The Former Pro Athlete as Entrepreneur
I was making an early-morning grocery run at the 24-hour CVS on South 10th Street today when a cover story from the Philadelphia Daily News happened to catch my eye. For those of you who don’t live here, the Daily News is essentially the local version of the New York Post — it’s printed as a tabloid-style paper, in other words, and more often than not it features quick stories and attention-grabbing headlines. Today’s front-page story is about a former legendary pro baseball player, Lenny Dykstra, who has long since retired from baseball and is now living large as something of a high-rolling entrepreneur.
Now, I don’t know very much at all about professional sports, but I do know that for the most part, American football and baseball stars who move into the business arena after retirement tend to stick with fairly traditional and boring entrepreneurial pursuits. Cheesy chain restaurants, for instance, or over-the-top sports bars. But according to the aforementioned story, the Lenny Dykstra of 2008 is a fairly interesting and ambitious guy. Not only is he a milli0n-dollar real estate mogul with a Gulfstream jet (yawn), but he’s also a surprisingly accurate day trader who previously penned a stock-picking column for Jim Kramer’s TheStreet.com.
On top of all this, however, it appears that Dykstra has also chosen to enter the not-necessarily-stable universe of luxury magazine publishing. As Dykstra explains, his relatively new title, The Players Club, was launched primarily with the intention of helping out the various pro athletes and other sporting insiders who need assistance when it comes time to invest (and spend) their millions. Incidentally, I’m guessing Dykstra also employs one hell of a talented PR agent, because it just so happens that the New Yorker‘s Ben McGrath profiled him in late March, just prior to the magazine’s launch. It’s a fantastic story, by the way, and although Dykstra is portrayed as something of a bone-headed jock throughout, by the article’s end, you get the sense that McGrath genuinely admires the guy for his relentless ambition, if nothing else. Give it a read if you’ve got twenty minutes to spare.
And what if you’d rather read an actual copy of The Players Club? Well, don’t go heading off to your nearest Barnes & Noble just yet — the magazine’s distribution operates entirely on a closed (controlled) circulation model, and is mailed only to pro athletes and other sporting big-wigs. Bummer. [Link: New York Times] [Link: New York Post] [Link: Portfolio.com]