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Tough crowd (my family) gives this issue 3 stars


As regular readers of this column may already know, I like sports. I wasn’t really raised watching them, although my dad is an avid sports viewer. I became a sports fan later in life because I was trying to fit in to a family of guys who watched sports—a lot: one of whom I married, the other two I was raising. Be interested and be part of the conversation.

I learned a lot over the years from my sports posse, and I frequently ask their opinions on the ref’s call, the ball handling or whether or not he really had his foot on the bag. (Thank you, instant replay!) Sometimes they agree, sometimes they don’t—but I always learn something.

So today, as I write this, I decided to survey my expert sports panel on the subject of our cover story this month, former NY Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. What comes to your mind when I mention his name?

Husband Doug: “Arguably the best player in the game. Got a big contract right away.”

Son Ben: “No. 13. One of the best ball players of the last 20 years. Signed two enormous contracts: $252 million and $300 million, maybe? (It was actually $252 million and $275 million.) I remember watching ESPN’s Sports Center, and reading the announcement of the contracts going by at the bottom of the screen on the ticker and thinking that was the most money ever attached to an athlete.

Baseball players were doing well, but he was known for being the first super, super rich player. Probably a hall of famer, but we’ll see with his controversy….Also, I think he’s dating JLo?”

Son Sam:  “Steroids. A good baseball player, but he cheated.”

Ouch. I said to Sam, “Wow, you’re tough.” “Yeah,” Sam replied, simply.

So, I’m sure if I walked around the office querying my FT colleagues, their answers would be similar to the ones above—no one would have said, “business person,” “investor,” or “hot yoga enthusiast.”

Franchise Times Editor-in-Chief Beth Ewen had an opportunity to interview the World Series champion because, yes, there’s a franchise tie here. Rodriguez is a UFC Gym franchisee and an investor in TruFusion, a franchise specializing in yoga, Pilates and more.

What’s interesting is his take on being a business person: His first investment was “a modest duplex” which he purchased as a young baseball player “simply out of fear,” he said. 

He was raised by a single mom who worked two jobs and put her extra money under the mattress. When he first started making baseball money, Rodriguez didn’t want to blow it.

Mary Jo Larson

Mary Jo Larson

Reach Mary Jo at 612-767-3208
or mlarson@franchisetimes.com

You’ll have to read Beth’s story on what he brings to the party as a TruFusion investor and UFC Gym franchisee, and his work with other professional players and their investments.

And those mistakes of the past?

“Regrets—obviously I have had some with some of the things that have transpired, but I’m very proud that I have not been defined by my mistakes,” he said.

And this issue has much, much more than A-Rod: four immigrant sisters from India, whose father’s journey to the U.S. inspired them to work hard and take risks; couples who are married to each other and their business; poke franchises, and one entrepreneur who was told: “You are not working hard enough if your toes don’t bleed.” Where else, but in Franchise Times?

There’s a lot to be had in this issue. I’m just glad it’s being put to bed before Sam has a chance to comment on my column. He’s brutal.

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