News broke recently of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson along with partners Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale reportedly buying the XFL from Vince McMahon for an estimated 15 Million Dollars just days before the league's scheduled bankruptcy auction. This news was an exciting twist with a Hollywood ending for the XFL. All the buzz I've seen over the last 24 hours has been filled with anticipation and positivity. Going from bankrupt due to Covid 19 to opportunity for growth is all any of us could ask for! The Rock according to LATimes.com had this to say about purchasing the XFL, "The acquisition of the XFL with my talented partners, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale, is an investment for me that’s rooted deeply in two things — my passion for the game and my desire to always take care of the fans. “With pride and gratitude for all that I’ve built with my own two hands, I plan to apply these callouses to the XFL, and look forward to creating something special for the players, fans, and everyone involved for the love of football...”
Eloquently said and certainly proves what I've repeated over and over again, success is not a pie. More opportunities for others doesn't mean less success. The Rock and partners buying the XFL is exactly that - an opportunity. An opportunity for players to have a chance at their dreams, for fans to become acquainted with players they may have never seen otherwise, as well as providing more jobs and entertainment. All of which are great outcomes for all involved from investors to fans to coaches to players to media and everyone in between - it's a win win for all.
What some may not realize but should is that the XFL was actually reportedly outdrawing Raw, Smackdown, NXT, AEW, and Impact Wrestling. On average prior to shutting down due to Covid 19, the XFL was bringing in 1.8 Million Viewers and all time high of over 3 Million viewers during its cut short 5 week season. Vince McMahon was estimated to have been able to invest 500 Million into the XFL, so Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and partners Garcia and Cardinale buying the XFL for 15 Million is a steal in my opinion and will be exciting to see!
Prior to May 31st of this year, at least 30 XFL players signed NFL deals ranging between 1 to 3 years. This is awesome! Dreams becoming reality for quite a few players! Why is that so awesome? Here's an analogy of sorts for comparison, these players got signed after only playing 5 games due to Covid 19. This would be like an awesome indy wrestler getting signed to WWE after only ever having 5 matches on the Independents. To me, this is a perfect example in my opinion, of the XFL having the capacity and following to become a great developmental system for the NFL. Already some XFL players have signed contracts with The Raiders, Rams, Chargers, Saints, Buccaneers, Panthers and more. Some having the ability to start in the first game of the season. Epic!
Equally important to note is that The Rock and his partners Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale will have to navigate Covid 19 precautionary measures to keep everyone safe. They'll need to acquire beneficial TV deals, as well as budgeting marketing and promotion to circumvent the lack of fan attendance which has become the new norm in 2020. What I find most exciting about this new venture for The Rock is that it is personal passion project so to speak. The Rock being a Former football player for the University of Miami has roots in football. He also is a star on the show Ballers which is based around a retired NFL player who decides to help out current players.
When The Rock told people his plan to become a top actor in Hollywood, he was laughed at. Fast forward after years of hard work, he became reportedly one of the top paid actors currently in Hollywood. Prior to that he had a legendary career in the WWE. Pre dating that he played football. Add on top of all those achievements being a high profile paid public figure on Instagram. Quite simply, he's a multi-industry tycoon partnered with extremely successful individuals who have earned their credentials. He's a walking definition of determination, hard work, study, grit, guts, and gumption.
Also investing in this venture are The Rock's partners who are equally as impressive. Dany Garcia is the founder, CEO, and Chairwoman of the multi-platform enterprise known as Garcia Companies and TGC Management. She also co-founded Seven Bucks Companies with Dwayne Johnson. A very successful career in finance as well as business management and film production has led Dany Garcia to a net worth over roughly 20 Million. Her start began at Merrill Lynch until her bold move into entertainment Her co-founded company Seven Bucks Productions is responsible for such box office hits as Baywatch, Jumanji Welcome To The Jungle, and Shazam based off the DC Comics superhero. According to LATimes.com Dany had this to say, '“Sports and entertainment are the foundations of the businesses I have built. Melding our expertise combined with our commitment to deliver exciting and inspiring unique content, has us all focused on developing the XFL brand into a multi-media experience that our athletes, partners and fans will proudly embrace and love.”' In complete earnestness, I can't disagree with her, not one bit...
Gerry Cardinale is the third partner prepared to build up the XFL. He is the founder and managing partner of Red Bird Capital. According to the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, prior to founding RedBird, Gerry Cardinale had an extremely successful 20-year career at Goldman Sachs. During his tenure there, he helped create two multi-billion dollar sports-related businesses — the Yankees Entertainment & Sports (“YES”) Network, and Legends Hospitality, a premium ticketing, concessions and merchandising services company which was created in partnership with the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys. In 2012, Mr. Cardinale was named by Forbes Magazine as one of “The Top 50 Deal Makers” in the private equity industry. Gerry Cardinale has had a 25+ year career investing in Sports and Sports Media.
In my opinion, if I was going to attach my name to such a project, these would be some of my most qualified heavy hitters for my team that I'd want. When you love something and you decide to embark on such a journey amounting to say the rebuilding of the XFL, you'd want people who'll work as hard as you as and believe in it as much as you to make it happen. Its with my own experience that I say this team possesses all the knowledge necessary to achieve such a monumental task.The credentials speak for themselves and the expertise alone is awe inspiring with such calibre and levels of dedication to their crafts. To create a successful company let alone sporting industry, you need such a high level of understanding in business, marketing, finance, analytics, entertainment, and so much more. In my opinion, this team stands the best chance of rebranding and continuing the XFL with the passion that was put into it from the start. With the NFL only having so many teams with say for example of spots for 53 players on each team, there's only so many spots for millions of dreamers who grind hard every day to be the next player drafted to the NFL. With new life being pumped into the XFL that's that much more opportunity for success - for that dream to become a reality. That is certainly a Hollywood ending I'm excited to experience and for the opportunities it'll create!
For more Taeler Hendrix content check out the links below
Children's Ebook "It's Not Easy Being A Sloth" Barnes and Noble: bit.ly/37N9QOc
Talks w/ Taeler Hendrix Podcast: bit.ly/2YvNKwP
Cameo Videos: cameo.com/taelerhendrix