As Phillies slugger Ryan Howard searched for a second act to his career in baseball, the world of venture capital beckoned. And, he says, others are following suit.
“Before I got to life after baseball, I asked myself, ‘When my cleats are hung up, what am I gonna do?,” said Howard in a recent interview with Forbes. “I think more and more athletes do get that.”
Howard — a partner with Conshohocken-based SeventySix Capital — and NFL running back DeMarco Murray spoke to Forbes about the ongoing narrative of sports-pro-turned-tech-investors.
“An NFL career can be short,” Howard told writer Andy Frye. “It’s important to be set up for success off-the-field.”
Howard’s firm announced, at the end of last year, the initial close of a $10 million fund that will focus on sports technology startups, as well as health, wellness and the “future of retail.” The former Phillies first baseman helped lead two of the firm’s more recent deals: investments in esports firm N3rd Street Gamers and Play by Play Sports Broadcasting Camps.
Big news today- @76Capital and I are backing entrepreneurs Jeremy and Steven of @playbyplaycamp. Join us in 9 cities across the country to learn the future of sports broadcasting, digital media and analytics! https://t.co/Nlx8cDvuG2 pic.twitter.com/IWc5RPbIF3
— Ryan Howard (@ryanhoward) April 12, 2018
SeventySix Capital Managing Director Wayne Kimmel said athletes like Howard can add also value to deals by tapping into their networks.
“Athletes today have more than just their financial capital, they also have social capital,” Kimmel said. “Being able to leverage that social capital of athletes can really help us accelerate our companies. And it helps us help entrepreneurs to be incredibly successful.”
We also heard recently that former Flyers center Danny Brière is getting into the investment game.-30-