering price to cover any over-allotments.

The initial public offering is being made only by means of a prospectus. When available, copies of the prospectus relating to this offering may be obtained from: Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Attn: Prospectus Department, 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282, or email: prospectus-ny@ny.email.gs.com, or from BTIG, LLC, 65 East 55th Street, New York, New York 10022, or email: equitycapitalmarkets@btig.com.

A registration statement relating to the securities became effective on February 22, 2021 in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

This press release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking statements,” including with respect to the proposed initial public offering and the anticipated use of the net proceeds. No assurance can be given that the offering discussed above will be completed on the terms described, or at all, or that the net proceeds of the offering will be used as indicated. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous conditions, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, including those set forth in the Risk Factors section of the Company’s registration statement and preliminary prospectus for the Company’s offering filed with the SEC. Copies are available on the SEC’s website, www.sec.gov. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these statements for revisions or changes after the date of this release, except as required by law.

About Slam Corp.

Slam Corp. is a newly organized, blank check company formed for the purpose of entering into a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, recapitalization, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities. The Company has not selected any business combination target and will not be limited to a particular industry or geographic region. The Company’s Founding Partners are A-Rod Corp and Antara Capital LP

Contacts:

For investor inquiries:

Alex Jorgensen

Prosek Partners

ajorgensen@prosek.com

For media inquiries:

Russell Sherman

Prosek Partners

rsherman@prosek.com

Source

Associated Prss

Date

February 23, 2021

Category

Business

A-Rod Swings for the Fences With New Hotel Real-Estate Fund

Former Major League Baseball MVP Alex Rodriguez, now a real-estate mogul, joins a $650 million hotel fund

Baseball legend Alex Rodriguez is teaming with a Miami private-equity firm to invest more than a half-billion dollars in buying or developing hotels at a time when the industry has been ravaged by the pandemic.

The former New York Yankee known as A-Rod said he is joining CGI Merchant Group in its new hotel investment fund, which the firm launched this month. The venture aims to raise $650 million to acquire and develop properties in partnership with Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. brands. Maverick Capital Partners, a New York brokerage, will also be part of the venture.

Mr. Rodriguez has been a real-estate investor for many years, going back to his playing days. He founded his own real-estate investment company in 2003, the year before he played his first game for the Bronx Bombers. His Monument Capital Management has made more than $800 million worth of property acquisitions in more than a dozen states, according to its website. Mr. Rodriguez will invest some of his personal money in the hotel fund and help source deals.

He said investing in hotels right now is a way to capitalize on a travel rebound once the pandemic is under control. “We believe we can acquire assets that are strategically positioned to be in the top-performing percentile once restrictions are eased,” the 14-time All Star and 2009 World Series Champion said.

The CGI Merchant fund will look to invest in hotels and resorts across North America and the Caribbean, CGI said, with Miami, Seattle and New York City of particular interest. Raoul Thomas, CGI Merchant’s chief executive, said the fund will avoid large hotels with open floor plans and large banquet spaces. Lodging properties dependent on large group events, like seminars and conferences, may recover more slowly than those primarily attracting tourists, he said.

The fund has already made one purchase, the 129-room Gabriel Hotel in Miami, this past June, Mr. Thomas added.

While many other investors have been raising money in anticipation of buying up distressed hotels at rock-bottom prices in the near future, fewer U.S. hotels have changed hands this year than in almost any other year. The volume of hotel sales in 2020 is coming in 84% below 2019 levels as of October, according to a report from Real Capital Analytics, a real-estate data firm.

Hotel performance continues to suffer and business travel shows no signs yet of bouncing back. Hotel-room occupancy, as of the first week of December, is down 38% from the same week in 2019, according to hospitality industry data provider STR. Hotel executives have said they don’t expect industry revenue to return to last year’s levels until at least 2023.

Despite this grim prognosis, prices of hotels sold this year have fallen just 3.3%. Few sellers have been willing to meet the lower price expectations of buyers. “The owner of a hotel asset will not sell at a loss unless forced to do so because of distress situations,” RCA’s report notes.

But ongoing debt problems for hotel owners could spell deeper distress for the sector and more opportunities for investors like CGI Merchant and A-Rod. The partners said they view the hotel fund as a long-term strategy.

“Wealth is rarely created overnight,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

Source

The Wall Street Journal

Date

December 15, 2020

Category

Business

Hims & Hers to go public through blank-check company


The direct-to-consumer telehealth startup will go public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company Oaktree Acquisition Corp. The combined entity is expected to be valued at $1.6 billion.

By ELISE REUTER

Direct-to-consumer health company Hims Inc. said it plans to go public through a blank-check company. The San Francisco-based startup confirmed ongoing reports that it was in talks to sell to a special-purpose acquisition company.

The men’s health company first made its foray with cheeky subway ads for hair loss and erectile dysfunction medications. Its similarly branded site for women, Hers, launched a few months later, offering birth control pills, and hair and skin care products.

But more recently, both brands have expanded their services beyond wellness to include virtual primary care visits and mental health services.

“From the moment we launched the company about two-and-a-half years ago, we knew we had struck a really strong chord with people,” CEO and Founder Andrew Dudum said in a phone interview. “Men were coming out of the woodwork talking about how excited they were to finally get care.”

In this case, Hims will merge with a SPAC formed by Oaktree Capital Management. The newly formed entity, called Oaktree Acquisition Corp., went public in July with the intent of using the proceeds to make an acquisition.

After the deal closes, Hims’ stock will be traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “HIMS.” The combined company will be valued at roughly $1.6 billion.

Dudum said the company chose to go the SPAC route because it provided a faster speed to market and more certainty and flexibility than a traditional IPO. Hims has seen more than 100% compounded annual revenue growth over the last two years and has more than doubled its gross margins to 70%, according to internal data provided by the company.

The past six months, in particular, have been telling. Since the start of the pandemic, Hims began offering $39 cash pay virtual primary care visits, $60 psychiatry evaluations and $15 online support groups.  It also rolled out an at-home saliva test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

“It’s been a transformative time for the company. The virus has acted as a looking glass into the future, where you can see more people than ever understand the benefits of telemedicine,” he said. “We had a four-year product roadmap with expansion that we were able to execute in two or three quarters. … We feel really confident in the business and the brand as it stands today.”

In the future, Dudum plans to expand further into managing chronic conditions. High cholesterol, diabetes, sleep and infertility are some areas the company might explore in the future, he said.

But Hims & Hers will still stick to its cash pay subscription model, rather than billing through insurance. Most treatments the two brands offer range from $20 to $40 per month, and are structured as a subscription model.

“For the conditions we’re talking about today as well as in the future, we believe we can offer cash pay prices that are cheaper than if not equal to people’s copay for their insurance,” he said.

Hims’ current management and shareholders will roll almost all of their equity into the combined company. Some of its backers include Founders Fund, Forerunner Ventures, Thrive Capital and McKesson Ventures.

After the deal closes, Hims’ shareholders will own roughly 84% of the combined company, while shareholders of Oaktree Acquisition Corp will own a 12% stake. Dudum will have roughly 90% of the voting power of the combined company, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The combined company will have $330 million in cash, including $205 million from Oaktree Acquisition Company and $75 million from a private placement. The merger has been approved by both companies’ boards and is expected to close before the end of the year.

Photo credit: Screenshot of Hims website

Source

MedCity News

Date

October 1, 2020

Category

Business

Hims & Hers, a Multi-Specialty Telehealth Platform, to Become Publicly-Traded via Merger with Oaktree Acquisition Corp.

  • Hims & Hers is a telehealth leader modernizing the delivery and accessibility of digital, consumer-focused healthcare services
  • Transaction will enable further investment in growth and new product categories that will accelerate Hims & Hers’ plan to become the digital front door to the healthcare system
  • Combined company to have an implied initial enterprise value of approximately $1.6 billion, with the company expected to have an estimated $330 million in cash after closing
  • Top-tier investors, including Franklin Templeton and clients of Oaktree, anchoring a $75 million PIPE
  • Leading existing institutional backers of Hims & Hers, including Founders Fund, Forerunner Ventures, IVP, Redpoint Ventures, Thrive Capital, McKesson Ventures, and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board intend to roll 100% of their equity

October 01, 2020 09:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time

SAN FRANCISCO & LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hims, Inc. (“Hims & Hers” or the “Company”), a market leading telehealth company, and Oaktree Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: OAC.U, OAC, OAC WS), a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by an affiliate of Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”), announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company’s securities are expected to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol “HIMS.”

Hims & Hers is on its way to becoming a publicly-traded company!

Company Overview

Launched in 2017, Hims & Hers has built a proprietary platform that connects consumers to licensed healthcare professionals for care across numerous specialties, including primary care, mental health, sexual health and dermatology, among others. Since its founding, the Company has facilitated more than two million telehealth consultations, enabling greater access to high quality, convenient and affordable care for people in all 50 states. The Company has driven 100%+ compounded annual revenue growth over the last two years and has more than doubled gross margins to 70%+, with revenue that is over 90% recurring in nature.

The future of healthcare will be led by consumer brands that empower people and give them full control over their healthcare. A direct relationship with consumers is the most valuable component in the healthcare system. Hims & Hers has endeavored to build a healthcare system that squarely focuses on the needs of the healthcare consumer. Hims & Hers directs the consumer experience from start to finish, uniquely positioning the Company in the rapidly-emerging telemedicine landscape to lead the industry in B2C-focused telehealth solutions.

Hims & Hers has built a strong customer base of highly loyal brand ambassadors who represent the future of the healthcare system. The Company’s customers embrace its convenient, digitally native product, generating organic growth through word of mouth and user-generated content, which enhances brand awareness and lowers customer acquisition costs. The majority of its consumers are millennials, a high-value generation at the beginning of its lifetime value curve that is poised to expand its purchasing power. The Hims & Hers platform is set up to serve these customers over the long-term by offering great user experience and access to high quality medical care.

As of June 2020, Hims & Hers had approximately 260,000 subscriptions on the platform.

Management Comments

“We’re thrilled to partner with Oaktree Acquisition Corp. to usher Hims & Hers into our next phase of growth as we work to become the front door to the healthcare system, serving as the first stop for peoples’ health and wellness needs across hundreds of conditions,” said Andrew Dudum, CEO and founder of Hims & Hers. “Hims & Hers was founded to make it easier and more affordable for everyone to get the healthcare they need. We remain committed to advancing that goal as we expand into new categories of care and build an enduring healthcare company that brings choice, affordability and access to consumers.”

“We are very pleased to launch our Oaktree Acquisition Corp. franchise with this partnership with Hims & Hers, a rapidly-growing provider of much-needed innovation to the healthcare system,” said Howard Marks, Co-Chairman of Oaktree. “This transaction shows Oaktree Acquisition Corp. to be a complementary extension of Oaktree’s capabilities and builds on our strength in sourcing opportunities throughout the market cycle.”

“We founded Oaktree Acquisition Corp. to partner with a high quality, growing company that will benefit from a public currency for its next leg of growth,” said Patrick McCaney, CEO of Oaktree Acquisition Corp. “Hims & Hers is an ideal match and represents a unique opportunity to invest in a rapidly-growing company that is modernizing the delivery and accessibility of healthcare and wellness solutions. Over the past two years, the Company has experienced significant growth bolstered by the continuing widespread adoption of telehealth and digital patient care solutions – and we think this is just the beginning. We look forward to partnering with Hims & Hers to accelerate the expansion of its high-quality, end-to-end care services across the broader healthcare marketplace.”

Key Transaction Terms

The business combination values the combined company at an enterprise value of approximately $1.6 billion and is expected to deliver up to $280 million of cash to the combined company through the contribution of up to $205 million of cash held in Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s trust account, and a $75 million concurrent private placement (PIPE) of common stock of the combined company, priced at $10.00 per share, from leading institutional investors, including funds managed by Franklin Templeton and certain Oaktree clients. The enterprise value equals 8.9x estimated 2021 revenue and 12.2x estimated 2021 gross profit, an attractive valuation relative to telehealth peers despite the Company’s leading growth and margin profile.

As part of the transaction, Hims & Hers’ current management and existing equity holders will roll nearly 100% of their equity into the combined company. Leading existing institutional backers of the Company including Founders Fund, Forerunner Ventures, IVP, Redpoint Ventures, Thrive Capital, McKesson Ventures, and the Canadian Pension Fund intend to roll 100% of their shares and the transaction agreement provides for up to $75 million of cash consideration at closing to shareholders, at their election. Assuming no public shareholders of Oaktree Acquisition Corp. exercise their redemption rights and before any potential cash consideration to Hims & Hers shareholders, current Hims & Hers equity holders will own approximately 84%, Oaktree Acquisition Corp. shareholders will own approximately 12%, and PIPE investors will own approximately 4% of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock, respectively, of the combined company at closing. Furthermore, the combined company will be capitalized with up to $330 million in cash, including proceeds received from the transaction together with existing cash on Hims & Hers’ balance sheet. The business combination includes a minimum cash closing condition of $200 million, which is calculated as cash delivered from Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s trust account, plus cash delivered from the PIPE, minus the up to $75 million of cash consideration at closing to shareholders as described above. Hims & Hers intends to continue investing in growth and new product categories to accelerate its goal of becoming the digital front door to the healthcare system.

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of each Hims & Hers and Oaktree Acquisition Corp., is subject to approval by Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020.

A more detailed description of the transaction terms and a copy of the Agreement and Plan of Merger will be included in a current report on Form 8-K to be filed by Oaktree Acquisition Corp. with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Oaktree Acquisition Corp. will file a registration statement (which will contain a proxy statement/ prospectus) with the SEC in connection with the transaction.

Advisors

LionTree Advisors is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Hims & Hers and Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian LLP is serving as legal counsel.

Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank Securities are serving as capital markets advisors and private placement agents to Oaktree Acquisition Corp. Deutsche Bank Securities is acting as financial advisor to Oaktree Acquisition Corp. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel to Oaktree Acquisition Corp.

Management Presentation

A presentation made by the management teams each of Hims & Hers and Oaktree Acquisition Corp. regarding the transaction will be available on the websites of Oaktree Acquisition Corp. at https://www.oaktreeacquisitioncorp.com/news and Hims & Hers at forhims.com/investor and forhers.com/investor. Oaktree Acquisition Corp. will also file the presentation with the SEC as an exhibit to a Current Report on Form 8-K, which can be viewed on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

About Hims & Hers

Hims & Hers is a multi-specialty telehealth platform that connects consumers to licensed healthcare professionals, enabling them to access high quality medical care for numerous conditions related to primary care, mental health, sexual health, dermatology, and more. Launched in November 2017, the company also offers thoughtfully created and curated health and wellness products. With products and services available across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., Hims & Hers is able to provide all Americans access to quality, convenient and affordable care through a computer or smartphone. Hims & Hers was founded by CEO Andrew Dudum, Hilary Coles, Jack Abraham and Joe Spector at venture studio Atomic in San Francisco, California. For more information about Hims & Hers, please visit forhims.com and forhers.com.

About Oaktree Acquisition Corp.

The Oaktree Acquisition Corp. franchise was formed to partner with high-quality, growing companies to facilitate their successful entry to the public markets. By leveraging the deep capabilities and experience of its sponsor, an affiliate of Oaktree, which manages $122 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2020, Oaktree Acquisition Corp. seeks to provide best-in-class resources and execution, coupled with a focus on long-term partnership and shareholder value creation. For more information about Oaktree Acquisition Corp. or Oaktree Acquisition Corp. II, please visit oaktreeacquisitioncorp.com.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

Oaktree Acquisition Corp. intends to file with the SEC a Registration Statement on Form S-4 containing a proxy statement/prospectus relating to the proposed business combination, which will be mailed to its shareholders once definitive. This press release does not contain all the information that should be considered concerning the proposed business combination and is not intended to form the basis of any investment decision or any other decision in respect of the proposed business combination. Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s shareholders and other interested persons are advised to read, when available, the preliminary proxy statement/prospectus and the amendments thereto and the definitive proxy statement/prospectus and other documents filed in connection with the proposed business combination, as these materials will contain important information about the Company, Oaktree Acquisition Corp. and the proposed business combination. When available, the definitive proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials for the proposed business combination will be mailed to shareholders of Oaktree Acquisition Corp. as of a record date to be established for voting on the proposed business combination. Shareholders of Oaktree Acquisition Corp. will also be able to obtain copies of the preliminary proxy statement/prospectus, the definitive proxy statement/prospectus and other documents filed with the SEC, without charge, once available, at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov, or by directing a written request to: Oaktree Acquisition Corp., 333 South Grand Avenue, 28th Floor, Los Angeles, California.

Participants in the Solicitation

Oaktree Acquisition Corp. and its directors and executive officers may be deemed participants in the solicitation of proxies from Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s shareholders with respect to the proposed business combination. A list of the names of those directors and executive officers and a description of their interests in Oaktree Acquisition Corp. is contained in Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, which was filed with the SEC and is available free of charge at the SEC’s web site at www.sec.gov, or by directing a written request to Oaktree Acquisition Corp., 333 South Grand Avenue, 28th Floor, Los Angeles, California. Additional information regarding the interests of such participants will be contained in the proxy statement/prospectus for the proposed business combination when available.

Hims & Hers and its directors and executive officers may also be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the shareholders of Oaktree Acquisition Corp. in connection with the proposed business combination. A list of the names of such directors and executive officers and information regarding their interests in the proposed business combination will be included in the proxy statement/prospectus for the proposed business combination when available.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release may be considered forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements generally relate to future events or Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s or Hims & Hers’ future financial or operating performance. For example, statements about the expected timing of the completion of the proposed business combination, the benefits of the proposed business combination, the competitive environment, and the expected future performance (including future revenue, pro forma enterprise value, and cash balance) and market opportunities of Hims & Hers are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may”, “should”, “expect”, “intend”, “will”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “predict”, “potential” or “continue”, or the negatives of these terms or variations of them or similar terminology. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements.

These forward-looking statements are based upon estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by Oaktree Acquisition Corp. and its management, and Hims & Hers and its management, as the case may be, are inherently uncertain. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to: (1) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the definitive agreements with respect to the proposed business combination; (2) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against Oaktree Acquisition Corp., Hims & Hers, the combined company or others following the announcement of the proposed business combination; (3) the inability to complete the proposed business combination due to the failure to obtain approval of the shareholders of Oaktree Acquisition Corp. or to satisfy other conditions to closing, including the satisfaction of the minimum trust account amount following any redemptions; (4) changes to the proposed structure of the business combination that may be required or appropriate as a result of applicable laws or regulations or as a condition to obtaining regulatory approval of the proposed business combination; (5) the ability to meet stock exchange listing standards at or following the consummation of the proposed business combination; (6) the risk that the proposed business combination disrupts current plans and operations of Hims & Hers as a result of the announcement and consummation of the proposed business combination; (7) the ability to recognize the anticipated benefits of the proposed business combination, which may be affected by, among other things, competition, the ability of the combined company to grow and manage growth profitably, maintain relationships with customers and suppliers and retain its management and key employees; (8) costs related to the proposed business combination; (9) changes in applicable laws or regulations; (10) the possibility that Hims & Hers or the combined company may be adversely affected by other economic, business, and/or competitive factors; (11) the limited operating history of Hims & Hers; (12) the Hims & Hers business is subject to significant governmental regulation; (13) the Hims & Hers business may not successfully expand into other markets, including womens’ health; and (14) other risks and uncertainties set forth in the section entitled “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in Oaktree Acquisition Corp.’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, and which will be set forth in registration statement on Form S-4 to be filed by Oaktree Acquisi-tion Corp. with the SEC in connection with the proposed business combination.

Nothing in this press release should be regarded as a representation by any person that the forward-looking statements set forth herein will be achieved or that any of the contemplated results of such forward-looking statements will be achieved. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Neither Oaktree Acquisition Corp. nor Hims & Hers undertakes any duty to update these forward-looking statements.

Non-Solicitation

This press release is not a proxy statement or solicitation of a proxy, consent or authorization with respect to any securities or in respect of the potential business combination and shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the securities of Oaktree Acquisition Corp., the Company or the combined company, nor shall there be any sale of any such securi-ties in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such state or jurisdiction. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

Contacts

Investor Relations

Hims & Hers
Bob East or Jordan Kohnstam
Westwicke, an ICR company
HIMSIR@westwicke.com
(443) 213-0500

Oaktree Acquisition Corp.
infoOAC1@oaktreeacquisitioncorp.com

Media Relations

Hims & Hers
Chelsea Harrison
charrison@forhims.com

Sean Leous
Westwicke, an ICR company
HIMSPR@westwicke.com
(646) 866-4012

Oaktree Acquisition Corp.
mediainquiries@oaktreecapital.com

Source

BusinessWire

Date

October 1, 2020

Category

Business

Jennifer Lopez And Alex Rodriguez Invest In Coffee Brand Super Coffee Cofounded By 30 Under 30 Honorees

Kitu Life Inc, the company behind the coffee brand Super Coffee cofounded by three brothers who made our 2019 30 Under 30 Food and Drink list, announced today that it has picked up a minority investment from superstar couple Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez.

JLo’s and ARod’s investment is a follow on to the Series B round the company closed in July, which at the time put its valuation at over $200 million. Super Coffee expanded the terms of the round for the celebrity couple and closed the investment from Lopez and Rodriguez in August. Per Super Coffee, the post-money valuation is now $240 million.

Jim DeCicco, the oldest brother and the company’s CEO, says that it’s surreal for them that five years after starting the company they have attracted the attention of their childhood idol. (DeCicco says that growing up as Yankees fans the brothers pretended to be Alex Rodriguez while playing baseball in their backyard).

“The cool thing about them is that Jen is a global icon, Alex is one of the best baseball players to ever play the game, and they are at a point in their career where they are shifting from their huge personal brand to being known for their business acumen,” DeCicco says. “We view them as business partners rather than celebrity endorsement or brand advocates. They are going to coach us, this is a real partnership and as minority owners in our company they have a vested interest in seeing it succeed.”

In a press statement, Rodriguez says that they like winning companies with winning founders, who have energy and who are coachable.

“The brothers behind Super Coffee fit the bill. They have built a strong business in a short time and we look forward to helping the brand reach its full potential,” Rodriguez says.

Lopez adds that when Alex and she first heard the Super Coffee story and tasted the product, they wanted to be a part of it.

“We knew we could use our networks to build this brand globally,” Lopez says.

The investment comes after Super Coffee signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev’ for national distribution to over 25,000 stores in June of this year. A few months earlier, in January, Alex Rodriguez became a co-owner and chairman of the Dominican Republic’s Presidente beer (owned by Anheuser-Busch).

“Initially the connection was serendipitous, but I think it was really part of the strategic value that Alex brings to our brand,” DeCicco says. “Once he found out that we were given an exclusive distribution deal, Alex realized that he can have an influence on the future and the outcome of our business by simply picking up the phone and leveraging his top-to-top relationship with Anheuser Busch’s executives.”

Photo
Super Coffee cofounders during their pitch on Shark Tank (L to R): Jim DeCicco, Jake DeCicco, Jordan ... [+] KITU LIFE

Rodriguez first heard of Super Coffee from Shark Tank where the brothers appeared in 2018. Then, the DeCiccos didn’t get a deal, nor an offer from any of the sharks (Rodriguez was a guest judge, but wasn’t present during the filming of that episode). At the time, the three of them asked for a $500,000 investment in exchange of 4.5%. Today, at a $240 million valuation, 4.5% share would amount to just under $11 million.

With the investment, JLo and ARod join a growing list of celebrity investors that have acquired a stake in Super Coffee, which already includes actor Patrick Schwarzenegger, Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Denver Nuggets’ center Mason Plumlee, and former NFL MVP Boomer Esiason, among others.

The company was started in 2015, when the youngest brother Jordan, who was a starting basketball player at Philadelphia University, started brewing coffee in his dorm room as a way to stay up late nights and manage a busy student athlete schedule.

Once they turned it into a company, Jim left his job as financial analyst for The Blackstone Group, the middle brother Jake stayed on for just one more year to get his undergraduate degree, and Jordan decided to drop out of school to accept the Peter Thiel Fellowship.

The NY-based enterprise currently has 90 full-time employees and has seen an explosive growth in revenue since its inception.  In 2016 Super Coffee made $200,000 in sales, in 2017 it was $800,000, in 2018 it grew to $3.5 million, in 2019 it was $26 million, and in 2020 their estimates are that they’re going to clear $70 million in sales.

Source

Forbes

Date

September 25, 2020

Category

Business

Hispanic Heritage Month: Alex Rodriguez in Conversation at Paley Front Row 2020

Paley Front Row 2020 with Alex Rodriguez and Natalie Morales. The Paley Center welcomes baseball legend, acclaimed broadcaster, and entrepreneur Alex Rodriguez for an intimate conversation about his career on and off the field. Alex will discuss his many successes through the lens of his iconic presence on television as a baseball star; Emmy-winning broadcaster for ESPN, Fox Sports, and CNBC’s Back in the Game; and role as CEO of A-Rod Corp. Acclaimed journalist Natalie Morales of the Today Show will moderate this conversation.

Source

The Paley Center for Media

Date

September 17, 2020

Category

Business, Media

‘From pinstripes to the boardroom,’ A-Rod is building investment clout with lessons from Warren Buffett and Magic Johnson

Welcome to Human Capital, an open exploration of the ideas and people moving financial services forward. In each edition, we feature a leader or rising star who's changing the game in his or her own way. "Finance is an apprentice business," one often hears in this sector. Here are some of the teachers. Click Subscribe above to be notified of future editions.

When Alex Rodriguez popped into my Zoom window one day last week, I squinted. Who was this 45-year-old in a suit and tie? Where were the Yankees pinstripes?

Like many, my memories of Rodriguez are anchored to his career in Major League Baseball — to the 2009 World Series championship; to the three most-valuable-player awards; to the 2014 season, or lack of it for A-Rod, when he was suspended for the use of performance-enhancing drugs; and to the unceremonious exit from the New York Yankees and MLB a few years later.

Today's Rodriguez is different: measured, somewhat philosophical, and a student — not of sports, but of business. His investment holding company, A-Rod Corp, has been both busier than ever and in the midst of a strategy revamp. Expanding from its roots in real estate, it has been an investor in well-known consumer companies such as Snapchat developer Snap Inc. and private-aviation business Wheels Up, as well as other companies thriving during the coronavirus pandemic, such as telemedicine provider Hims & Hers and investing app Acorns.

Most recently, vying to buy the New York Mets has taken up much of his time, energy, and patience. Billionaire investor Steve Cohen this week reached an agreement to acquire the team, though the purchase awaits approval by MLB club owners.

I wanted to sit down with A-Rod to learn where his inspiration for investing came from, how he is honing the craft, and the lessons he's learned along the way. Our discussion went in other directions too, including a global deal he's preparing to announce and his take on business leaders' responsibilities during the pandemic and into the future.

Below are excerpts from the conversation.

It's clear, looking at the history of your investing and business-building activity, that the interest was there even at the height of your professional sports career. When did it begin?

It started when I was 10 years old. I've always wanted to be in business and I've always wanted to be a major league baseball player. Of course, every young kid wants to be a major league baseball player.

Watching my mother and how hard she worked gave me an inspiration that I wanted to do better. Early on, as a young man — my father left when I was 10 — I started to realize that I needed to do well to take care of my mother. That's really where the inspiration came from. And from her, I got my grit.

In my early 20s, I had my first crack at business by buying an apartment complex. I needed a $48,000 down payment, which was a lot of money and very scary to invest. I bought a duplex, then sold that, bought a fourplex, so on and so forth, and I built that portfolio to north of 10,000 apartment units in over 14 states all over the Southeast, predominantly secondary and tertiary markets like the Carolinas, Virginia, Houston, and markets like that.

Where did you turn to learn how to do this well?

I think the common theme for me has always been curiosity. I've had an intellectual curiosity and appetite that's always been really large. It's been an important vessel for me, both in sports and in business.

I also knew that you're only as good as the team you're surrounded with — that's true both in baseball and business. I studied people like Magic Johnson and Greg Norman, who were spectacular in their field and then went on to be even better businesspeople. That gave me the hope that, if they can do it, so can I — the same hope that Cal Ripken gave me when he was a six-foot-four shortstop and I said, hey, if I'm six-foot-three, then I can also be a shortstop.

A lot of my inspiration came from these male figures because my father had left home.

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Magic sat down with me really early in my career and gave me some great advice. One was that, as a professional athlete, as you travel the country, you have two options. You can sleep in or go play golf or go shopping; or, when your game schedule is set far in advance and you know you're going to be flying into these places, why not make calls around the country, whether it's Warren Buffett or Howard Schultz or Barry Sternlicht? As you're traveling the country, the one common theme is people will want to meet you because you play for the Yankees; people will want to meet you because they may be fans. And the one thing that everyone wants to talk about is baseball. If you can exchange currencies and say, I'll teach you about baseball if you teach me about business, you'll be surprised at how many "yes"es you have. And that was the case.

What skills have you found transferrable from being a top athlete?

There are so many attributes, lessons good and bad, that I've brought over from wearing pinstripes to the boardroom. Number one is hard work. I know I have to be resilient, gritty, and roll up my sleeves.

There's no such thing as a schedule — you play until the job is done. And: You're there to win.

When you make mistakes, as I have done, own them. Get ahead of them. Understand the lessons, internalize the lessons, then get them behind you and move on.

And don't fall in love with a deal. Don't fall in love with ideas. Because if you're wrong, you have to be able to pivot quickly and change direction.

What do you want your investment portfolio to look like?

It goes back to the lessons that Warren Buffett taught me: Stay in your circle of competence. Go narrow and deep, not wide and shallow.

We really understand the things that we're passionate about so that we can bring to the table more than just capital. With anything we get involved with, we look for ways where our brands, our reach, or our team can infuse a lot of energy and create enterprise value.

That's why we've gotten into things that we really understood, whether it's health and fitness, whether it's consumer products. They are things that we believe in. We wouldn't get involved with something were we not also a consumer.

You mentioned bringing more than just capital to the table. What do you like your relationship with founders and entrepreneurs to be like?

We strongly believe that companies that we invest in have to have a great leader.

But the interactions are all so different — I can't think of one that is exactly the same. One may need help with assembling a great team, so we'll make introductions or we'll bring them in the right rooms, and a lot of times I'll be there with them. Another may have a great team but need help with marketing, and that's a whole different conversation that we have.

It's very fluid. But one of the things we take a lot of pride in is under-promising and over-delivering.

Looking at your own team, as well as your other projects and philanthropy, clearly diversity is a focus of yours. Why is that?

Selfishly, I think it’s the best way to run a business.

Growing up raised by a single mother who had two jobs, by a strong sister, and now having two daughters, I'm surrounded with strong women.

When you look at our 2009 World Series championship team, our MVP was from Japan. Our shortstop and our best pitcher was African American. Our two catchers were Puerto Rican. I'm Dominican. Our second baseman was Dominican. We had a white person playing first base who went to Georgia Tech.

We had the most beautiful, diverse team. That made us great. We all brought different things to the table. I think the same is true for business.

You mentioned earlier that you're surrounded by strong women. One of them is your fiancée, Jennifer Lopez, who has successfully done what we're talking about, becoming a business builder. What have you learned from her?

Devin, you're talking about a powerhouse. I've never met anyone who has the work ethic, the vision, the principles that Jennifer possesses. She does so many things that people call her a triple threat. I call her an octopus threat.

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(Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)

She has over 200 million followers across her platforms. She's sold over $8 billion of consumer goods, over $2 billion in her fragrance alone. And I think the biggest shift I've watched her make is she has taken an absolute juggernaut of a business that's been about licensing and now has converted it to an ownership business. That is a massive change when you're moving those type of products at that volume.

The past six months have thrown all of our lives and plans into disarray. How has it affected your approach to leading A-Rod Corp?

It goes back to the team. We've always thought communication is very important, so we have tripled down on it to the point where we try to have daily meetings for at least 30 minutes or an hour. While people are at home and working like you and I are right now, through Zoom, we want to preserve connectivity and also give confidence to the team that we're hanging tough, that when we get to the other side, we're going to be better than we were before.

Leaders have to step up when moments are dark. Later, when you're winning championships and things are going well, you can slide to the back and let everybody share the credit.

These are the times when leaders need to be heard and seen.

Looking forward three or five years, how do you want your portfolio to look relative to how it does today?

We've had a lot of internal talks with our senior management team about that strategy moving forward.

If we have over 30 companies now, I can see in five years having maybe 12 or 15. The idea is that we want to make more concentrated bets. We want to go deeper with our partners.

We have some really exciting announcements coming around the corner. One in particular will, I think, shock the world — it's a global project we've been working on for over three years.

So, those are the kind of bets we are looking to make — both allocating capital but also allocating our time, which is the most valuable currency that we have.

Anything you can share on that upcoming announcement? The space it's in? The size?

Not yet.

One thing everybody now knows you have been pursuing is the New York Mets. At the moment, Steve Cohen is awaiting approval to complete that deal. Is the process fully in your rear-view mirror?

When you think about these national treasures, it's something we have pursued rigorously and with a lot of passion. I'm really proud of the process and the effort that we have put forth. Just out of respect to the process, because it's kind of live until it's over, I would feel more comfortable if we don't talk about that just yet.

When you look to other professional athletes seeking to transition their careers into business, what do you think they must know?

They have to know that it's going to be difficult, that you have to put in the work. That if you're looking for a shortcut, it's going to be just that — it's going to be a shortcut and there's going to be a short outcome.

I've always thought about: What does the perfect team look like? If you have a really smart guy from Omaha who's 21 years old with a crew cut, and you have another 21-year-old at Michigan playing quarterback with a crew cut, and one day they take their competitive advantages and put them together, they have a dream team. That to me looks like Warren Buffett and Tom Brady. Tom Brady says, I'm going to go out and throw touchdowns, win championships, and make some capital. I'm going to give it to you, Warren. You go out and you invest it, and together we'll be a dream team.

That's what I think young players, both men and women, should be thinking about: Who is the Warren Buffett in your community with incredible intelligence, business acumen, experience? Then you have to create an alignment, both spiritually and economically, that works and gives everyone protection. You sign those documents, then you put your head down and go have a bunch of fun. Then Tom Brady can go throw touchdowns and win championships, and Warren Buffett can do what he does best, which is take that money and invest it. It's as simple as that.

That alignment of interest you're talking about must be important for high-earning athletes.

I'm 45 now. I've been a professional since I was 18 years old. So, I've made every mistake in the book. I've had the fortune to sign two large contracts. That gave me the time and the ability to come back to the table. Not every athlete is going to have that great fortune that I was fortunate to have.

But along the way, there are some key pieces that you need in your camp, whether that's a great attorney, a great business manager, making sure that you're aligned with them and that they understand your vision and goals.

One of your goals should be that when you make this type of great income from, say, age 20 to 30, you have a plan to be putting that money away. That way, when you're 35, 45, 55, and 65, you are reaping the rewards of those great decisions you made in your 20s.

Today you're building businesses, investing, spending time with your family, spending time on philanthropy, retaining your connection to the world of sports. What's one method that helps you juggle it all?

I think I have good training. I played for 25 years professionally, and nothing would ever compare to the grueling schedule of playing 200 games in 232 days every year. Nothing.

I have this thing that I always carry with me — it's a little piece of paper. On one side, I have my list of five or 10 people I owe something to, and then on the other side, who owes me something. One at a time, I check them off. Honestly, that's the only way I can operate. If I don't check them off, I feel like I'm missing something.

I think I'll try that myself. Who do you find you owe things to these days?

When I think about the people I want to always be communicating to, I think about people of color. I want to open doors for them. I think about the sports community. I think about the entertainment community. I want people to learn from my experience — mainly my mistakes, of which there have been plenty.

I think athletes have an opportunity to be some of the best businesspeople in the world, because they possess things that you can't really teach.

They have incredible work ethic. They're resilient. They're thick-skinned. They're coachable. They understand that they're not punching a clock — they're there until they win the game.

So, I would love to see the sports community convert from being "not good businesspeople." I think they can change that narrative. They can proactively start thinking ahead of it, and they can surround themselves with great people who have alignment with them. That will help make them winners post a career in sports.

We spoke about your passion for diversity earlier. The focus on diversity has taken on renewed significance nationwide in recent months. What has that meant to you?

First of all, I say kudos because conversation and change is happening — that's important to recognize. But more changes need to happen, and they need to happen faster.

Speaking to what I know best, I'd love to see women, people of color, minorities holding more of the executive positions in sports.

I think there could be a woman manager in the dugout — why not?

These are the kind of things that, if we all do our job, and if we make a difference in each of our spaces, then together we can make real change happen. We can give everyone an opportunity to enter the room, to come to the table, and to do big things. I know that when I see a young person who grew up like me become a business executive, it gives me great inspiration and hope.

I believe that opening doors for people is our responsibility as leaders. It's at the very top of my list of things to do for the next several decades. My work is just starting.

Source

LinkedIn News

Date

September 16, 2020

Category

Business

In Search Of The Next 1000: The Entrepreneurs Creating Their Own American Dreams

From pandemic curves to unemployment spikes to protest march estimates, the spring and summer of 2020 has introduced us to all sorts of mind-bending statistics. The one that surprised me most, though, came last month via America’s most successful Black entrepreneur, Robert F. Smith of Vista Equity Partners: More than 90% of Black-owned businesses, he explained, are sole proprietorships. In many ways, these business owners are the most entrepreneurial entrepreneurs: completely self-funded, self-driven and self-reliant. Tired of waiting for others to help deliver prosperity, they have to take it and make it themselves.

For Forbes, which has helped define what success looks like in America for over a century, this cohort and others like it offer us an opportunity to expand the continuum of who we cover, laud and learn from. Today, we’re introducing our next big franchise, the Next 1000, a platform that will scour the country to find those entrepreneurs working harder and thinking smarter as they blaze new trails to success.

Different than our “counting” lists, such as Billionaires or Self-Made Women, which numerically chronicle those at the very top, or achievement lists like the Midas List or 30 Under 30, which reward immediate past results, the Next 1000 will seek and highlight doers on their way, overcoming any and all obstacles to get there. These types of journeys tend to prove the most inspiring and, in finding them, we hope to elevate a new class of super-achievers.

We’ve tried to democratize the process of making this list. Any entrepreneur in America can apply, or be nominated, as long as you’ve been in business at least a year (whether full-time, part-time or side hustle), and have less than $10 million in revenue and have raised no more than Series A funding (with extra points for the do-it-yourself heroes extolled by Robert F. Smith). We’re looking for people with compelling personal stories and business models, as well those having an impact on their community, industry and the world. The application process will run through October.

This criteria will produce a list that looks like America, providing a platform for under-represented communities. Besides the racial, ethnic and gender diversity that will naturally occur by focusing on bootstrappers, we’ve designed the Next 1000 for geographic representation, carving up the country into eight zones, each with their own nomination pools, since amazing nascent entrepreneurs exist in every state, not just the coasts.

It’s a big task. Luckily, we have an incredible team helping us sort through the nominations. The Next 1000 judging panel includes billionaire tech pioneers like LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg; investment ceiling-breakers like Ariel Investments co-CEO Mellody Hobson and Cowboy Ventures founder Aileen Lee; sports superstars turned entrepreneurial heavyweights like Alex Rodriguez and Russell Wilson; world-class mentors like National Geographic Society Chairman Jean Case and Morgan Stanley Vice Chairman Carla Harris; and self-starters like restaurateur Ayesha Curry, comedian Lilly Singh and Grammy Award-winning singer Ciara, who all understand how to translate influence into business — middlemen not required. Overseeing it all, we have one of own superstars, Maneet Ahuja, our senior editor for Small Business.

The past few months have underscored the hurdles faced by so many in America. With the Next 1000, we look forward to celebrating and accelerating those who haven’t let anything stop them from creating their own American Dream.


Source

Forbes

Date

July 29, 2020

Category

Business

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez Partner with Company Hims & Hers on Accessible Healthcare

"We remember what it was to grow up not being able to afford decent care," says Jennifer Lopez


Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez's star power might be astronomical, but the two will never forget their humble beginnings growing up in the Bronx and New York City, respectively. It's part of the reason why today, the duo are expanding their role with telehealth company Hims & Hers to help make healthcare and self-care accessible to, and affordable for, those in underserved communities. And in an exclusive interview with People, the new brand partners opened up about this important collaboration.

“We're always focused on providing for people who grew up the way we did,” says Lopez. "We feel like now we're in a different kind of privilege and our kids are growing up differently, but we remember what it was to grow up not being able to afford decent care.”

With a team of more than 200 licensed physicians and nurse practitioners across the U.S., and appointment prices starting at $39 (including the cost of any medication, if necessary), the company’s goal is for everyone to be able to seek treatment. (Hims & Hers’ providers are authorized to diagnose and fill prescriptions for more than two dozen conditions, from asthma to urinary tract infections.)

“We saw it as a company that was offering a modern approach to health and wellness in a way that was responsible and accessible. It's so great to be a part of,” says Lopez.

And Rodriguez notes that the platform combats the stigma associated with talking about sensitive issues.

“It facilitates things that can be very challenging, whether that's [discussing] embarrassing issues, or going to the pharmacy and waiting on-line.”

Lopez agrees. "All of that anonymity and the distance, it's a plus."

Not only are the two hoping to help democratize healthcare, they’re also trying to encourage self-care.

“Like everybody else, we're just trying to hold it together and not get too depressed over the situation that we've been in over the past few months,” Lopez says. “For me, meditating really helps to quiet the mind. But Hims & Hers offers mental health services, which is really great.”

But Hims & Hers doesn’t stop at services. The company also provides personal care products — and Lopez and Rodriguez are weaving them into their routines.

“My hair was over-worked, and so burnt out from so many years and so many jobs,” says Lopez. The damage led her to a mission to find a solution.

“Since I started trying the Minoxidil 2% [topical scalp treatment], honestly, my hair's grown about four inches in the past six months,” she says, adding that it feels thicker, too.

Now, Lopez uses the treatment in combination with the company’s shampoo and conditioner. “[Hims & Hers] has really basic, clean products with the right ingredients. It's nothing overly-fancy, and perfumed. It's just good.”

“[Skin-care] really hasn't been that important to me for a long time, unfortunately. And playing over 25 years of professional baseball and being exposed to the sun pretty much every day of my life, in many ways I'm paying the price now. But I'm catching up, and I do see improvement,” Rodriguez says, adding, “The Goodnight Wrinkle Cream is my favorite. Also, the Morning Glow Vitamin C Serum. I wish I'd had this at the beginning of my career.”

The products are available for a one-time purchase, but once you’re hooked like these two, you can set up a subscription.

Especially right now, with the population practicing social distancing, “It’s very easy to have your products just come every month,” Lopez says.

Another plus? Ranging from $15 to $39, they don’t come with a hefty price tag.

“It’s really important to make products that are affordable for everybody,” says Rodriguez.

And amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has made primary care visits available in Spanish, and also have FDA-authorized at-home COVID-19 test kits, both additions Lopez praises.

The company’s ability to pivot to meet the needs of the public, especially in underserved communities, impresses Rodriguez as well.

“We really believe in [Co-Founder] Jack Abraham to [CEO] Andrew Dudum’s vision, the ability to execute. Anybody can have a good idea. Not too many people can execute at the level.”

Adds Lopez, "It's serving 100% of the population. That's always important to us."

Source

People Magazine

Date

July 20, 2020

Category

Business

Major Real Estate Firms Step Up To Save Black and Hispanic Internships that Coronavirus Wiped Out

NEW YORK  (June 19th, 2020) — When Covid-19 struck, Cedric Bobo moved his internship program for Black and Hispanic students program online. But when he heard that New York City had canceled 75,000 paid summer internships, he took the program one step further.  He decided to use Project Destined’s learning platform as a gateway to replace at least some of those lost internships.

The project destined will administer the internship program in partnership with  Walker & Dunlop, inc.,  REPLI and REIRail. The paid summer internship program for high school and college students from diverse backgrounds is six-weeks in length and will provide students with the opportunity to work with leading commercial real estate firms, where live transactions will help participants gain real-world experience in digital marketing.

Click here for more information and internship opportunities.

HIGHLIGHTING CEDRIC BOBO:

Click here for the original CNBC article

For the past few weeks, Cedric Bobo, a former investment executive at the Carlyle Group, has spent the better part of his days on video calls, welcoming mostly Black and Hispanic students to paid summer internship programs.

When he’s not welcoming them, he’s pitching the programs to real estate executives, hoping they’ll fund even more students.

Bobo is co-founder of Project Destined, a nonprofit real estate learning platform that he launched four years ago. It teaches minority kids in cities basic finance by working with them to understand how property investments in their own neighborhoods work. They learn about how to value buildings, how mortgages work and how investors decide if a property is worth buying. They then pitch deals to panels of experts. Project Destined then invests in the some of the properties and offers the students a chance to profit from the deals through scholarship funds if they stay engaged.

Bobo teaches finance, but he preaches community ownership. Project Destined runs these programs in several major cities across the country, including New York, Detroit and Atlanta.

When Covid-19 struck, he moved the entire program online. But when he heard that New York City had canceled 75,000 paid summer internships, he took the program one step further. He decided to use Project Destined’s learning platform as a gateway to replace at least some of those lost internships.

“So many of our cities are challenged right now with budget issues. Seventy-five thousand students in New York alone lost their jobs for the summer, many of them Black and Brown youth. I talked to the [Real Estate Board of New York], and overnight we created 100 internships for students, and that was a real stimulus around the country,” said Bobo. “We went from there and began working with different corporates to begin to create more and more internships around the country.”

Bobo has recruited some of the biggest names in the real estate business: Brookfield Asset Management, Tishman Speyer, and Walker & Dunlop. The internships are five or six weeks and pay either $500 or $750, depending on the program. Students learn the basics from Project Destined’s courses and then connect directly with executives at the real estate firms sponsoring them. They will also hear live lectures from top executives at Brookfield, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Amazon and former Yankee Alex Rodriguez, who runs his own real estate firm.

“We went straight to the real estate folks, and we went straight to CEOs. That’s really important because if you want to have action, you’ve got to have the leaders create action and then measure it,” said Bobo.

When the Black Lives Matter protests erupted, even more companies, large and small, began stepping up. He now hopes to fund more than 1,000 internships through the fall.

“The protests are critical because they create awareness, and we need to sustain that awareness, but the next piece is how do you translate that into action. So what we’ve been doing is working with the corporates to create true training opportunities where they can hire those folks,” Bobo said.

Another sponsor in the program is Vincent Harris, co-founder of a small, Black-owned proptech firm called REIRail. It is a lead generation platform for smaller real estate investors to source property deals. Harris has been passionate about financial literacy since he was a child. His mother lost their home to foreclosure because she didn’t understand how to manage her finances.

“That was a really formative experience for me. I remember the trauma, frankly, of that, and vowed to never be in a position like that, to never have my children be in a position like that,” said Harris.

What drew him to the internship program, he said, was that it’s not just about education; it’s about putting those lessons into practice and getting both finances and invaluable professional connections into the hands of students.

“A lot of the lack of access, that you see people demanding in the streets right now, comes from the fact that folks who have power, the power to hire, etc., don’t interface with Black and Brown communities. They don’t have a means of entry and so Project Destined is really cementing a pipeline of talent into these organizations,” he said.

On a recent Zoom call, Bobo welcomed Samuel Obasi to his new internship. Obasi, a Black junior at Towson University in Baltimore, explained why he wanted to make real estate his future.

“Not only can you build wealth for yourself, but you can use that to build affordable housing for your own people in your own area, your own neighborhood,” said Obasi.

Source

News Break

Date

July 19, 2020

Category

Business, Impact

Virtual Programming: How to Turn Rejection into a Home Run with Alex Rodriguez

Renowned worldwide for his unparalleled accomplishments on the baseball field, ALEX RODRIGUEZ stands as one of the greatest athletes of all time, as well as an accomplished media personality and philanthropist. A leading voice on resilience and dedication, leadership and teamwork, and how to truly master your craft, Rodriguez delivered a compelling, engaging and informative virtual presentation on how to turn rejection into a home run. It's a powerful, high-quality, 45-minute interview, chock-full of personal anecdotes and actionable lessons that incorporates both multi-media and Q&A. Since quarantine, Rodriguez has been involved in numerous charitable and virtual initiatives, including the All In challenge to raise money to help feed people around the world, and giving a baseball lesson from his backyard.

A 3-time MVP, 14-time all-star, and a 2009 World Series Champion with the New York Yankees, Rodriguez is also the founder of A-Rod Corp, having built a fully-integrated real estate investment and development firm, all while managing a record-breaking baseball career. At engagements Rodriguez shares his “mindset of a champion” philosophy, leaving audiences prepared to excel in their own personal and professional lives. His rave reviews speak for themselves, such as: "Powerful, poignant, persuasive – a truly passionate performance... To say impressed in an understatement. Your expressive and raw discussion turned heads and changed mindsets. A remarkable feat. I believe what captured many hearts was your humility. The surprise and delight of your talk had everyone on the edge of their seats. The question and answer session in particular where many of your themes and advice organically came forth proved to be invaluable." (Intuit)

Watch "How to Turn Rejection into a Home Run"

Source

Ed Mylett Show

Date

April 13, 2020

Category

Business

A-Rod Corp Invests in Nova Credit

NEW YORK (Feb. 22, 2019) – A-Rod Corp announced its newest investment in Nova Credit on Friday afternoon.

“We are excited about this investment,” said CEO, Alex Rodriguez, “This venture celebrates our diversification. As a Dominican-American I am proud to be able to help out fellow immigrants who struggle differently. We believe in changing lives at A-Rod Corp and Nova echos that mission.”

This month, Nova Credit raised a $50M round led by Kleiner Perkins to finally make the global consumer credit reporting system whole. Mr. Rodriguez participated in the Series B funding along with Canapi Ventures and existing investors General Catalyst, Index Ventures, and NYCA Partners. Nova also welcomed Avid Ventures, Endeavor, Susa Ventures and Sound Ventures and the Edge of U2.

ABOUT NOVA:  Nova Credit is the premier cross-border bureau. Lack of a domestic credit history keeps millions of immigrants in the United States from realizing their dreams. The award-winning fintech helps newcomers and other global citizens apply for financial services using their international credit history from countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea, and the UK. We translate international credit data into a U.S.-equivalent score and report in a format familiar to American underwriters, who use it to evaluate applications for credit products. Founded by immigrants, we have a diverse team from around the globe who are creating a world beyond borders to help newcomers arrive and thrive.

ON A MISSION: We strive to enable the flow of humans not just for their economic potential, but because of the value of that movement itself in bringing new perspectives, creativity, community, and innovation. For Nova Credit, we are here to dream up a world beyond borders and our mission is to inspire and facilitate the flow of human diversity. The modern world as we know it has been created through the movement and collaboration of humans. Across changing borders, regions, and cultures, a continuous cycle of human migration and settlement is what defines us as different nations, composes our family histories, and shapes our personal stories.

PROBLEM SOLVING: All newcomers to the U.S. are rendered “credit invisible” upon arrival because American underwriters can’t access international credit data. Even if they have a good credit rating at their prior home countries, recent immigrants often struggle to accomplish the most basic tasks such as getting an apartment lease, a cell phone plan, credit card or student loan. Before Nova Credit translated international credit data to a U.S.-equivalent score, all newcomers had to build their U.S. credit history back to its previous levels from scratch, which can take as long as five years.

INNOVATION: Nova Credit’s core innovation is a U.S.-equivalent global credit scoring and reporting format, the Credit Passport®. Similar to a U.S. credit report, it contains a FICO-equivalent score, tradelines and inquiry history, allowing consumers who have recently arrived in the U.S. to attempt to demonstrate their creditworthiness to lenders. Partners like American Express, MPOWER Financing and Yardi can seamlessly underwrite qualifying newcomers without a U.S. credit score using Nova Credit. The solution requires consumer consent.For most countries, Nova Credit aligns the country-of-origin credit score to U.S. credit risk levels by matching the default rates. For example, a score of 1050 in the originating country that represents a default rate of 3% might equate to a score of 710 at the same default rate in the U.S. In that case the consumer’s score is adjusted to 710 for U.S. underwriting purposes.

Source

A-Rod Corp

Date

February 22, 2020

Category

Business, Impact

Alex Rodriguez knocks it out of the park at Mortgage Bankers Association event

Iconic athlete, businessman, media personality and philanthropist ALEX RODRIGUEZ wowed a crowd of 800 executives at the Mortgage Bankers Association's CREF conference, engaging in a 45-minute conversation that touched on everything from business disruption, to lessons from the world of baseball, to insights into how to stay ahead of the curve, find your passion, and connect with the right people at the right time. Chock-full of riveting anecdotes and stories from an iconic 25-year career in baseball plus his latest ventures in business and entertainment, Rodriguez's remarks made headlines in industry press, and had the audience laughing, thinking, and inspired.

Besides being a legendary athlete, media personality, and philanthropist, Rodriguez is also a business powerhouse. He's the founder and CEO of A-Rod Corp-- a tremendously successful, fully-integrated real estate investment and development firm-- and so his remarks infused lots of insights into his business ethic and decision-making, how he built his corporate team from the bottom up, and the new investments he's most excited about.

Rodriguez is also the host of his own podcast, The Corp, and show on CNBC, Back in the Game. He seamlessly weaves his diverse portfolio into the conversation. Sought-out to speak everywhere from Intuit to Capital One, Rodriguez receives race reviews such as: "Alex, wow! You knocked it out of the park... You were beyond spectacular. There were so many takeaways. Thanks so much for sharing your personal story." (The NDP Group, Inc."

Watch Alex Rodriguez at the Mortgage Bankers Association event >>

Source

Harry Walker

Date

February 19, 2020

Category

Business, Media

Ex-Yankee Alex Rodriguez Goes to Bar...For Beer

The former New York Yankees slugger is joining Anheuser-Busch as partner and chairman for Presidente Beer, which is based in the Dominican Republic.

Rodriguez received a shout-out on Instagram from his No. 1 fan: Jennifer Lopez.

Congrats Alex on your new adventure with @presidente__usa, so proud of you! @arod

Rodriguez will return to the broadcast booth this season on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.” In two years, he will appear on the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. His former teammate Derek Jeter was elected to the Hall on Tuesday. But Rodriguez, despite his 696 career home runs, is expected to face an uphill climb for induction because of his season-long suspension for PED use.

Rodriguez also will be appearing on the ballot with former Red Sox DH David Ortiz, who, despite hitting 150 less home runs, could have a stronger Hall of Fame case given his three World Series rings, although the Boston slugger also was linked to PEDs during his career.

Below is the press release announcing Rodriguez’s news:

Anheuser-Busch today announced a landmark partnership between the iconic Dominican pilsner Presidente Beer and Alex Rodriguez, with the baseball legend and entrepreneur joining as Chairman of Presidente USA.

Long associated with Miami sports, Presidente USA is taking the next step in its legacy by partnering with Rodriguez, who will bring a new energy to the brand by transcending the role of spokesperson and truly helping direct the brand’s efforts toward the rich, Dominican culture that Presidente represents.

Rodriguez, the son of Dominican immigrants, first picked up a baseball on the fields of Washington Heights, New York, before rising to the pinnacle of America’s pastime. His journey embodies the pride and passion that has driven Presidente Beer forward since its inception in 1935.

“Growing up as a Dominican-American in the US, Presidente was not only a beer, it was part of our community. It connected my parents to their home and was a part of every major community event, big or small,” said Rodriguez. “It is truly an honor to get behind a brand with such a deep connection to my heritage and culture, and I cannot wait to help build its future.”

Presidente beer is a powerful symbol of Dominican culture both stateside and abroad, known as a true taste of the Caribbean.

“We could not be more excited about this partnership with Alex Rodriguez, who is himself an incredible ambassador for the Dominican culture. Presidente is the number one Dominican beer brand in the world with tremendous growth potential here in the US on the back of this unique partnership,” said Ricardo Marques, Group VP Marketing for Value and Core, Anheuser-Busch.

As Chairman of Presidente USA, Rodriguez will help grow the Presidente brand presence in the U.S. in 2020 and beyond, including the release of new products and materials

Source

NJ.com

Date

January 23, 2020

Category

Business

Alex Rodriguez Joins Anheuser-Busch as Co-Owner, Chairman for Presidente Beer

HOUSTON (Jan. 23, 2020) – After 22 seasons of baseball, superstar shortstop and third baseman Alex Rodriguez is taking a swing at something new: marketing beer.

The former New York Yankee, Texas Ranger and Seattle Mariner is the new chairman and co-owner of Presidente, the Dominican beer brand now owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but to Rodriguez—the son of Dominican immigrants—the beer brand has an emotional connection. In an exclusive interview with Forbes, he said he feels “like it’s family”—adding that unless someone is from the Dominican Republic or grew up with it, “it’s hard to explain to others.”

“Presidente is one of the most prestigious brands in the entire country,” he said. “It’s what PepsiCo means to America. It’s synonymous with our country, synonymous with our flag. It’s unfortunate my father is not still here to watch this, but I think that he would be more proud of this partnership than my home runs.”

So what does this partnership entail? Details are still scant. However, according to Rodriguez, part of the reason the beer hasn’t caught on as much in the U.S. is that it all about the temperature that it’s served. (For him, it has to be “very, very cold” and “frothy white.”)

“The consumer will get very, very offended if it’s not at least that cold,” he said.

Presidente—first released by Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana in the Dominican Republic in the 1930s—was acquired by Anheuser-Busch in 2012 for $1.2 billion. Ricardo Marques, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Group VP of Marketing for Core & Value Brands, said Presidente has been having growth in the “single-digits.” However, he said the partnership with Rodriguez will be “with us every day looking to grow the Presidente brand.”

“He’s so passionate about the brand and I assure you that he knows this brand better than I do,” Marques said. “It’s part of his culture and where he comes from so what we’re really looking for his vision of where he thinks this brand should go.”

While this is the first beer brand Rodriguez has worked with, it’s not the first brand he’s worked with. Others in the past include Pepsi, Planters peanuts and the coconut water Vita Coco.

“I don’t look at this from an investment or a marketing opportunity,” he said. “I look at this as a way to story-tell and brag about one of the best brands.”

So what comes next? Until now, the focus for the brand has been on East Coast cities with large Dominican populations such as New York and Miami but now the plan is to have a national strategy in place by opening day of the next baseball season—starting with a big activation at Yankee Stadium. Rodriguez said he might recruit some of his fellow Presidente-drinking, baseball-playing friends to help out.

“It’s the ripple affect,” Rodriguez said. “The hundreds of Dominican major league players and Latin American players that have played in this country, the first thing they do after a game is have a Presidente.”

(Article by: Marty Swant Forbes Staff)

Source

Forbes

Date

January 23, 2020

Category

Business

Alex Rodriguez Buys Stake in Presidente Beer, Will Serve as Chairman

HOUSTON (Jan. 23, 2020) – What goes with baseball more than a cold beer?

Alex Rodriguez is buying a minority stake in Dominican beer Presidente through his investment firm A-Rod Corp, sources told Page Six, and the former slugger will serve as chairman of the brand.

The deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev is expected to be announced Thursday at a sales conference put on by the beer giant, we hear.

A source told us, “Alex bought a minority stake. They’re partners, and he’ll be the chairman, and work very closely with Anheuser-Busch as they look to do more together. There really is unlimited potential of what can be done. It’s real involvement and real ownership.”

A-Rod grew up in the Dominican Republic and Miami. Presidente has previously been the official beer of the University of Miami Hurricanes football team, as well as the Orange Bowl in Miami. The brew’s also been the official beer of Miami squads the Heat and the Marlins.

Sources said that A-Rod’s previously been brought dozens of offers to endorse or invest in liquor brands, but that he was ultimately only interested in pursuing Presidente as an organic match to his Dominican roots. Major League Baseball is also rife with Dominican stars from Robinson Cano to recently retired David Ortiz.

“Presidente and baseball are like a religion there. It’s a perfect fit for him,” said an observer, adding that in the States, “The upside is tremendous. There is a ton of growth space.”

A-Rod Corp encompasses a real estate investment and development firm, has investments in fitness studios by TruFusion, UFC and Energy Fitness. The firm also backs numerous media and tech startups.

“He’s building business in a big way with everything he’s built and learned,” said a source of A-Rod.

He’s also a commentator for Fox Sports and ESPN, and hosts “Back in the Game” on CNBC

(Article by: Ian Mohr)

Source

Page Six

Date

January 23, 2020

Category

Business

A-Rod On Working On His Business Portfolio Post-Baseball Career

Source

CNBC

Date

May 17, 2017

Category

Business, Media

Alex Rodriguez Is Back In His New York Yankees Uniform for Real-Life 'Field of Dreams' Game

Alex Rodriguez is suiting back up into his New York Yankees uniform!

The former Major League Baseball star, who retired from the Yankees in 2016, stepped back into his signature sports gear for the "Field of Dreams" game in Dyersville, Iowa. The Yankees and Chicago White Sox faced off at a specially-constructed ballpark next to the 1989 Field of Dreams film set on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The matchup marks the first MLB game ever played in the state of Iowa.

"Field of Dreams⚾️," Rodriguez, 46, captioned an Instagram video of himself in the cornfields. "Who has seen this movie?! Comment below your favorite moment."

Field of Dreams star Kevin Costner is also at the game, and spoke about seeing the dream of the movie's fictional field become a reality while talking to CBS This Morning early Thursday. Costner portrayed Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella in the film, who heard a voice in the cornfields telling him, "If you build it, he will come." Eventually, he builds a baseball field unlike any other.

"I think everybody is taken aback," Costner said. "Whenever you are a kid and see grass this nice, you know it should say 'keep off.' It's just a perfect field, and to see this thing, it really captured the hearts of America, this film, nobody saw it coming. I knew it was a great film and written beautifully but nobody saw this coming and to see what's happened here is fantastic."

"My two great friends who made giant movies, they didn't have to come make this. They could have done another blockbuster but instead they believed in this story," he recalled. "This thing has a heartbeat. That being said, this is a movie that could also have fallen right off the cliff and been incredibly goofy. It was just magical what happened."

Speaking to ET back in 2019, Costner revealed that starring in Field of Dreams "almost didn't happen."

"I remember the first time I first read it, I thought, 'Wow, this feels really special,'" he said, telling ET that he was slated to do a different movie, but a delay in production made room in his schedule. "That movie has struck a cord with people. You understand the power of movies when you see a movie like that become part of the vocabulary."

Source

ET

Date

August 11, 2021

Category

Media

"Shark Tank" Heads to Las Vegas, Adds Two New Guest Sharks

"Shark Tank," the critically acclaimed and multi-Emmy® Award-winning business-themed unscripted series that celebrates entrepreneurship in America, adds two brand-new guest Sharks for its 12th season, premiering FRIDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS and co-founder of Madefor, and Kendra Scott, founder and CEO, Kendra Scott, LLC, and one of only 16 women to found a $1 billion company, will appear individually alongside Sharks Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O'Leary in various episodes during the 2020-2021 season. Alex Rodriguez, legendary baseball player and founder and CEO of A-Rod Corp, and Daniel Lubetzky, founder and executive chairman of KIND, also return for the show's 12th season. Episodes can be viewed the day after their premiere on demand and on Hulu.

Produced by MGM Television and Sony Pictures Television, the unrivaled and beloved show, which has become a culturally defining series, filmed for the first time ever in Las Vegas, hosted by The Venetian®  and Sands Expo & Convention Center.

The new guest Sharks are (alphabetically) as follows:

Blake Mycoskie – Blake Mycoskie is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and bestselling author most known for founding TOMS Shoes, and is the person behind the idea of One for One®, a business model that helps a person in need with every product purchased. Since its inception, TOMS Shoes has provided almost 96 million pairs of shoes to children around the globe. In 2014, after selling half of the company to Bain Capital, Mycoskie stepped down as CEO of TOMS. Utilizing half of his proceeds, he started the Social Entrepreneurship Fund to help early startups with core social missions get off the ground with much-needed funding.  Since then, he has invested in over 25 social enterprises. More recently, Mycoskie co-founded his newest company, Madefor. A 10-month program that applies the principles of modern neuroscience, psychology and physiology to make your brain and body better. Created alongside scientists from Stanford, Harvard and other top universities, Madefor helps people learn and sustain positive habits and practices that have the greatest impact on their lives. Mycoskie has achieved numerous accolades for his unique approach to business including the Secretary of State's 2009 Award of Corporate Excellence, the 2015 Next Generation Award from Harvard's School of Public Health, the 2016 Cannes Lion Heart Award and the 2018 amfAR Award of Courage. Mycoskie has also been featured in People Magazine in the "Heroes Among Us" section and in Fortune Magazine's "40 Under 40," among others. Mycoskie also recently expanded his philanthropic efforts to include the funding of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins, making it the first such research center in the U.S. and the largest of its kind in the world. Born and raised in Texas, Mycoskie now resides in Jackson, Wyoming, with his family, dogs and horses. In his free time, he can be found outside enjoying nature whether it is rock climbing, surfing or snowboarding.

Follow Blake Mycoskie on Twitter and Instagram.

Kendra Scott – Designer, founder and CEO Kendra Scott started her company in 2002 with only $500 and just three months after her first son was born. As a creative mind with a love of natural gemstones, Scott began going door-to-door to Austin boutiques armed only with a tea box full of her jewelry, captivating businesses and customers with her vibrant personality and unique eye for design. Determined to maintain growth and preserve the vision of her business, Scott waited over 10 years to accept outside investments. She has since grown the company to a billion-dollar valuation with over 100 stores nationwide and a thriving e-commerce and wholesale business. According to a 2018 PitchBook study, Scott is among only 16 women in the United States to carry the title of founder of a company valued at $1 billion. Today, Scott's company continues to operate out of Austin, Texas, with their state-of-the-art corporate office complete with a design lab and an industry-leading distribution center, both catering to her employees' career goals and family-life balance.  With family and fashion as two core pillars of her business, Scott maintains a focus on her third core pillar of philanthropy in all she does. Since 2010, the company has given back over $30 million to local, national and international causes. On a national level, Scott supports organizations that actively help women and children live their brightest, healthiest and most empowered lives. This comes to life through initiatives like the Kendra Cares program, where the brand brings its customizable Color Bar™ to pediatric hospitals across the country as a creative arts program. Scott has been awarded with the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 National Award, the Breakthrough Award from the Accessories Council Excellence Awards, named Outstanding Mother of the Year by the Mother's Day Council, awarded Texas Businesswoman of the Year by the Women's Chamber of Commerce, listed by Forbes as one of America's Richest Self-Made Women, listed among the Top 100 Entrepreneurs of the Year by Upstart Business Journal, and named Best CEO by Austin Business Journal. In 2019, Scott was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. She is a member of the board of directors for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Follow Kendra Scott on Twitter and Instagram.

Watch the season premiere FRIDAY OCT 16 8|7c on ABC!

Source

ABC

Date

September 21, 2020

Category

Media

Hispanic Heritage Month: Alex Rodriguez in Conversation at Paley Front Row 2020

Paley Front Row 2020 with Alex Rodriguez and Natalie Morales. The Paley Center welcomes baseball legend, acclaimed broadcaster, and entrepreneur Alex Rodriguez for an intimate conversation about his career on and off the field. Alex will discuss his many successes through the lens of his iconic presence on television as a baseball star; Emmy-winning broadcaster for ESPN, Fox Sports, and CNBC’s Back in the Game; and role as CEO of A-Rod Corp. Acclaimed journalist Natalie Morales of the Today Show will moderate this conversation.

Source

The Paley Center for Media

Date

September 17, 2020

Category

Business, Media

A-Rod and "Big Cat" Launch Season 3 of The Corp

NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez and Dan “Big Cat” Katz are back with another season of The Corp for Barstool Sports. It marks the third season for the podcast which launched in 2018.

Click here to listen!

World Series Champion & CEO and Chairman of A-Rod Corp Alex Rodriguez and Barstool Sports’ Big Cat interview industry leaders, sports legends, and entrepreneurs on what makes them successful in their specific profession. Business, humor, and stories from people who have lived the American Dream

Season 3 of The Corp features an entertaining guest list: Actress, Singer, dancer, fashion designer, and businesswoman Jenifer Lopez, 2-time NBA Champion, and Finals MVP Kevin Durant, late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon, Rapper, Actor and Businessman Ice Cube, Broadcaster Joe Buck, Penn National Gaming CEO Jay Snowden and Designer and businessman Steve Madden.

Jennifer Lopez discusses her incredible career in entertainment, what drives her and keeps her motivated, her epic Super Bowl performance and more.

Kevin Durant talks about what drives him as a Champion, who inspires him, how he and Alex have had similar professional experiences and more.

Jimmy Fallon touches on growing up in comedy, being on SNL & more. Ice Cube shares how he navigated his successful career and how he has evolved.

Joe Buck discusses growing up in sports, calling World Series games, and injuring Alex. Jay Snowden talks about his career in the gaming industry and purchasing Barstool sports.

Finally, Steve Madden breaks down the rise of his shoe business, his time in jail & reclaiming his career.

The Corp is executive produced by Alex Rodriguez and Jeff Lee for ARod Productions along with Erika Nardini, Dan Katz and Henry Lockwood for Barstool Sports. Season 3 is sponsored by Presidente Beer.

Source

Barstool Sports

Date

August 28, 2020

Category

Media

Virtual Moderated Discussion - Masks, restarting the economy, & how to build a brand

Source

Alex Rodriguez

Date

May 11, 2020

Category

Media

Alex Rodriguez knocks it out of the park at Mortgage Bankers Association event

Iconic athlete, businessman, media personality and philanthropist ALEX RODRIGUEZ wowed a crowd of 800 executives at the Mortgage Bankers Association's CREF conference, engaging in a 45-minute conversation that touched on everything from business disruption, to lessons from the world of baseball, to insights into how to stay ahead of the curve, find your passion, and connect with the right people at the right time. Chock-full of riveting anecdotes and stories from an iconic 25-year career in baseball plus his latest ventures in business and entertainment, Rodriguez's remarks made headlines in industry press, and had the audience laughing, thinking, and inspired.

Besides being a legendary athlete, media personality, and philanthropist, Rodriguez is also a business powerhouse. He's the founder and CEO of A-Rod Corp-- a tremendously successful, fully-integrated real estate investment and development firm-- and so his remarks infused lots of insights into his business ethic and decision-making, how he built his corporate team from the bottom up, and the new investments he's most excited about.

Rodriguez is also the host of his own podcast, The Corp, and show on CNBC, Back in the Game. He seamlessly weaves his diverse portfolio into the conversation. Sought-out to speak everywhere from Intuit to Capital One, Rodriguez receives race reviews such as: "Alex, wow! You knocked it out of the park... You were beyond spectacular. There were so many takeaways. Thanks so much for sharing your personal story." (The NDP Group, Inc."

Watch Alex Rodriguez at the Mortgage Bankers Association event >>

Source

Harry Walker

Date

February 19, 2020

Category

Business, Media

Alex Rodriguez Teams Up with Fox Sports to Support Gamechanger Fund

MIAMI (Jan. 29, 2020) – FOX SPORTS SUPPORTS, the community impact arm of FOX Sports, today announced the inaugural donation from its newly-formed “Gamechanger Fund” to the Hank Kline Club of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.

To present the $200,000 contribution, FOX MLB Studio Analyst Alex Rodriguez, a Miami-Dade Boys & Girls Clubs Board Member, visited the club he attended during his youth in Coconut Grove, along with Eric Shanks, Chief Executive Officer & Executive Producer, FOX Sports, and Adrian Garcia-Marquez, NFL Announcer, FOX Deportes. Shanks and Garcia-Marquez also grew up in the Boys & Girls Clubs. The contribution was received by Alejandro Rodriguez-Roig, President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.

“The Boys & Girls Clubs could not have played a more important role in my development as both an athlete and a person,” said Rodriguez. “I’m very grateful that FOX Sports is supporting the organization and investing in the club I attended as a child, and the futures of the kids here today.”

The Gamechanger Fund, which is proudly supported by both FOX Sports and its parent company, Fox Corporation, is part of a lasting community commitment ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl LIV on FOX. The Fund will provide AV equipment and education space for the club’s youth to explore future careers in television, digital and social media production. Club members will also be connected with FOX Sports employees and productions around the country for ongoing extracurricular learning and mentorship opportunities.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it were not for the Boys & Girls Clubs,” said Shanks, who also serves as the organization’s Pacific Region Chair. “Everyone at FOX Sports hopes the Gamechanger Fund will help to inspire the next generation and that one or more of these girls or boys is producing the Super Bowl someday.”

This project is rooted in FOX Sports Supports’ belief that increasing youths’ exposure to sports, in both on-the-field athletic pursuits and off-the-field professional ones, can deepen their connection to the game and become a driving force of change in their lives.

About FOX Sports
FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing FOX Corporation’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, the business has ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing relationships. FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Network; FS1, FS2, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Deportes. FOX Sports’ digital properties include FOXSports.com and the FOX Sports App, which provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content, instant scores, stats and alerts to iOS and Android devices. Additionally, FOX Sports and social broadcasting platform, Caffeine jointly own Caffeine Studios which creates exclusive eSports, sports and live entertainment content. Also included in FOX Sports’ portfolio are FOX’s interests in joint-venture business Big Ten Network, a licensing and commercial relationship with The Stars Group that created the FOX Bet sports betting platform and the FOX Sports Super 6 free-to-play game, and a licensing agreement that established the FOX Sports Radio Network.

Source

Fox Sports

Date

January 30, 2020

Category

Impact, Media

Alex Rodriguez and Barstool Sports Release Season Two of "The Corp Podcast"

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 27, 2019) – Alex Rodriguez and Barstool Sports Release Season Two of “The Corp” Podcast

After the first season of The Corp became the No. 1 overall podcast last year, legendary baseball player Alex Rodriguez has reunited with Barstool Sports personality and host of No.1 sports podcast, Pardon My Take, Dan “Big Cat” Katz, for another season. Combining comedy, business and sports into one relatable platform, The Corp takes Rodriguez and Katz around the country to interview business leaders, sports legends, entertainment veterans and entrepreneurs to uncover the roots of their success and the mindset that let them overcome the inevitable obstacles.

Season two will open on August 27 with interviews with iconic actor Kevin Bacon and America’s first self-made female billionaire, Martha Stewart. Each week, the podcast will drop on Tuesdays, with accompanying video on Thursdays on YouTube. Guests also include storied racing driver Danica Patrick, WWE executive Stephanie McMahon, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and entrepreneurs Dylan Lauren of Dylan’s Candy Bar and Ty Haney of Outdoor Voices.

In this second outing for the team, Rodriguez continues to share the untold stories of his baseball career and his experience founding the real-life ARod Corp, an investment conglomerate that has deployed hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate, media, consumer and fitness ventures. “It doesn’t matter where you competed. These guests, from Martha Stewart to Danica Patrick and Dylan Lauren, all stared failure in the eye and won that standoff,” says Rodriguez. “It’s a great lesson for us all.”

Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz is known for his ability to bring out the most unexpected and candid moments from athletes and celebrities alike on his No. 1 podcast Pardon My Take. He brings those skills to The Corp and continues to infuse his refreshing and unique comedic point of view. “The goal of the podcast is to let successful people open up in a more relaxed atmosphere, tell their story and relate to the audience what it was like to climb their respective professional mountain,” says Katz. “I think listeners will enjoy what we accomplished with season 2.”

Along the way there will be five appearances from Barstool Sports CEO, Erika Nardini, who says, “In television, you’re working toward someone else’s definition of what’s funny or what’s allowed. With podcasts, you’re getting graded on by the fans…we control our own destiny here.”

The Corp is executive produced by Alex Rodriguez and Jeff Lee for ARod Productions along with Erika Nardini, Dan Katz and Henry Lockwood for Barstool Sports.

Source

PR Newswire

Date

August 27, 2019

Category

Media

A-Rod On Working On His Business Portfolio Post-Baseball Career

Source

Harry Walker

Date

May 17, 2017

Category

Business, Media

In Conversation - What I've learned from 22 years in baseball

Source

Google Zeitgest

Date

September 24, 2016

Category

Media

Boys & Girls Clubs of America Announces 2021 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees

ATLANTA – (May 5, 2021) – Boys & Girls Clubs of America will induct seven new Club alumni into their Alumni Hall of Fame tonight during the youth advocacy organization’s virtual 115th Annual Conference. The ceremony will honor seven Boys & Girls Club Alumni, who have made major contributions in their fields, including sports, government, and music.

This year’s inductees, the “Class of 2021,” include: Tara August, Vice President of Turner Sports Talent Relations and Special Projects; Ciara, Grammy Award Winning Singer/Songwriter; The Honorable Jerry Demings, Mayor of Orange County; Frank Layden, former NBA and WNBA coach; Ricardo Lockette, retired NFL special teams player and wide receiver; Titus O’Neil, WWE Global Ambassador, philanthropist and author; and Alex Rodriguez, entrepreneur, philanthropist and MLB All Star.

The honorees have forged unique, successful paths as adults, but a shared Boys & Girls Club foundation of education, support and community brought to them through invaluable programs, attentive staff, and the connections made with other Club youth.

Boys & Girls Club celebrates the achievements of alumni each year with the annual induction ceremony.

“We are proud to recognize another group of outstanding Club alumni for this 2021 class. Each one provides true inspiration for our Boys & Girls Club youth, making it clear that they can accomplish their dreams,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “With shared beginnings at Boys & Girls Club, inductees exemplify what we aim to accomplish for our youth. Given community and encouragement to grow, and opportunities to succeed, they can go on to make their mark in the world.”

The Boys & Girls Club Alumni & Friends estimates there are more than 16 million living Club alumni today, with each individual being an important piece of our story and mission. More information on this year’s inductees:

Tara August
Boys & Girls Club of Greater San Diego

Tara August was 8 when she started going to the Club. She was struck by how many women worked there. Women coached them, taught them skills, urged teamwork, helped with homework. Seeing women lead the Club on a regular basis was life-changing for Tara. Today, she is Vice President of Turner Sports Talent Relations and Special Projects. In a male-dominated field, she has risen through the ranks to managing some of the biggest names in sports, including Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Pedro Martinez. Tara facilitates on-air production, sales, marketing and promotional activities, serving as primary liaison to all sport teams, leagues, agents, and celebrities to facilitate contract negotiations and guest bookings. Tara August is also a Southeast Trustee for Boys & Girls Club of America.

Ciara
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta

Ciara Princess Harris was born in Killeen, Texas. As the only child of U.S. service members, she grew up all over, including Germany, New York, California and Atlanta, where she discovered the Boys & Girls Club. The Club was like an extended family for Ciara, with welcoming staff members who built strong bonds with all the kids. By age 14, Ciara was a talented singer and dancer. At 16, she signed her first record contract and, at age 19, released her debut album “Goodies,” which sold 5 million copies. Over her 15-year career, she has sold over 23 million records and 22 million singles. Ciara enjoys visiting Clubs to share her journey with members to let them know anything is possible.

The Honorable Jerry Demings
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

At the Carver Shores Boys Club, the close-knit Clubhouse provided Jerry Demings and his twin brother, Terry, a safe, steady space with mentors, structure, plenty of activities, and opportunities to meet new people and make new friends. Jerry’s Club experience also allowed him to develop leadership skills that provided the foundation for future success. After graduating Florida State University, Jerry embarked on a career in public service. He has since served as police chief of Orlando, sheriff for Orange County was elected Mayor of Orange Count in 2018, overseeing more than 8,000 employees and a $4.9 billion budget. He was the first African American to hold each one of those positions.  

Frank Layden
Flatbush Boys Club in Brooklyn, New York

Frank Layden was born in 1932 in Brooklyn, New York. From early on, Frank loved basketball and was known as one of Brooklyn’s best young players by the time he reached high school. His local Club invited Frank to join their basketball team. Playing for the Club provided Frank with tremendous exposure and led to Niagara University awarding him a basketball scholarship. After a post-college army stint, Frank became a high school teacher and basketball coach. He ultimately coached 10 years in high school, 10 years in college and 13 years in the NBA and WNBA. In 1984, he was named NBA Coach of the Year and NBA Executive of the Year.  

Ricardo Lockette
Boys & Girls Club of Albany, Georgia

The Club had it all for Ricardo Lockette. It is where he learned to swim, make art, use computers and show he was more than an athlete. Befriending Club kids of diverse ethnicities and backgrounds broadened Ricardo’s horizons and made it clear it was okay to be different. After graduating from high school, Ricardo played football at Fort Valley State University. In 2011, he signed with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent. As a standout special teams player and wide receiver, Ricardo became a fan favorite and a Super Bowl champ. Ricardo is now a player advisor for the Harvard Football Players Health Study, a research program that aims to make the game safer and address the well-being and health of former NFL players.  

Titus O'Neil
Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, Florida

WWE Global Ambassador Titus O’Neil, aka Thaddeus Bullard, attended Delray Beach Boys & Girls Club at the age of 8 as a safe place to go after school. When he couldn’t afford to sign up for a local youth football league, a Club counselor paid his registration fee. He excelled on the gridiron, earning a scholarship to the University of Florida, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in administrative education. After a stint in the NFL, O’Neil pursued a career in sports entertainment, and eventually signed with WWE where he has become WWE Tag Team Champion, the first-ever 24/7 Champion and was recently inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as the Warrior Award recipient, an award given to an individual who exhibits unwavering strength and perseverance and who lives life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of The Ultimate Warrior.  He is known for his humanitarian work outside the ring as much as his work inside WWE and created the Bullard Family Foundation to provide children and families in need with programs and resources to help build character, develop relationships, and strengthen the communities around them.  In addition to the Boys & Girls Clubs, O’Neil also supports The Special Olympics and Pop Warner Football.

Alex Rodriguez
Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade

Before Alex Rodriguez became a baseball star, he learned to play the game at the Hank Kline Boys & Girls Club in Miami. Alex was 9 when met unit director and baseball coach Eddie Rodriguez. Though not related, Eddie was like a father to Alex. By high school, Alex was a brilliant baseball player who led his team to the state championship. He stayed a Club member until 1993, when the Seattle Mariners made him the #1 pick in the Major League Baseball draft. Alex went on to be one of the most famous players in baseball history. Over a 22-year career, he was named AL MVP three times, hit nearly 700 home runs and became a world champion. He is now a television baseball analyst for Fox Sports and ESPN, and a board member for Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade and also for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

For more information on Boys & Girls Clubs Alumni & Friends or to join the community go to www.bgca.org/alumni.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA.org) has provided a safe place for kids and teens to learn and grow. Clubs offer caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Boys & Girls Clubs programming promotes academic success, good character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles. More than 4,700 Clubs serve 4.6 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America on Facebook or Twitter.

Media Contacts

Sara Leutzinger
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
404-487-5624
sleutzinger@bgca.org

Source

Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Date

May 5, 2021

Category

Impact

Major Real Estate Firms Step Up To Save Black and Hispanic Internships that Coronavirus Wiped Out

NEW YORK  (June 19th, 2020) — When Covid-19 struck, Cedric Bobo moved his internship program for Black and Hispanic students program online. But when he heard that New York City had canceled 75,000 paid summer internships, he took the program one step further.  He decided to use Project Destined’s learning platform as a gateway to replace at least some of those lost internships.

The project destined will administer the internship program in partnership with  Walker & Dunlop, inc.,  REPLI and REIRail. The paid summer internship program for high school and college students from diverse backgrounds is six-weeks in length and will provide students with the opportunity to work with leading commercial real estate firms, where live transactions will help participants gain real-world experience in digital marketing.

Click here for more information and internship opportunities.

HIGHLIGHTING CEDRIC BOBO:

Click here for the original CNBC article

For the past few weeks, Cedric Bobo, a former investment executive at the Carlyle Group, has spent the better part of his days on video calls, welcoming mostly Black and Hispanic students to paid summer internship programs.

When he’s not welcoming them, he’s pitching the programs to real estate executives, hoping they’ll fund even more students.

Bobo is co-founder of Project Destined, a nonprofit real estate learning platform that he launched four years ago. It teaches minority kids in cities basic finance by working with them to understand how property investments in their own neighborhoods work. They learn about how to value buildings, how mortgages work and how investors decide if a property is worth buying. They then pitch deals to panels of experts. Project Destined then invests in the some of the properties and offers the students a chance to profit from the deals through scholarship funds if they stay engaged.

Bobo teaches finance, but he preaches community ownership. Project Destined runs these programs in several major cities across the country, including New York, Detroit and Atlanta.

When Covid-19 struck, he moved the entire program online. But when he heard that New York City had canceled 75,000 paid summer internships, he took the program one step further. He decided to use Project Destined’s learning platform as a gateway to replace at least some of those lost internships.

“So many of our cities are challenged right now with budget issues. Seventy-five thousand students in New York alone lost their jobs for the summer, many of them Black and Brown youth. I talked to the [Real Estate Board of New York], and overnight we created 100 internships for students, and that was a real stimulus around the country,” said Bobo. “We went from there and began working with different corporates to begin to create more and more internships around the country.”

Bobo has recruited some of the biggest names in the real estate business: Brookfield Asset Management, Tishman Speyer, and Walker & Dunlop. The internships are five or six weeks and pay either $500 or $750, depending on the program. Students learn the basics from Project Destined’s courses and then connect directly with executives at the real estate firms sponsoring them. They will also hear live lectures from top executives at Brookfield, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Amazon and former Yankee Alex Rodriguez, who runs his own real estate firm.

“We went straight to the real estate folks, and we went straight to CEOs. That’s really important because if you want to have action, you’ve got to have the leaders create action and then measure it,” said Bobo.

When the Black Lives Matter protests erupted, even more companies, large and small, began stepping up. He now hopes to fund more than 1,000 internships through the fall.

“The protests are critical because they create awareness, and we need to sustain that awareness, but the next piece is how do you translate that into action. So what we’ve been doing is working with the corporates to create true training opportunities where they can hire those folks,” Bobo said.

Another sponsor in the program is Vincent Harris, co-founder of a small, Black-owned proptech firm called REIRail. It is a lead generation platform for smaller real estate investors to source property deals. Harris has been passionate about financial literacy since he was a child. His mother lost their home to foreclosure because she didn’t understand how to manage her finances.

“That was a really formative experience for me. I remember the trauma, frankly, of that, and vowed to never be in a position like that, to never have my children be in a position like that,” said Harris.

What drew him to the internship program, he said, was that it’s not just about education; it’s about putting those lessons into practice and getting both finances and invaluable professional connections into the hands of students.

“A lot of the lack of access, that you see people demanding in the streets right now, comes from the fact that folks who have power, the power to hire, etc., don’t interface with Black and Brown communities. They don’t have a means of entry and so Project Destined is really cementing a pipeline of talent into these organizations,” he said.

On a recent Zoom call, Bobo welcomed Samuel Obasi to his new internship. Obasi, a Black junior at Towson University in Baltimore, explained why he wanted to make real estate his future.

“Not only can you build wealth for yourself, but you can use that to build affordable housing for your own people in your own area, your own neighborhood,” said Obasi.

Source

News Break

Date

June 19, 2020

Category

Business, Impact

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez Donate Meals to Hospitality Workers in Miami

MIAMI (April 21, 2020) – Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are doing their part amid the coronavirus crisis.

http://http://https://www.miamiherald.com/news/coronavirus/article242168676.html

The pair have donated thousands of meals that will be distributed this weekend and next week to help hard-hit hospitality workers in the Miami area.

In all, Lopez and Rodriguez donated 20,000 chef-prepared frozen meals from their food line, Tiller & Hatch Supply Co., to feed unemployed hospitality and restaurant workers who have either been laid off or furloughed because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Meals will be distributed at the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort as well as the adjacent Beach Bar restaurant at the Newport Pier. Other hotels that will receive donated meals include The Shelborne South Beach, DoubleTree By Hilton Ocean Point Resort, The Mayfair at Coconut Grove and The Mondrian South Beach.

Source

Miami Herald

Date

April 21, 2020

Category

Impact

A-Rod Corp Invests in Nova Credit

NEW YORK (Feb. 22, 2019) – A-Rod Corp announced its newest investment in Nova Credit on Friday afternoon.

“We are excited about this investment,” said CEO, Alex Rodriguez, “This venture celebrates our diversification. As a Dominican-American I am proud to be able to help out fellow immigrants who struggle differently. We believe in changing lives at A-Rod Corp and Nova echos that mission.”

This month, Nova Credit raised a $50M round led by Kleiner Perkins to finally make the global consumer credit reporting system whole. Mr. Rodriguez participated in the Series B funding along with Canapi Ventures and existing investors General Catalyst, Index Ventures, and NYCA Partners. Nova also welcomed Avid Ventures, Endeavor, Susa Ventures and Sound Ventures and the Edge of U2.

ABOUT NOVA:  Nova Credit is the premier cross-border bureau. Lack of a domestic credit history keeps millions of immigrants in the United States from realizing their dreams. The award-winning fintech helps newcomers and other global citizens apply for financial services using their international credit history from countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea, and the UK. We translate international credit data into a U.S.-equivalent score and report in a format familiar to American underwriters, who use it to evaluate applications for credit products. Founded by immigrants, we have a diverse team from around the globe who are creating a world beyond borders to help newcomers arrive and thrive.

ON A MISSION: We strive to enable the flow of humans not just for their economic potential, but because of the value of that movement itself in bringing new perspectives, creativity, community, and innovation. For Nova Credit, we are here to dream up a world beyond borders and our mission is to inspire and facilitate the flow of human diversity. The modern world as we know it has been created through the movement and collaboration of humans. Across changing borders, regions, and cultures, a continuous cycle of human migration and settlement is what defines us as different nations, composes our family histories, and shapes our personal stories.

PROBLEM SOLVING: All newcomers to the U.S. are rendered “credit invisible” upon arrival because American underwriters can’t access international credit data. Even if they have a good credit rating at their prior home countries, recent immigrants often struggle to accomplish the most basic tasks such as getting an apartment lease, a cell phone plan, credit card or student loan. Before Nova Credit translated international credit data to a U.S.-equivalent score, all newcomers had to build their U.S. credit history back to its previous levels from scratch, which can take as long as five years.

INNOVATION: Nova Credit’s core innovation is a U.S.-equivalent global credit scoring and reporting format, the Credit Passport®. Similar to a U.S. credit report, it contains a FICO-equivalent score, tradelines and inquiry history, allowing consumers who have recently arrived in the U.S. to attempt to demonstrate their creditworthiness to lenders. Partners like American Express, MPOWER Financing and Yardi can seamlessly underwrite qualifying newcomers without a U.S. credit score using Nova Credit. The solution requires consumer consent.For most countries, Nova Credit aligns the country-of-origin credit score to U.S. credit risk levels by matching the default rates. For example, a score of 1050 in the originating country that represents a default rate of 3% might equate to a score of 710 at the same default rate in the U.S. In that case the consumer’s score is adjusted to 710 for U.S. underwriting purposes.

Source

A-Rod Corp

Date

February 22, 2020

Category

Business, Impact

Alex Rodriguez Teams Up with Fox Sports to Support Gamechanger Fund

MIAMI (Jan. 29, 2020) – FOX SPORTS SUPPORTS, the community impact arm of FOX Sports, today announced the inaugural donation from its newly-formed “Gamechanger Fund” to the Hank Kline Club of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.

To present the $200,000 contribution, FOX MLB Studio Analyst Alex Rodriguez, a Miami-Dade Boys & Girls Clubs Board Member, visited the club he attended during his youth in Coconut Grove, along with Eric Shanks, Chief Executive Officer & Executive Producer, FOX Sports, and Adrian Garcia-Marquez, NFL Announcer, FOX Deportes. Shanks and Garcia-Marquez also grew up in the Boys & Girls Clubs. The contribution was received by Alejandro Rodriguez-Roig, President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.

“The Boys & Girls Clubs could not have played a more important role in my development as both an athlete and a person,” said Rodriguez. “I’m very grateful that FOX Sports is supporting the organization and investing in the club I attended as a child, and the futures of the kids here today.”

The Gamechanger Fund, which is proudly supported by both FOX Sports and its parent company, Fox Corporation, is part of a lasting community commitment ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl LIV on FOX. The Fund will provide AV equipment and education space for the club’s youth to explore future careers in television, digital and social media production. Club members will also be connected with FOX Sports employees and productions around the country for ongoing extracurricular learning and mentorship opportunities.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it were not for the Boys & Girls Clubs,” said Shanks, who also serves as the organization’s Pacific Region Chair. “Everyone at FOX Sports hopes the Gamechanger Fund will help to inspire the next generation and that one or more of these girls or boys is producing the Super Bowl someday.”

This project is rooted in FOX Sports Supports’ belief that increasing youths’ exposure to sports, in both on-the-field athletic pursuits and off-the-field professional ones, can deepen their connection to the game and become a driving force of change in their lives.

About FOX Sports
FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing FOX Corporation’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, the business has ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing relationships. FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Network; FS1, FS2, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Deportes. FOX Sports’ digital properties include FOXSports.com and the FOX Sports App, which provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content, instant scores, stats and alerts to iOS and Android devices. Additionally, FOX Sports and social broadcasting platform, Caffeine jointly own Caffeine Studios which creates exclusive eSports, sports and live entertainment content. Also included in FOX Sports’ portfolio are FOX’s interests in joint-venture business Big Ten Network, a licensing and commercial relationship with The Stars Group that created the FOX Bet sports betting platform and the FOX Sports Super 6 free-to-play game, and a licensing agreement that established the FOX Sports Radio Network.

Source

Fox Sports

Date

January 20, 2020

Category

Impact, Media