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Today on the podcast we welcome Jordan Rogers, a former marketing executive at Nike who has transitioned into the evolving field of image and likeness representation for college athletes.

Jordan brings a wealth of knowledge, particularly beneficial for young athletes in high school and college. He delves into the critical aspects of personal branding and provides insights into the essential questions these athletes should be asking themselves. Our discussion navigates the complexities and potential pitfalls within the realm of college sports professionalism. Additionally, we explore the intricacies of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) and marketing strategies.

This conversation was a genuine reminder that whether you are an athlete, starting a new career, musician, artist, figuring out who you are, and how you would like to move through the world is one of the most important things to focus on. Remarkably, Jordan’s journey includes overcoming significant personal challenges, including a severe drug addiction and a period of incarceration. He shares the valuable lessons and skills that not only aided him in surmounting these obstacles but also propelled him to excel in a career he is deeply passionate about.

Resources Mentioned:

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  • 00:03:25 – The Business of Sports
  • 00:10:41 – Name, Image & Likeness Compensation
  • 00:14:57 – Effects on Sports Performance
  • 00:18:30 – Working in a Collective
  • 00:21:16 – Moving Forward in Perpetuity
  • 00:23:21 -Navigating Compensations in High School
  • 00:30:53 – Is This Good for the Athletes?
  • 00:36:22 – Authenticity with NIL
  • 00:52:28 – Athletes and Branding
  • 01:04:16 – Winning Athletic Brands
  • 01:09:10 – Protecting the Easter Eggs
  • 01:13:40 – Marketing Creativity
  • 01:23:19 – Jordan’s Story
  • 01:41:25 – Perspective is Everything
  • 01:49:05 – From Nike to Entrepreneur

Show Transcript:

[00:03:01] Jordan Rogers: Thank you so much for having me. There’s no place better than getting off an airplane and coming out here. It’s incredible. It is.

[00:03:09] Gabby Reece: It’s well just to be in nature. The last time I saw you, we were in a football stadium. In Tallahassee.

[00:03:14] Jordan Rogers: Yep. And just before everything fell apart for your dear alma mater.

[00:03:18] Gabby Reece: Yeah. I wonder, is it, ’cause their schedule wasn’t as hard as everybody else’s, that they didn’t get that, that play the fact that they were undefeated. What do you think that was?

[00:03:25] Jordan Rogers: There’s a simple answer and a hard answer.

The simple answer is their quarterback got injured a week or two after we saw him. So we saw him when they were playing Miami. And they were just world beaters. They looked amazing and they were a hands down favorite for the final four. And then their quarterback, who was a Heisman candidate Jordan Travis went down and that, and they really struggled, like most teams will struggle when you’re star quarterback goes down.

And they struggled for a couple of weeks. We can’t disconnect the fact that college football is now a real entertainment product. ESPN pays half a billion dollars per year to broadcast those, the final four. Yeah. And they do not, they had a really bad scenario last year where Georgia destroyed TCU 63 to three or something and they were not gonna let that happen again.

So they could, they didn’t, they justified keeping Florida State out by basically looking at the two weeks without Jordan Travis and saying, this team will get slaughtered by Georgia or Texas or Alabama. And they probably would have. Yeah. But that goes against the competitor nature of so many people who are like, give us a chance.

[00:04:34] Gabby Reece: And I think in a way you’re talking about the business of sport. Yes. And that’s why I am really excited to talk to you about this because, so when I played volleyball at Florida State, I went on a scholarship. I am a direct line result of Title nine. I was born in 1970 when Title nine was passed.

I went to college in 1987, so an entire generation. I went to school on a scholarship. Wow. But because I was flying solo after my freshman year, during summer, so legal holidays. Okay. During a competitive or college schedule. Yeah. So legal holiday would be Thanksgiving day. Yes. Christmas day or summer.

I started working in New York and modeling because I was gonna to pay my bills. Yeah. My other bills. Yeah. And so my sophomore year when I went back to school, I went to school, I competed, we went to the NCAA tournaments. Other coaches were like, how is she working, making money. So after my sophomore year, I gave up my, I paid to play.

[00:05:33] Jordan Rogers: No way. Yeah. Did you pay with your modeling fund? Yeah. Oh wow. So you’re making enough that you just it, yeah. Yeah. Okay.

[00:05:41] Gabby Reece: And so what’s interesting is my coach, the silver, not who you met she helped me navigate the next two and a half years. Wow. Of, of, I got outta spring training. I would live in New York, I would go to summer school, jam up on credits, be eligible to play.

And our deal was, when I’m there from August to December for my season, you don’t take any jobs. Yep. I would give up jobs at 19 years old, or 18 year olds, $30,000 for an ad campaign or whatever. Yeah. So that was so that I, because then it was supposed to be amateur sports. Yes. You don’t, you’re not on scholarship.

You’re not allowed to make money this way. Because also right before me, it was like Florida State’s a big football school, obviously. They’d be like, oh son I went, when Dion went, can you go? You can water the lawn. Yeah. And here’s $7,000. So they were finding ways always. So they kept tightening it up.

Yep. So I paid to play. I know. Isn’t that funny?

[00:06:32] Jordan Rogers: What a fascinating. Yeah. That’s amazing.

[00:06:36] Gabby Reece: Okay, so fast forward to where are we at two years for name, image, and likeness coming up on three. But yeah, we’re very in the early days.

So for people who don’t know now, not only do you have college students who can be compensated for the use or promote, they can promote products on their instance in social media and be used by companies in promotion. And be paid. But also, and this part confuses me, how the universities can also so we’ll give you a scholarship.

[00:07:06] Jordan Rogers: The universities cannot, oh, sorry. Keep going.

[00:07:09] Gabby Reece: No, so they give scholarship. They can give you a scholarship, but somehow there’s these nonprofits or these other things. NIL collectives. That can pay or yeah. Pay an athlete to be like, yes. Before you even make an NIL deal. Yes. On top of your scholarship. Yes. You will receive X funds.

[00:07:25] Jordan Rogers: Absolutely. Yes, I would’ve killed it. Oh, you would be, but maybe not. Look, they’re not funding a lot of women’s sports, but they would’ve loved to.

I’m just kidding. They would’ve loved to have you. You would’ve crushed it in NIL. And you could have made, you could’ve be. You eventually went on a sign with Nike. I did. But you could have signed with Nike. Outside of that. I know. And you probably would’ve been a priority.

[00:07:46] Gabby Reece: And so for people who, dunno, they, we have this now, I have to say, going to school with a huge group of athletes, I didn’t come, I had no, like I said, I had to work to take care of myself.

So you saw athletes that got there. But in a way, I always say to people, if you had to do your laundry or go to the movies, you didn’t unless your parents were sending you money. A lot of athletes, it’s tough. Yeah. And it is a full-time job. Yes. People do not realize the amount of work and pressure and everything that it takes to be, especially at these high-level schools.

[00:08:15] Jordan Rogers: Oh my  gosh. A college athlete. People have no idea. And you could tell it better than I can, but I’ve just worked really closely with a lot of ’em. They’re jammed 16 hours a day. I want people to note, like it should be noted that this is largely a conversation around men’s football and men’s basketball primarily. Now when we’re talking about name, image, and likeness as it’s intended, the women are actually crushing. Sure. Because they’re much better at social media. They’re more willing to be vulnerable. They’re not banking their future on a pro contract regardless of what the likelihood of that is or not.

And so there’s a lot of factors that are fueling the young women from doing really well. But, for people who don’t know, name, image, and likeness. I think a lot of people don’t understand what a watershed moment this is, because it seems like it should just be normal. Like you shouldn’t have had to jump through all those hoops to go make money off of your image likeness. Your name back then.

But we have this I would call it the sham of amateurism. Amateurism I don’t it’s a hard thing to talk about with a lot of people. Again, I’m gonna be talking about basically what I would argue are professional sports that have been masquerading as college sports for a long time.

And, the game we were at is a prime example of that. It’s a giant stadium on a Saturday. It’s sold out. There were Coca-Cola. We were in a suite with very fancy people who were flying through. And Coca-Cola is paying millions of dollars to potentially sponsor that stadium, that school have partnerships.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t blame anyone for that. There are well-compensated executives, coaches all kinds of people making money except for the ones that we were most interested in and the ones that we all showed up for. Which were the players on the field. A couple of years ago, the NCAA got taken to task.

They’ve been taken to court quite a lot especially recently. And they’ve taken before and they’ve defeated, but it started to the blocks have started to crumble. There were a couple of things. There was one in, in El in California that Governor Newsom passed, which basically made it a state law.

And then everybody else had to trickle. The Supreme Court also struck down one, I believe it’s the Alston case, they voted nine to nothing. That the NCA was basically running a cartel that was that is in, they’re an antitrust violation. Yeah. Which is what they’re petitioning the Congress for right now.

To give them an antitrust exemption, which basically just saying the cat’s out of the bag though.

[00:10:41] Gabby Reece: Yes. The cat’s outta the bag. I think it’s done. So if somebody, so thinking of name, image, and likeness. And what people have to understand is, and I don’t know if the statistics slightly higher in, in football, 1% of athletes in college will play professional sports.

And if you are a female athlete, unless you’re a tennis player, and most tennis players that are gonna make a real living, don’t go to college. Don’t go to college. So typically those jobs, actually, for example, LSU women’s basketball players are making more than the WNBA players. Yes. Which is wild.

But typically this could be for most athletes. Yeah. A time to make some money. Yes. And then for the, maybe the one or 2%, it’s a nice bump before they go to the big game.

[00:11:26] Jordan Rogers: Yes. Or it’s a good opportunity for them to earn something while they can matriculate and mature before making the jump into the pros.

So you’re seeing a lot of basketball players. Who LSU Women’s team is a great example. Won a national championship last year. Angel Reese, Flage, Haley, van Lith has joined them now from Louisville, but all of them probably could have gone to the league. They have a bigger opportunity that they can earn while at LSU.

Now your ability to earn off your name, image and likeness does not change when you go to the WNBA. But while you’re in Baton, Rouge, they have a massive fan base who is rabid, and they have Kim Mulkey as their coach. And so in case we just haven’t defined, for some people you can earn money off of promoting things and off of recognizability.

The distinction that we’re making here and where it gets really tripped up and what you were mentioning with the schools is they’re not allowed, they’re still not allowed to be paid to play. So they can be paid for their image and likeness, but they can’t be paid to play. Now, collectives, I just love, first of all, I’m an entrepreneur in the last 18 months.

And so I gotta tell you, when I filed for an LLC and all this I became really patriotic. I’m very grateful to live in America. I’m grateful for the free market. It, it is a, it is an interesting experience for me. So I actually love seeing, I also appreciate creativity.

And the free market will get creative when when and to me, again, this is yet another reinforcement of where the demand is. So this demand has been there forever. Like you said, you were at FSU with players like Dion, they were getting paid, yeah. There’s it’s been happening for years and years.

They’ve been getting paid. Now we just have a legal way, a legal loophole essentially. So what they do is they create, and all of them are different. There are many collectives who are doing great things. They’re serving players, they’re doing not nonprofit work. They’re helping players build their brand.

So we just need to say that, but generally speaking, they are set up in order to be the salary cap manager of a primarily men’s football and or men’s basketball team and sometimes women’s basketball as well. Generally not for the other female sports yet.

[00:13:30] Gabby Reece: Yeah. They’ve got some women in gymnastics Yeah. Probably. And basketball that have done well obviously, but Yes.

[00:13:34] Jordan Rogers: But I would actually, some of them are probably being paid by the collective. Most of them they’re being paid through NIL.

[00:13:42] Gabby Reece: oh that’s interesting’s. Yeah. Are there people making from the collective and not making from NIL?

[00:13:47] Jordan Rogers: Absolutely. Most football players, I would tell you on and again for your power five top 30 programs for your power. Five men’s basketball top. 20 programs. They’re absolutely making a vast majority of the money through the NIL Collective. So I’ll give you an example. A quarterback, quarterbacks probably not the best example, but Yeah. Because quarterbacks are making a lot of money. So from their collective, like the going rate right now on the transfer portal, that’s the other thing is there’s this transfer portal in American football that it basically now allows for free agency every year. So if we have perpetual free agency, so you can imagine like when LeBron James becomes a free agent, everybody starts tracking planes and doing all this stuff.

Now that happens every year in college football. So it’s constant soliciting and recruiting. And you not only have to recruit players, and it used to be the old model is like you recruit a player, you keep ’em for four or five years. Yeah. And then they go on to the pros or they graduate and they go to work A real job now sorry, not a real job, but Yeah. Do you know what I mean?

[00:14:50] Gabby Reece: I do in the workforce. But if you transferred in my day, you had to sit.

[00:14:52] Jordan Rogers: Yeah. You were done. You had to sit for one sit and it was like, you better be sure. Yeah.

[00:14:57] Gabby Reece: So people don’t realize this portal’s also a big deal. It’s because it’ll it, it creates a lot of movement.

Just from a technical point, I’m wondering what you think about from sport performance. Because I was talking earlier to the boys about people. First of all, football and basketball, especially football, this is a complicated sport. And every coach and offense and defense has their systems. Yep.

And then you’re switching and moving, and then all of a sudden you’re gonna learn a new system. It’s a new thing. Chemistry is a real thing. Yep. So do you, I’m curious if you think it’s going to make the game more competitive and better and faster, or is it going to impact the level and also the fan base?

[00:15:34] Gabby Reece: Yeah, because the big thing about college sports, the power of college sports is that’s my team.

[00:15:39] Jordan Rogers: Yes. And has been for 30 years. Yeah, you’ve been probably going to Florida State games now for 30 years or whatever, but yeah. When I can get there, sorry. Yeah, exactly.

[00:15:47] Gabby Reece: But but do you think that’s gonna up the game, the level of the game?

Or is it going, is it a distraction? I’m just curious on your instinct. I think both

[00:15:55] Jordan Rogers: first is everybody thinks everybody, you hear all the crowd that’s NIL is killing college sports. No. College sports is, B is bigger and better than ever. They broke every ratings record this last year.

I would argue, I would actually argue, so one of my big complaints about college football particularly was when the season starts. There’s really only four to five teams who can actually win. I think in the last 12 years, there’s five programs who’ve won. Alabama, Georgia, Florida State had one year with Jameis.

Clemson has won a couple times, and we just had Michigan, but these are your powerhouse blue blood and everybody’s oh it makes the haves have and the have nots have not. Guess what? It’s always been that way. It has, I guess when they were recruiting you to Florida State, I bet you there were smaller programs who recruited you. They didn’t have a chance. No. When you go see all the facilities that Florida State has, or whoever, Texas, whatever. Yeah. It’s a sexy thing. Totally. So you think so that was the old way of like amassing firepower. Now they’re just amassing dollars to be able to put in the player’s pocket. I do wanna answer your question earlier.

The men’s football and men’s basketball player, most of them are making a way, majority of their money through the collective, basically getting a salary to play, but they are not allowed to be paid to play. So the contracts are set up to, we are gonna promote you. So we’re gonna shut up this sort of shell company.

It’s called a collective. Then we’re gonna pay you to promote this company. We put money in your pocket. You are not allowed to earn, but you have to do something for that money. So back then they would water grass and get paid $7,000 or they would wash a car or greet people at the local car dealership and then suddenly get a.

Get a car for really cheap or get paid a lot for that summer internship that I didn’t really have to show up for. Now we can just be on the front of they can show up to an ice cream social. They post some terribly invaluable social media posts. They can go to a i, luncheon.

They can show up to a dinner party. They can go to a booster’s birthday party and get paid, I don’t know, quarter million dollars for the year. They have to do something once a month, but it’s generally check off the box stuff so that they can pay them to play. Because the real issue in all of this college sports is that the value to the value that these players bring is to the university, number one, who still is skirting that they don’t have, they’re not paying, they’re not through the collective.

They’re not paying outta their own pocket for these players to come. The television networks who are making a ton of money and paying a ton of money. They’re not sharing in any of the revenue generation with the players either.

[00:18:30] Gabby Reece: And and you also know about scholarships. I didn’t know this.

I, when I went back to Florida State to help raise money for the women’s program. Every year they have to start over or do a three year program where they’re, they are raising money for scholarships. The university does not contribute to that. And I think that’s another thing. I didn’t know that. I thought it was oh, and from that pie of like TV revenues, then we put that towards scholarships. They don’t. They fundraise. For this, for that, for the scholarship. Yeah. So do they take their taxes out? This is what I’m so obsessed with the tax part. I don’t, because I can just see at the end of this totally going Hey, son. Yep, good job. But guess what? Now you’re in the hole for 200 grand.

Do we know in this collective, is it, how does that work? Even from a technical point?

[00:19:13] Jordan Rogers: You would like to think that most of these collectives are hand holding these athletes, a lot of the universities to their credit, which is probably hurt my business a little bit. My, my business, I set out to basically do keynote speaking.

I’m in basically player development. So I said, Hey, I see a lot of players who have a lot of people around them from the time they start, like thirteen-year-old and everyone has a dog in the hunt of something. So either, the, every coach who comes to recruit them wants them to come to their school regardless of whether it’s the best for the athlete.

Their agent wants something needs to get the highest dollar amount for some marketing contract, regardless of whether it’s the good, the right thing or not for their brand or their long-term health. Because the agent’s incentivized by sheer dollar amount. So that always seemed like a is the high school athlete allowed to have an agent in 36?

There’s two states. There’s two agents, marketing agent, and then a contract agent. Okay. So they’re not allowed to have a contract agent until they declare that they’re pro. But right now the marketing agent is basically the one who’s able to get them NIL deals and all that.

[00:20:17] Gabby Reece: But a sophomore in high school could have a marketing agent in thirty-six states right now.

And if the collective pays the kid their freshman and sophomore year, does anyone get a cut of that?

[00:20:28] Jordan Rogers: If they have a agent negotiating for them, potentially they would get a percentage of that deal and helping them Negotiate it. And everybody’s still trying to figure out where is this? So that’s technically the collective Yeah.

Is an endorsement contract. And the industry standard percentage that you would take on that is 20%. But a, but we know it’s a contract. It’s a contract for playing, which that industry standard, particularly in football and in basketball, is like three to one to 3%. So you would like to think your marketing agents are finding that middle ground because it is still an endorsement contract.

And so I do see real value for families having someone who knows what they’re doing to go hey, hold on. We’re not gonna do, whatever. Or we’re not signing over their likeness into perpetuity. There’s all kinds of weird things that people try to do. Yeah.

[00:21:16] Gabby Reece: Yeah. So talk about do need some help for a second, because people, I always joke when, I’ve been doing this a long time. And sometimes I’ll even go and Laird’s doing an interview and they’ll have a release and I’m always I usually, I’m like, send the release before, I don’t wanna get there. ’cause I’ll show up with a Sharpie and just black everything out and I go, is there words like known and unknown or in perpetuity in this?

Otherwise, Yeah. Just rewrite it. For people listening, sometimes they will slip these things in in a word salad and say, oh, in perpetuity. And for companies known and unknown. Yeah. Which means we can use this now for what we’re talking about and maybe in the future with something we don’t know.

And that’s very common, even in professional levels of sport and other, but the thing I’m curious about is, let’s say you have a talented quarterback. He gets paid a ton of money after sophomore year. He, the coach gets fired. He’s I don’t wanna be here. He came with me and I’m gonna go in the portal. I’m gonna go Now what if he has a signed deal? What happens with his responsibilities or commitment to the collective? Yeah. Or to what if he does every name, image, and likeness relationship end every year? Like how does that, how do those work?

[00:22:25] Jordan Rogers: Yeah. Most of them are doing like one year deals right now. Given the nature of the business. But theoretically they’re, see, they’re not allowed. And this is where everybody gets confused because. If we’re just speaking in plain English, they’re being paid to play football there. Yeah. At that school very specifically. But they’re not allowed to put that in the contract.

And so they have to get creative by saying you need to live in a zip code within, 20 miles from here or something. Or all of the endorsement agreements and the things that they’ve agreed to carry out. They would basically just have to go back to that geographical location and carry it out.

Now I think both the collective and the athlete, the athlete needs to be able to live up to that and be prepared to basically call their bluff and be like, okay, I’ll show up to do an autograph signing, but are you gonna do it for a fan base that’s yeah, you left in place pissed now Yeah, that doesn’t want you there.

Is that gonna be good for the collective? And ideally you would like to think that they could negotiate a buy. Theoretically they’re one year deals.

[00:23:21] Gabby Reece: So if you were making a suggestion, ’cause also I’d like to simultaneously build in your suggestions from what you’ve seen. ’cause this is so new.

If it was you, it’s like hey, keep everything to a year. Even it’s so funny ’cause as an amp being on the other side, like on my renewals with Nike, it’s like you never wanted a five year deal. You wanted three because you understood they, the company needs more than two. Yes. ’cause they’ve invested in you.

But you wanna have wiggle room. ’cause if you start growing and expanding and getting better Exactly. Then you wanna be able to renew sooner than five years. Yep. So you always are living between these conversations. Yep. But this is a year if you’re dealing with college. Yes. Let’s, are we calling college pro now or amateur

[00:23:58] Jordan Rogers: It’s college. Yeah. Let’s call it college

[00:24:00] Gabby Reece: Let’s just call it college. Okay. So you’d say, okay, one year coming in. Now what if you have high school kid? He’s a senior. The collective. I get that they can pay him ’cause he’s going there. Sure. But when they get approached, maybe they know, Hey, this kid is gonna actually play. They’re not even gonna redshirt. Do you have a suggestion about how a family would navigate? I. Helping a kid figure out how to deal with all this?

[00:24:25] Jordan Rogers: Yeah. First of all I’m super sympathetic. It’s why I’m in this business. It’s why like working for Nike for 15 total years, o over 10 years in brand marketing.

I worked really closely with a lot of high profile. I worked from every level. So I started in like grassroots American football in Texas, and I’m sorry that I always say American football. At Nike we had global football, which was soccer. Yeah. Of course. Soccer, American football. To anybody that sounds weird, I apologize.

And I saw like these ninth graders, there were whole companies like Nike, under Armour, Adidas just competing to try to get to these kid. They wanted the best athletes wearing their stuff. They wanted all this stuff. So I was a part of this and I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with that.

Again, like Gatorade wanting to be or or any school wanting these athletes. But I saw 15-year-old kids with single moms working two jobs and trying to raise their siblings. And you have all of these people flying in from all over. They literally have trunks of letters and all these brands are coming after them and all these little like street agents and everything.

And it was like, it’s really overwhelming. In my own very, not comparable, but like I, I create on Instagram and like my Instagram’s been going crazy over the last couple of months and I’m getting a lot of opportunity coming my way and it’s a lot. I’m a grown man. I’m over 40. I’m like and I’m literally, I’m like, it feels nice to be wanted.

It, it does. And I know how fleeting it is. I’m not trying to, I’m trying not to take it for granted and I’m trying to be gracious about some of these things and I’m, yeah, I’ve spent a lot of time in prayer. I’ve been thinking about this weekend asking my friends like, Hey, I need help, like discerning some of this stuff. ’cause I’m getting a lot of opportunity and so I can only imagine me twenty-five years ago. And my advice to them, first of all, if you’re in football or basketball you are going to the, you need to base it on more things than just the cash. But the money needs to talk. You are a valuable commodity and I don’t know if that’s a Freudian slip, but you’re, a commodity to that university and that college.

And if they want you bad enough, they will pay up. And so they’re not allowed to say. We’re gonna pay you this. They speak in very general terms of, say for a quarterback of your ranking, if you were to commit to us, you would be able, you could expect to earn something like $1.2 million. And let me introduce you to Ray, who that runs that for one who runs our collective that for, is that for one year?

[00:26:40] Gabby Reece: Yes.

[00:26:41] Jordan Rogers: So what a fresh, sorry. That would be like your transfer quarterback. Yeah, sure. No, I get it. But a five star, like Yeah they’re make, they’re gonna be there soon. 300,000. So Jordan Trapp, let’s go back to Florida State Jordan Travis. Whoa. Yeah. Didn’t he get hurt too? He got hurt, yeah. So hit 1.2 million or something.

He probably got, yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know what he was getting paid. Probably about a million dollars. Yeah.

[00:27:02] Gabby Reece: The last 15 seconds of that game or something.

[00:27:03] Jordan Rogers: Oh, it’s brutal. But look at the hit that Florida State took. So I did some math on a video I did. Florida State, if they had made it to the CFP, they would get X number, millions of dollars.

The amount of fan license gear, the amount of people traveling to bowl games, the amount of money they get from ESPN, the amount of money they get from the CFP. Are you telling me Jordan Travis is not worth $1 million multiple on that? Yeah. And people, you could argue the same thing. Like Patrick, Mahomes is worth, there’s a salary cap in the NFL.

Patrick Mahomes probably makes $60 million now, maybe 50, whatever it is. He makes probably more than that for the Kansas City Chiefs. But like he’s, that’s somewhere in the ballpark. That he’s the team is collectively bargained and all that. They don’t have that in college. It’s a, so The money, First and foremost was like, they need to be paying up.

[00:27:53] Gabby Reece: Okay. I’m gonna, I’m gonna be really old-fashioned here Sure. For a second. Yeah. As an athlete. Part of the reason that my life has gone on the trajectory it has is I went to Florida State and I played for a person that helped me develop as a human being.

And that’s for real. Love that. And I know it’s love, really cheesy and women’s sports is significantly different than men. So I’m gonna say that right off the bat. Sure.

[00:28:17] Jordan Rogers: Are we gonna get canceled if we say that now?

[00:28:20] Gabby Reece: Oh, I don’t care. I’m kidding. I’m happy to, listen, did you see USA boxing Just. Yeah, it’s fine. We’ll, no I’m fine with that.

[00:28:27] Jordan Rogers: Women and men’s sports are different, particularly in college.

[00:28:29] Gabby Reece: Yeah. It just is. It is what it is. Yeah. I’m a realist. Yes. So anyway, so I and I wanted to be on a good team. Yes. I wanted to win. Yes. And of course, all of this is about winning.

So obviously what you’re talking about is programs that are trying to win, so that’s probably understood. Yes. But for development. Yes. Not only as a person, but some of these athletes could be significantly better Yep. Or worse based on the program that they go to. Totally. Period. Like you could go to a program that helps you realize your potential, or a program that kills you.

You hate the game, you hate the coach. You don’t play well in their, absolutely. The way that they play and or they switch your positions or whatever they do. So all I’m saying is if you have these kids making these decisions, okay, the money should talk, but do you think it’s still valuable to go, where do you wanna live? What kind of person do you wanna coach? Do you want a hard-nosed coach? Do you wanna do you think this is still important?

[00:29:25] Jordan Rogers: Absolutely. And I stopped there because that’s the big topic, but all of the traditional decisions that you would make then also should come into play.

And again, to the Jordan Travis, we could extend that argument though, and go, okay, Jordan Trap, let’s say he made a million dollars and he could earn Florida State, and he was on that world stage. Had he gone to. I don’t know, let’s call it Louisville. And they, maybe they paid him $1.5 million, but they lost five games because he had no offensive line.

The, they didn’t make it to the bowl game, so no one knows who Jordan Travis’s name is. We know that name because he was so good. He played for Mike Norvell, who’s a great coach, who’s a leader of men and brought them up and all this great stuff. And so all of those things need to be factored because you could make $2 million and be done next year, or you could make 500 over the course of four years go on to be a first-round draft pick in the NFL.

And these are all very hard decision. Like you just said, you were factoring three years versus five years and all that. And some people I think, try to infantilize these young men and women and be like, oh, they shouldn’t have to make decisions like that. This is the real world, and we all have to make tough decisions sometime.

And there’s no other industry in the world, or particularly in the United States of America, first of all, that we restrict people from making these tough decisions. So Billy Eilish can make a great album. Nobody goes, oh, she’s 16. Nope. She she can’t be able to earn anything off her voice.

[00:30:53] Gabby Reece: Yeah. It’s ridiculous. That’s so stupid. And they don’t realize too, your chances of injury. There’s all kinds of things that play into whether you totally can make money. Now let’s say you have a twenty-year-old running back. And they’re good. In division one. They can, they’re producing numbers. They’re successful. They’re on a bowl game, on a bowl team, whatever. Yeah. They’re just not quite fast or big enough to play in the NFL. Pretty common. Yeah. Very common. So you got a kid who he’s making 500 a year Yeah. In college. Yes. Game over though. He’s not really gonna, he just doesn’t, that’s a whole other jump.

When you’re talking about going in into the pros, especially of the NBA or the NFL. It is, these are different genetic, very different and mental people. Yes. The level What about them? Because that’s the majority. Totally. Do I worry, it’s not that I worry, it’s like I’m not everybody’s mother, but it’s is this, was this better for their life that they got this money?

Because are they saving it? Are they spending it and getting a car and getting some jewelry and hanging, giving it to their cousin Sure. And buying their mom a house. Your maximum earning time of your life is when you’re 20, 21 years old. Yes. And now you’re supposed to go out into the real world.

And I was talking to a friend of mine who also was a professional female athlete. And she’s but they should give them a business, they should take a business class and they should teach them. I go, should, yeah. Most of them are coming from single family homes trying to pull it.

I’m wondering from your point of view, in the long run, ’cause it’s gonna be the majority of the athletes. Yes. Is it gonna be better for them? Yeah. Or is it gonna be something also very hard to navigate for the rest of their adult life?

[00:32:27] Jordan Rogers: I would much rather be that running back who could make, he could stay five year.

We have players who have stayed six years on with kovat eligibility. I would much rather a running back be able to make $3 million over six years and be able to set himself up for his future because he’s gonna leave, he’s gonna have multiple concussions, he’s gonna have broken knees. His body’s in a car wreck every Saturday. So he could either go out into the world with that college athlete schedule where he is not getting a degree, the degree that, that most people go, oh, they’re getting a free education. This is not the same degree that you with your fraternity and not you.

But this theoretical Yeah. The people who are always in my comments and who are like, oh, they get free education. First of all, it’s not free. They’re working Yeah. Around the clock. Yeah, they are. It’s not the same degree when you got to pick your major and work with an advisor and take extra collect at curricular activities and do all this stuff.

No. I’m talking to athletes who are like I wanted to be in pr, but my sports schedule, and this is men’s and women’s, I know that I talked with a young female volleyball player who was like, she was in like genetic biology. Yeah. Wanting to be in marketing, but because her volleyball schedule wouldn’t allow her to do that, they, it’s not an option.

[00:33:44] Gabby Reece: And so I got one for you. I know a Volleyball player that is gonna have to quit her senior year so she can go to her major. She’s not gonna be able to play. Totally. ’cause she isn’t. And it’s a, medical, it’s something adult, right?

[00:33:59] Jordan Rogers: So I would rather them be able to earn money and at least have the option of learn how to invest money, learn how to build a business, learn how to take and steward that money.

Because right now they’re gonna get, learn that same lesson. If they make it to the pros, a lot of them won’t. And then they walk out and they’re, they’ve spent the last five years basically crushing their body working for a coach doing all this stuff. And there are so many good things about college athletics.

I do not want to be the one, there are so many, you’ve are outline them. Athletes, every day, people at work. Nike is made up of former college athletes who didn’t go pro. So college athletics can do so many great things. But in these basically semi pro leagues that we’ve created it they need to be compensated for that.

And so I think, yes, I would rather them be able to earn that money.

[00:34:49] Gabby Reece: Is the school putting anything in place to help at least protect them from getting them into a bad financial situation? So if you get a kid who’s getting 500 grand is there any, is it, here’s all the money at once and it’s on you to worry about your taxes and good luck, son? Or how does it what are we seeing there?

[00:35:05] Jordan Rogers: Yeah, so I actually started to say this earlier. I got sidetracked. So my business is, I go and I teach personal branding and player development to college teams. And so that’s what I was doing down at Florida State when we met that I’ll be in Georgia next week working with them across multiple different teams.

And so the people who lead NI, the universities in general, whether it’s the NIL department, player development, whatever are seeing after this. And so I teach personal branding and how to identify your story, how to identify where you wanna serve, how you can work with companies potentially how you understand who you are and what you want out of this experience, because so many of them are not ever even asking that until it’s too late.

So that’s what I have a real passion for. Sometimes I get moved down the list though because first they want, they have to bring in like tax professionals. Then they bring in like some finance people to try to coach them up on that. They bring in legal and compliance people to try to teach them. Do not sign up your likeness and name a way into perpetuity.

So yes, I think a lot of the universities are trying to do this. And there are even laws, I think, in place for them to have, to get on the books to try to provide this education, whether it’s to cover their butts or to help serve their athletes. Probably somewhere in between. But. Yes. People are doing that.

[00:36:22] Gabby Reece: Let’s talk about authenticity. So you talk a lot about, when you talk about marketing and I want to, we’ll get into your background a little bit, which is really helpful and interesting on this. But you talk about authenticity. And I, as somebody who, again, and I’m, I came from building the road as I went, I just followed my gut and thought, oh, that feels good, That doesn’t feel good. And just pushed along and good timing. Lucky. Let’s not kid ourselves. Sure. I was lucky. And I married to somebody who’s in a weird sport, and somehow that worked out and, it was about storytelling and all these things, right? ’cause nobody, you couldn’t go and watch it.

You couldn’t go. Like on Sunday at three, the waves coming and we’re all gonna, so it’s okay, what do you do? That’s true. So storytelling was very big. I think storytelling is big in alternative sports. Yes. As and I think it’s very big in women’s sports. I was having a debate with the boys earlier, ’cause they don’t know this yet.

[00:37:11] Jordan Rogers: They’re about to learn for whatever reason. Look at him

[00:37:18] Gabby Reece: . I believe that with men, it’s like, gimme the stats. He’s my guy. He’s number one with women. Who is she? Yeah. We’re different. And you can say, Hey, I don’t like that. But even the girls at LSU basketball, part of the reason that they are crushing it, besides being champions and being great basketball players is it’s their story. One’s an artist, one does this, and for men it’s not quite the same. Sure. So you have this whole idea. So when you, when I hear this idea of being authentic, it’s so tricky because to consciously be authentic almost loses authenticity. If that makes sense. So when you talk to your athletes is it this idea of, hey, just because this guy over here, because it’s hard for women when if you go on social media, the girl who shows her button boobs has a gazillion followers. The girl who’s really smart and going, let’s save the animals Has 50,000 followers. Sure. So you say, no, let’s be authentic. And so it’s so hard to not get tempted Totally. To do the thing that gets you attention. Absolutely. But the long term success, I think actually comes from what you’re saying, which is, who am I? Yes. And how do I find that voice? So if I’m an 18-year-old and I’ve probably spent most of my time doing this sport. Absolutely. How do I, what are the questions I ask myself to go, wow, what, how would I, how do I wanna be perceived? What do I wanna represent?

[00:38:42] Jordan Rogers: The challenge I give athletes is it’s really hard. And I even flinched saying it to them as can your sport be the least interesting thing about you?

And it is it hits like a ton of bricks because I watch it right now. I’m a seven-year-old son. And you can already see, like when they have athletic, all of us, we have this weird DNA thing, if they show any, talent or whatever, you’re like, oh my gosh, the future messy, or whatever it is.

And you watch people and envelope, you watch parents and develop their whole identity in their kids sports you watch, our whole culture does this. And so I’m sitting in front of the places who are hiring me are these big universities who can afford it. So these are the best athletes in the world.

And if you were playing anything at Florida State, I don’t care, whatever, it could be water polo, it could be whatever. You have probably been a Baller since you were 12 years old. 10. And my appeal to them is that, hey, the first challenge of branding is to be known for anything.

And you can ask yourself, am I known for the things that I want to be known for? Or am I known for other things? Or is it that a neutral, so they’re known as an athlete and everyone around them in their circle is going to talk about them in the forum of an athlete. Yeah. And so it’s like ESPN, their university, their coaches their local hometown newspaper, their school, they’re probably in their school’s hall of Fame or they get invited, their jersey got retired.

It’s all in the context of being an athlete. And what I think a lot of athletes’ mistake is that then they just feed entirely into that. So I would say yes, I think for men, generally their male-consuming audience doesn’t care as much about the story. But I would tell them that if they wanna live on beyond the court or the field, they better get them to know their story.

Because when you’re no longer producing stats, then what are people gonna care about? And those stats are gonna go down and they’re eventually gonna go away. Yeah. And they’re gonna be beaten or, totally.

[00:40:39] Gabby Reece: And so you’re gonna be the, oh, you used to be that. Oh yeah. You used to be. That Used to be that. That’s my favorite. I’m like, you used to be that volleyball player. I’m like, yeah, no I’m actually here standing in front of you. I’m Gabby, I’m alive. Yeah. But I used to get my back up years ago and then I realized okay, who cares? That’s fine. But it’s people. It is really amazing. Listen to that. Yeah. Weren’t you used to be that and yeah. And I think it’s really important for athletes ’cause that comes a lot sooner Totally. Than everybody else. Yes. And so I think this idea of reminding young people if you’re gonna do these sports, I understand. ’cause it is a ticket To wherever and you might like it and love it. And it’s fun. Absolutely. On top of it. Totally. But for a lot of us it’s hey, this is a really great way to, for move forward my life. Yes. It really is. And it is hard, but I do like it and it’s fun and all these things, but that you’re you.

And one of the things you do is this sport. Yes. You are not even Laird who at almost 60 years old is chasing waves. He’s I am Laird and one of the things I do is surf. So I think your point of reminding them to develop and so it’s hard to do though. Totally. Because it’s what are you supposed,

[00:41:52] Jordan Rogers: Hey, read a book.

[00:41:55] Gabby Reece: Yeah. It’s like how do you get, how do you encourage them? Is it to honor that sense of who you feel you are.

[00:42:01] Jordan Rogers: Yes. There’s, it’s all as we say. I, one of the things I struggle with media, I create on the internet and all that, is all this stuff is so complicated.

It’s, and there’s never an easy answer. Everybody wants like a easy answer. It’s tough, and so I teach athletes first one of the first elements of a successful personal brand is to be distinct. So the way then that we find what our distinction is and how we stand out is then by defining what we’re good at, what we’re passionate about, what our interests are, what our hobbies are.

And I think you’re such a great example of this. You had interest outside of volleyball, but you also then had like your own flavor in volleyball. Whether it was what you were wearing or how you wore things or what, so you add we have this big funnel and it’s like, how many people play volleyball?

And it’s okay. How many are female who play volleyball? Okay, that’s cut in half. How many play volleyball and are over six foot tall or whatever? Maybe a few less. Yeah. Not many less. Not many less, but Yeah, exactly. I’m just kidding. And then it’s like, how many are also models on the side, like in New York?

[00:43:04] Gabby Reece:  Significantly, mine was really obvious. I had it easy. Let’s not play games. I had to work extra. Yeah. My stuff was so obvious and I was like, I’m playing that card. I’m playing that card, I’m playing that card. And also I knew it was stuff that I like doing the TV and everything else. I was like, oh, I like that though.

So I didn’t play the things that were obvious that I didn’t like. I played the things that were obvious that also I thought, and I’m genuinely interested. Yes. And I think I can do a good job. Totally. And that’s very different. So just that reminder to try your best. ’cause it is, it’s weird. It’s like even when I do something that I’m taking something new on, it’s like I take it on from a pure place of knowing and then I get strategic.

Yes. I don’t strategically try to do something. Totally. Take it on. ’cause you gravitate towards it. Yes. Then figure out.

[00:43:49] Jordan Rogers: And that’s what I, that’s what I’m basically doing. So all I say with athletes, like I’m just trying to create. One hour, which within that hour we’re gonna have 10, 15 minutes of you to think about what it is that you want.

And who you are. Because I don’t think they have much that time. So if I’ve blocked one hour in your 16 hour schedule of being pulled all over the place it’s really fascinating. I’ve worked with a couple of like high-profile football players. Even one of ’em, made his announcement today.

And one of the common themes I keep hearing from this, I’m like, why are y’all committing early? To me there’s no upside. And I’m like a what do you mean like a sophomore? So yeah. Sophomore, junior committing to their university and they’re being recruited by every university on the sun.

And me, given the seismic shifts that are happening in football, I’m like, why would you commit? They just, in two years that coach won’t be, they want it to be done. They want it to be done. Yeah. And every single person, literally, I had spoke with this young man, he said literally from the time he was 14 years old Till he was 19. Every single conversation he ever had, where you gonna go? Started and stopped with that. Where you gonna go? Where you gonna go? Oh, my don’t go, I went here, don’t go there. My did this. Where have you decided what’s you do? What’s the list? What’s the down to you? And I’m just saying all that to say they, they are pulled by so many other people.

So I’m just trying to create that moment and I think you bring up a great point. So what I’m trying to do is say, Hey, stop and think. What is it that lights your hot on fire? What is it that you’re really interested in? What is it that you’re passionate about when you’re not playing? And it’s not a bad thing to say.

Volleyball. You probably genuinely loved volleyball, loved it. And Laird loves surfing. That’s a whole other, I know’s like relationship. Indeed. I’m obsessed with golf. I’m obsessed. I know you are. I’m like, and it’s actually work. So if I use a personal example right now, every time I show these athletes, I go, I have this slide and I have me in the middle and I have 10 interests.

And I’m like, I love coffee, nutrition, working out, travel, photography, golf cars my family, my children, all these things. And I’m like, but for purposes of being strategic and communicating publicly when I’m on my social media, you’ll only hear me talk about three things. One, sports business.

That’s what I mostly talk about.

Second is criminal justice. I’m passionate about it. I’m an advocate. I believe that God put me on this earth. In my role is to at least be a communicator between different populations. For a lot of people who don’t understand the criminal justice system, and I, having experienced it up close and personal and escaped it, my role is to communicate that.

And it’s not gonna get the best engagement. It nobody’s, it’s not never gonna go viral. But it’s important to me and it is meaningful and it aligns to my purpose. And third, I talk about golf. Why, again, doesn’t get good engagement, doesn’t get no one really cares, but I can’t not talk about it.

And now I’m actually I’ve given that presentation like 50 times in the last 18 months. Literally in the last, like six weeks, Gabby, for once sports business, plus my obsession with golf. Over the last 15 years has finally the stars have aligned and come together. And you wanna talk about luck? I’m there too.

I’m a product of luck in a lot of ways, but we’ve put the places now all of a sudden everyone wants to talk about why Tiger Woods is leaving.

[00:46:56] Gabby Reece: I was gonna ask you about that. Are you sad about that?

[00:46:57] Jordan Rogers: I it’s heartbreaking. Absolutely. Yes. Bums me out.

[00:47:00] Gabby Reece: Even though you’re not at Nike anymore. And you worked for, what, three years to get a job at Nike? Was it mean four and a half? And then you even worked at the store. Yep. And you were an egoc, which is you volunteer and do events, is it when you’re a volunteer?

[00:47:12] Jordan Rogers: And then I became an Ekin. Ekin, sorry. It’s Nike spelled backwards.It’s your job to know Nike backwards and forwards.

[00:47:18] Gabby Reece: Brand  evangelists. Yes. So you, people have to realize, like you were willing to do, when they say work in the mailroom, like you were like, okay, I’m doing that literally. So now that you’re not with Nike, do you wear other brands? Just curious. I do.

[00:47:29] Jordan Rogers: Yeah. Okay. So I spent 10 and a half years in brand marketing was done. Was it hard? Is it hard? It was to start, yeah. It was like the first time I put on some other shoes, I was like, oh my gosh.

[00:47:37] Gabby Reece: This feels and I don’t mean like random, small niche. ’cause I was saying earlier, I talked to Tinker Hatfield, who’s been a longtime friend of mine and he did my shoe at Nike, but he would always wear these very chic niche.

Oh, this is a Swiss company. Oh, totally. You know that even what Nike he would drew that I’m talking about like heavy put on a pair of Adidas or something. Like a real, have you done that yet?

[00:47:56] Jordan Rogers: I’ve put on a, an on running shoe. Oh, I don’t dunno if that counts yet. I know they’re still sub Adidas.

Not yet. I have a fear of God, they’ve collaborated with him. But Adidas, I did do a post. I give them a lot of credit. I think what sort of happened, I’m like, Switzerland now, yeah. I like to give credit where credits do, and I think the industry is better when you have healthy competition.

Adidas made us so much better at Nike. I actually re I was listening to Phil Knight on a podcast, a very rare occurrence that Yeah. That he had recently. And he talked about how they were getting their butts kicked by Reebok, and they did this, his favorite campaign was a revolution campaign.

And it’s that they needed Reebok to like, be competing heavy to push them. Yeah. And they’re getting beat right now, and like running, it ebbs and flows. It ebbs and flows does. Guess what? Generally speaking, they, that you awaken that sleeping giant, they will come,

[00:48:50] Gabby Reece: so Tiger was already at Nike when you went there, right? Oh, yes. He, okay. Yeah, he was there. So he’s, it doesn’t make sense for their business anymore. It’s for whatever the million reasons. Yeah. What do you think he’s gonna do?

[00:49:01] Jordan Rogers: They just filed a trade, TaylorMade just filed a trademark okay.

[00:49:06] Jordan Rogers: My, and do you feel like instincts and sources were always leaning towards TaylorMade doing the apparel? For him. And then I think he’ll sign with foot joy. That’s what he is been wearing. Whether he actually signs a contract with ’em or ’cause think he couldn’t get the shoe right for a minute.

[00:49:19] Gabby Reece: They couldn’t put the resources to it because it wasn’t selling enough or whatever. That you’re not buying that no, I don’t buy that. They have the best designers for footwear. You’ve seen that.

[00:49:27] Jordan Rogers: You’ve worked with Tinker Hatfield, you’ve literally worked with the best, you’ve been to the innovation kitchen.

[00:49:31] Gabby Reece: Yes, of course. Yeah. You’ve been there. What? Pete Yeah. What people don’t realize. Okay. So I’ll please tell, I’ll give you, I know what we’re getting off topic. Two months. No. We’re, yeah. When we’re getting off topic. I, when I was signed for cross training ’cause you go you play beach volleyball.

You didn’t wear shoes? No, I was for training. Yes. Which actually makes a lot of sense. And I’d say things like, I want my foot to feel when I’m training and I would like make a springy saying until you’re like, okay. And I’m like, but I have very big feet and so when I look down at my foot, I want it to look small.

And he’d just be like, oh my God. I’m sure guys weren’t doing that, but literally. And they literally design your footwear. The athlete has all the input so they don’t realize, people don’t realize, I always think that’s why Nike’s always been so far ahead Yes. Of everybody in the footwear. So for whatever reason, they weren’t getting it.

He was wearing Foot Joy. And you are very passionate about you. You didn’t actually think Tiger was gonna, it was not gonna happen. And then it ended up that he’s outta Nike now.

[00:50:25] Jordan Rogers: I found it. I would, did not I started to get wind months ago that this was like on the rocks. Yeah. Because he kept wearing the Foot Joy.

This is this is sacrilege. Yeah. You do not do this especially for an athlete of his ilk. So I just think he’s older. He’s at this point, he’s at the end of his career. Sure. I think, you have kids, you go through things. He, in a car accident, he almost lost his leg.

I, for whatever reason, he just decided he wasn’t gonna fool with the innovation, like what they could offer. He got something I tell people too and you would know this, athletes that get to that level are like tweaky. Like they’re some, they’re crazy. They’re crazy.

I think it’s crazy a little bit, but I would call yourself too. But yes. Like you got something off, or it’s like this savant-like nature that can experience, like everyone talks about Tiger, the way that he can hit a golf ball. He can tell you the difference in like, when they line up a hundred golf balls, he can tell you the difference inside of the golf ball of what’s happening, like with a strand.

Yeah. And so I think that something, whatever, it’s proprioception he started to perceive something in that shoe. And I don’t, I just don’t know that he had the energy or willingness to like, try to work on something new at this stage in his career to try to solve that and think he was like, I gotta get back out there on that course.

And just, and this feels right to me right now. Yeah. And there are a lot of things that happen over the course of business relationships. I’m sure. And by the nature of marketing. This is not a indictment on Nike, it’s just that the industry in general, it’s what have you done for me lately, oh, I age I’m sure you experienced that.

[00:51:52] Gabby Reece: I aged out on Nike. Totally. Yeah. So I aged out because they were like, Hey, listen our, for the most part, with the exceptions of a le LeBron, MJ guys that are iconic, it was like, we are going for 12 to twenty-two. Yeah. Because once we have you forever.

So I aged out. Yeah. Probably close to 30. So yeah, that was just the way it was.

[00:52:14] Jordan Rogers: Yeah. And yeah, for guys that’s they’re twenty-five and or in football, you’re like, you have a 2.8 year playing career. Correct. Correct.

[00:52:21] Gabby Reece: Oh, and the NFL people don’t know that their average career, is it 3.2 or it’s down to 2.8 years?

[00:52:24] Jordan Rogers: 2.8 if you’re like a running back or a linebacker. Yeah. I think 3.8. For others.

[00:52:28] Gabby Reece: Yeah. But so marketing and brands and athletes. How has this NIL deal changed tho that, those relationships?

[00:52:39] Jordan Rogers: I don’t think a lot, to be honest. A lot of the big brands are not taking big swings on this. Just yesterday, I’m sorry, we keep talking about golf, but yesterday a amateur, a kid at Alabama won a PGA tournament against all of the pros for the first time since 1991.

I believe it was Phil Mickelson was the last person who did this. This kid, I love this story because Adidas, again, I gotta give him credit, like they went and signed this young man. And within NIL, so Flage, Angel, Reese Hailey Van Lith, they’re the most fascinating case study in this to me because they’re a Nike school.

Flage has a deal with Puma. Angel. Reese has a deal with Reebok and Hailey. VanLyth has a deal with Adidas.

[00:53:22] Gabby Reece: So for people listening institution deals, so you’ll see teams, they’re all in either one brand or another. Yes. So you’re talking about the institution deal with LSU is with Nike. Yes. And then you have three athletes where they’re off-court deals off, off with three different

[00:53:35] Jordan Rogers: Yes. Just so people understand, they still are required any team activity, they’re required to wear the apparel and footwear that the school has negotiated a partnership with. I wonder if that’s gonna change. I think so. Eventually. But I don’t see it happening anytime soon. That’s really interesting.

They’ll add that to the lawsuit list. There’s seven or eight currently pending A-C-N-C-A, but yeah. Once it starts getting, so Adidas had this  golfer already. Yep. They signed this golfer. So he was playing in his off how happy are they outside of Alabama? So they signed him, he and he wins this tournament.

He gets all this media yesterday, TaylorMade did too. Shout out to my guys at TaylorMade. Like they signed him too. And even though that wasn’t the school deal, he was playing with this stuff outside of his school sanction activities. And golf is a little more wonky and like loosey with that stuff.

But like it’s a huge win for them. I think we’ll see more of that. We almost saw that, again, I have to give credit to Adidas. They signed Michael Pinnix and Romeo Dunze, who were the two stars at University of Washington and Washington, went all the way to the national championship game.

And so they almost had a deal. So they announced that NIL deal back in September, I think it was October. And they were riding that train all season long. And as, professional sports, it’s lot exposure sports, particularly football. It’s so hard to make a bet in football. And they made it all the way and they almost won the title.

And you would’ve seen I was really excited for it. I think you could have seen like a. College athlete featured and maybe an, I don’t know if they’re gonna do like a confetti moment, national television commercial, but at least something on social would be really cool. So I, those are, but those are very few and far between.

Sure. It hasn’t really changed the industry that much. I think what it does is opens up more opportunity for smaller brands. And that’s where I’m going, Hey, if you’re a smaller brand, you can’t afford a Tiger Woods, but you can afford this Nick Dunlap kid maybe. You could afford, basketball player or a football player who has an interesting name.

There’s all kinds of creative ways you can work with these athletes. And that’s just what really excites me about it.

[00:55:33] Gabby Reece: What do you tell the athletes to market themselves? Because you do a lot of technical breaking down Hey, you have use because your videos are very poppy and quick and short.

And condensed and full of information and bullet points. So if someone was listening to this and they were thinking about marketing themselves, what are just some, what are the ways that you think in the communication side, some tools that are available to them?

[00:55:56] Jordan Rogers: The eighty-six percent of NIL deals are done through social media.

So true NIL deals. So we’re mostly talking about social media here. Yeah. And I think that’s a fair conversation for any athlete in their family to just, I’ve sat in front of high school recruits and go, Hey, if you wanted to participate in an IL, it’s all gonna be through social media. And we’ve discussed this.

Social media is really hard. It’s hard for people who don’t have a 16 hour a day jobs and sports and treatment and therapy and all that. I think it’s okay to say either I, yes, I wanna participate in this, or no, I don’t. I think it’s fair. And then you recognize the trade-offs but if you do wanna participate in it, then people are following you for a reason.

All athletes can share their, I think the trap most athletes fall into is they just share their media day photos. They share their game photos, and then occasionally I have a running joke with the football and basketball players, and then they do a, fire fit pick where they’re standing, not looking at the camera, and they’re in a gas station.

They’re under, they usually take it at a gas station. Why a gas station? They’re pumping fuel and I don’t they’re  multitasking and they’re pumping fuel. And then I always go to the kids, I go and they all start laughing and I’m like, where are they? And they’re like, at the gas station. And I’m like, are they looking at the camera?

No. And I’m like, and what kind of car are they in front of? And they’re like, A Hellcat. And I like, do the next slide. And it’s a Hellcat under the garage. They’re like, ah, all these kids, they just it brings the house down and it’s just like we’re sheep. We all look around and we just wanna post what other people are posting.

So to your point, like with the young ladies earlier, you can post yourself half naked and you can get a lot of engagement. Is that but my question for you then is if you want that, is that the engagement? You want that, do you want bunch of middle, old, middle aged men following you?

: Is that the audience? Yeah. That you can monetize.

[00:57:39] Gabby Reece: And that’s the other thing. There is a movement. I will say this ’cause I know a little bit is they will, there’s a, okay, so there’s this guy, there’s this guy Ben Greenfield, I dunno if you know who he is. He’s a wacky health and fitness guy.

A guy like that might get paid more by sponsors because his fan base is fanatical and his conversion is high. Exactly. And so to your point, I think people sometimes only look at the numbers, but like Laird says, if you’re gonna have a knife fight, who’s gonna show up? Yeah. And so when the conversion side people if you do that true thing, that authentic thing, companies will are looking at that For conversion. So you talk about tools though, like green screen and other things that are available.

[00:58:18] Jordan Rogers: Instagram, Tik Tok Instagram is still the most monetizable platform. So like I would say first of all Vertical video, you need to get good at vertical video. And you don’t need fancy camera equipment.

You can use a straight-up mobile phone. But you gotta figure out vertical video. Sometimes I think a lot of athletes, I think they overthink it. I okay, I won’t keep using golf examples, but I did Blue Lemon Sign Men with Lee. They also, Callaway did too. And they had this video of him just like hitting multiple drives in a row.

They had one and it was all shot on iPhone, just like a microphone and an iPhone. And it’s. Engaging to the audience that cared about that for the golf porn people, for golf porn people. Yes, totally like you. And there I was look how clean that swing is. Absolutely. One of my old friend this couple, they called it Sporn.

She would be like, what are you looking at 11 o’clock at night? He’d turn his computer around. Yeah. And be like, sports center, it’s Sporn. But I saw a track and field d long jumper this morning, almost jump out of the pit, some guy somewhere. And it was so amazing.

And sometimes they think athletes just right under their nose. They have a iPhone and they do incredible things that can be great content. Then we just need to add then the kicker. What are you interested in? I was working with a young woman at Stanford and she is a bookworm. She played basketball, she could dunk.

And she wanted a deal with Barnes and Noble and but she, but I look at her social feed. She wants to deal with Barnes and Noble.

I this or Amazon, some Love it book place. Love, love it. But there was nothing on her feed that said book reading. You could maybe imply that.

’cause she was at Stanford, she probably, she probably can read pretty well.

[00:59:55] Gabby Reece: But yeah, her passion for it. Exactly. She should be like book of the week and stuff.

[00:59:58] Jordan Rogers: That’s what we started. It was that’s so cool. It was like thinky thought Thursday thing and it was like, Hey, how can we share?

What are you thinking about based on what you’re reading currently? And so that’s just, you have to get some repetitions. The other thing that I have had to embody over the last 18 months. That all of these athletes, and it’s much harder when you’re 20 years old, is you’re gonna have to suck at something. I suck at social media, suck at green screen. I, the first time I finally went viral on TikTok was when I forced myself to create in that app using all of the tools in that app. And like to get to know and understand it. And I had to fumble through it, and so it’s like we have to do a little bit of that work to also put ourselves out there.

All of my videos now are like, I’m starting to get in a rhythm, but I also know that’s gonna go away. I was gonna say with

[01:00:44] Gabby Reece: AI now you’re gonna have to learn a whole bunch of new tools and some good luck maybe. Yeah. If I was like some badass college athlete and I was making enough, I would, what I would do is I would pay a student that goes to my school, whatever, a couple hundred bucks here and there. Yes. To film me and edit the video so I could focus on the things that I only I can do. Yes. So if it’s worth it, if the deals are sweet enough, yes. Pay a college student Totally. Say, Hey, listen, follow me here for an hour. Come to my. Could somebody film you at your practice? Would they be allowed?

[01:01:18] Jordan Rogers: So they already have people doing that and they need to be okay. I tell them you’re exactly right. And I do want to drill down on this. So one, they need to be best friends with the content teams. All of the, all these schools have content teams.

I know, Florida state volleyball they don’t get as much as like Florida state football or whatever. Sure. But they need to be best friends with that photographer and videographer. Yeah. I would say this in anywhere in life, if you’re like, be great, show me with the people who can create content.

Yeah. I think not only just ’cause you should be a good human and nice to all people, but like definitely be nice to your content creators.

[01:01:47] Gabby Reece: But I think get like a student that you gonna Yes. And they’re about you Totally. And they get to know you and your rhythms and then your trip. I think that would be a really, that’s a dollar well spent. And I, I don’t know. I’m gonna get crazy. Could it be a tax write-off?

[01:01:59] Jordan Rogers: It could. Yeah. You’re investing in your business if you have an LLC, I think. Okay. But that only costs you $300, as I told you earlier. Yeah. Delaware people Delaware. Yeah. And so that’s next level tech strategy.

[01:02:11] Gabby Reece: I’m just saying Yeah. No, because time, I know time. And if I say you gotta go to practice, you go to the thing. Yes. Just film. Oh, I got, I’m working on my mobility or I’ve got an injury that I’m dealing with. Someone can film me while you’re in the training room and whatever. So I just, wanna remind people. I just, I just wanna, you can borrow that if you want.

[01:02:28] Jordan Rogers: Reiterate that. No, I do the same thing. It’s, we all think early on we’re, when we’re in a scarcity mindset, it’s like, can I not. Oh I need to save or I can’t spend on this. It’s, you’re spending $200 to earn 2000 for that deal that you would get. And you may end up spending 2000 before you get a $2,000 deal.

Yeah. But that stuff is an investment in the future, and it’s really scary to do that. I’ve done it, I’ve been doing it this last year. This, me driving up here to do this is an investment. Yeah. You’re, no one’s paying me to come do this. But it could lead to better things in the future.

And so it’s like people need to understand, I think these college athletes we have drilled into young people rightly the dangers of social media. So there’s like the lever the one to 1000 negative effects. You could say one thing and it would be magnified a thousand fold versus when you and I were teenagers.

But the opposite is also true. You could do one positive thing and it can be Exponentially celebrated by a thousand fold. Or we can film this one conversation and it can go to Fifty-thousand people. Yeah. So there are other sides of that where you can put in a small investment and reach a big upside so I hope that they can start to understand those concepts.

[01:03:40] Gabby Reece: So let’s just talk really quickly about traditional marketing. I lo I love, I noticed that you in some ways because of. It’s gotten more conservative that in certain ways marketing has actually gotten softer. Because people are afraid. Lawyers are afraid. Teams are afraid. Companies are afraid. And I, it was I made the assumption and I think you corrected me a little bit with Coven May, maybe participating in why you eventually transitioned outta Nike. And I thought, in my mind, I was like, oh, I think he, I felt like you left Nike because it all got, you’d have this badass idea and every, you run up the flagpole and you couldn’t get it approved.

[01:04:14] Jordan Rogers: That certainly plays into it. Yes. Yeah.

[01:04:16] Gabby Reece: Corporate, totally corporate. So there’s storytelling and it’s this weird fine line with marketing. How, what athletes do you see in professional sports? And I know they have teams and they have all this. People around them. Who do you think, what athletes come to mind?

Where you go, oh, they’re doing it right. That you like the way they’re doing it? And it’s, obviously I can tell you one of mine, it just came to me, who’s that was Beast mode is Marshal Lynch because also he has less rules. Yep. It was like Charles Barkley and my day. Yes, they could get away with stuff because Tiger Woods couldn’t say certain things, but certainly CB could say whatever, and people are like that’s just CB.

And so that was his brand. Yeah. Yes. And so it’s really important also not to pretend to be someone you’re not. Yeah. Because it catches up with you. Yes. So authentically, and that is honestly who CB is. And Marshal Lynch is outrageous and fun, and he can get away with it. Yep. But who do you see that you go, oh man, they are hitting the sweet spot with their marketing and their communication and why?

[01:05:12] Jordan Rogers: Yeah. I love Tom Brady personally. So Really? Yeah. So I happen to know, he has this great young crew of creators who he, there was this cast of that generation of athlete, like you heard about Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady. They were all like late to the social and they’re I’m stars.

I’m gonna the Hall of Fame. Why would I mess with this? And Tom started trusting a couple of these young. Young content creators to help him with some Instagram stuff. And he went crazy viral. And he was like, oh, wow. Okay. I see the power of this. And so he invested in this media agency, it’s called Shadow Line. Working on a project with ’em finally. And I’ve gotten to know them over the last couple years and I just love the business model. So he, so a guy like Tom Brady, who can be at the top of his game, can see the power of this and go, okay, I really believe in this.

LeBron is another one. He invested in Uninterrupted, along with Map Carter. So Naomi Osaka started her own media company. A lot of the female athletes invested in together whether that was Alex Morgan or I believe Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird is an investor in them. And I think they see the power of the media and then they invest in their own.

And so the old model of a, of athlete would’ve relied upon media to get the story out. I’m sure you probably had to deal with some of that.

[01:06:31] Gabby Reece: I was, but in our, in a way, in my day, I was like, oh, thank God they’re investing in my image. ’cause we didn’t have access in our pocket.

So it was a different, if you didn’t have a big company behind you, where would they see you? Unless you were on the TV every week and in a alternative sport like beach volleyball, if I didn’t have Nike and other companies behind me, no one would’ve ever seen me. We actually were on ESPN weirdly back in the early days, but to your point, now they have this so these com, these athletes or people that see you, this goes back to investing in yourself. And I wanna highlight that point because every athlete, it’s like stretching. Or drinking that extra glass of water going to bed an hour earlier. These small investments that you make in yourself.

They pay back. The dividends is beyond. And so I couldn’t stress that enough. What image is fun for you in marketing? What? Professional athlete, where you go, oh man, they are just going for it. Fun. Yeah. We’re just radical or it’s fun

[01:07:26] Jordan Rogers:. Flage at LSU is super fun. Yeah. She’s a rapper. I’ve gotten to know her and her mom over the last couple year. They’re having fun. Let’s see, who else is fun?

[01:07:34] Gabby Reece: Or edgy because I feel like one of your criticisms was like everyone’s playing it safe.

[01:07:39] Jordan Rogers: Yeah, totally. And I get it, you gotta hedge and it’s not worth it. Due to cancel culture, but it’s also okay to rock the boat. Yeah.

Rock the, it’s like when you try to please everybody, please no one. So I’ve actually even seen, okay, so I’ll give you an example of this is not necessarily endorse this, but so Quinn, you were as a quarterback at Texas, he’s loves hunting and he is always posting these pictures of holding up, a dead deer or whatever.

And my first, my PR instinct in me goes, oh my God, what’s he doing? Why is people letting him do that? There’s a lot of people who like hunting. I know, this kid who won this golf tournament yesterday, I look at his Instagram feed and like his third image is like him holding up some dead animal, and I’m like.

My immediate PR sense is wait. Oh no. But you know what? There’s a whole audience of people who love hunting, and I’m not, I’m saying you, you could do it with tact or grace or whatever, but as long as you’re, true to the whatever tenants of that community and what you’re doing the right way, that opens up a whole new lane because guess what?

Everybody else wants the car deal and the Gatorade deal and whatever. Yeah. How many quarterbacks are getting, the four people are getting those. I love that. Actually, I saw a friend of mine sent out a newsletter this morning about Wrangler investing in NIL and like the Texas quarterback who loves hunting.

That’s freakin who should be in rank, that’s who should be in Wrangler jeans, yeah. I just love that it’s just different not trying to play the same game that everybody else is. You. So that to me is I try to just speak and I say be distinct to fine and real authentic.

I think sometimes people word just gets overused, but it’s overused, but like it’s okay to be real with you. And then. But also Hey, I was a knucklehead when I was that eight. Be real well and be professional.

[01:09:10] Gabby Reece: Think Real and professional. Thank you. I think it’s understanding, oh wait a second, I have opportunity. And I’m gonna be a professional, but I’m gonna be myself. Yes. And I think if they can accomplish that or have somebody who gives ’em a little nudge and goes, Hey, maybe too far, or, it’s okay. Go ahead. And I, it’s interesting for women because for women we really are held by a different standard.

Because like you were talking about the basketball player to be, boisterous and, I’m great and I’m the best as a woman. Very few women can get away with that. So when you see one that can pull it off, as it was for me, it was Cheryl. Miller. Yes, totally. I was like, whoa, that is so brave.

Yeah. Because usually as women we’re taught to do it a little bit differently and Serena is a different example ’cause she’s in, in a singular sport. Yes. When you’re on a team sport, it’s we’re a team. Yeah. Remember Mia? It was like, no, it’s a team effort. She never wanted to be singled out. So it was all these interesting dynamic ways that people do it.

So from an I have to just ask one thing. ’cause people don’t realize a lot of times you’ll see these companies and they have these coveted products, whether it’s a jersey or a shoe. And now companies are doing sort of these wild things to keep resellers from getting items. Yeah. So for people don’t know, it’s do you really love those Jordans or do you really love that?

[01:10:21] Gabby Reece: Or are you just gonna wait online and resell it? Yes. Can you just share a couple anecdotes of companies doing some pretty extreme things to give it to. Get it into the hands of people who love Yes. Whatever that sport or, item is.

[01:10:34] Jordan Rogers: Yep. The, let’s see here. A skate shop recently did like a Nike SB one.

So Nike SB is Nike Skateboarding, and they make really highly coveted, like Nike dunks sometimes. And so there was a skate shop, I believe it was in Hawaii, might’ve been out here in la, but they make someone do a kickflip to be able to leave with the shoes. And so you’d have to do like a skateboarding trick to be able to purchase and take the shoes away.

So that was basically to prevent people from getting it. I saw one from a golf company, these Travis Scott Golf shoes, a golf company over in London made people hit on the simulator. And for a man, I think you had to hit the ball 200 yards. And for a woman you had to hit over 150 yards and you had to basically prove that you were somewhat of a golfer to be able to purchase the shoes.

The last one that I would say again to this sort of cancel culture. Backbiting, Tracksmith did one where this is very different from high heat sneakers, but they did a single it for people who qualified for the Boston Marathon. And it was only available, you had to basically submit your qualification or your race number to be able to purchase it.

And all these people got so upset and like, all this, and I think it’s because they’ve been doing this story, which is beautiful, by the way. I was just, I comment on one of the other things this morning. They were talking about the amateur amateurs from the Latin of love and people who do it for the love.

I, and then they’ve been trying to be more inclusive with their, marketing and all that. And so they’ve gotten sucked up in, in maybe not being as true to their roots. Which I would argue is like this sort of, you gotta qualify for the Boston Marathon. I dunno if you wanna buy this thing, these like nerdy, skinny, fast runners and all these people and they cowed to the mob and pulled it down and Oh, I think I would, I don’t know.

I would like to think I was not in their shoes. I don’t know all the factors, but it’s it’s okay to piss off a bunch of people. Yeah. In fact, you probably should be like, if you’re not sharp enough with your brand, if you’re not upsetting some people. Or at the very least, some a large percentage of people should be like, I don’t get it.

And that’s like exactly when you know that you have a good audience who does get it. The one of my favorite things like Tracksmith did this hour long. They followed this woman, it’s called the Church of the Run, and she’s runs in the snow for an hour. It, they run like a 10 K with it.

And literally there’s no, I think they have a small, like string thing under it, and it’s literally this tracking camera and you’re just listening to her breathe and that sound run on the snow. And it’s like this beautiful meditation on what it’s like to go running solo and runners get that. And I’ve, I’ve run over the course of my life.

I don’t love running, but I get that thing. You, I hope that most people who don’t love running look at that and go, that’s stupid. That’s boring. They should, because runners connect with that. It’s a spiritual experience. Yeah. So I think that’s a principle that not of brands are willing to embrace.

[01:13:40] Gabby Reece: Where did you get inspiration from? Because coming up, working for Nike and having, actually, or you’re, there’s a, you have deadlines. It’s yes, it’s creative, but you have to deliver product. You have, there’s a lot of goes on with that, a lot of moving parts. Where did you, did the ideas come? Were they in your sleep? Or how did they show up for you? Where did they come?

[01:13:59] Jordan Rogers: Yeah. I think the Lord bless me was just like, create my mind. Never stops a busy mind. It’s a busy mind. It nearly killed me, I think, in my adolescence when I couldn’t figure out how to harness that energy and I needed to quiet it and I turned to drugs to do that.

But I think later through the process of recovery and through healing and through therapy and yoga and all these kinds of things, I’m, I’ve learned how to channel it and fuel it into creativity. So I did not have a lot of the benchmarks of the general people who are being brought into Nike, former college athletes, MBAs really smart people, double majors, done everything right in their life, type it.

They’re great. And there’s a lot of brilliant, very creative people there as well. Yeah.

[01:14:41] Gabby Reece: What was your major?  It was like, not history, but what was that history?

[01:14:42] Jordan Rogers: Ancient history. Ancient history. It’s a history degree, but my focus is on Julius Caesar and the Roman. The Roman. Empire. Nike was like an empire.

Nike goddess. So I have the Nike goddess tattooed in my arm. I see you have one up there somewhere. Yeah. Beautiful. Yes, it’s right there. Amazing. Nike was the goddess of victory and I, what I figured out is that ancient history is studying the stories that last forever, and marketing is nothing more than storytelling.

And so I learned through repetition, through reading and writing. The stories that last forever and what makes a compelling story. Why do we care about Alexander the great 3000 years later? Why do we care about Julius Caesar or Augustus or Cleopatra? And I think that was the special sauce. Now, I probably wouldn’t have taken me five years to get my job at Nike if I had gotten something like a business degree, if they had let me in.

[01:15:32] Gabby Reece: Because sometimes when it’s paper, I think you, you had a entry I saw where you shared how you would lose out to like college athletes and who had double majors or internships and things like that. And how that only made you drill down on your own strengths. Yes. So I think it’s important for people to be, to know that we, there’s a lot of ways to get there, but it’s not easy.

It’s hard. And so you get this job, you do the marketing part for 10 years. You work in with the NFL. You do all these things. Was there a favorite, was there a collaboration with an athlete or a project that you, that really just brought you, it was like a full expression of your creativity?

[01:16:12] Jordan Rogers: One that we almost had. There’s a there’s a few. I have to give credit to things like Nike, yeah, there was a lot of bureaucracy and all that. But creativity can thrive and constrain as well. And that became the name. I came in and I knew that people started, I started to see that people really appreciate my creativity.

So I started. Having these brainstorm activities. We do these fun, like brainstorming ideas with marketing teams, and it was like, oh wow, this is really fun. I love just you can feel the energy in the room yes. And what if we did that and Oh, yeah. Yeah. And the challenge at Nike is so many things have been done.

I’ll never forget, we were brainstorming, launching the NFL jersey again, and we brought up something like launch, like what if we sent it to space? Or ’cause I don’t know, we were gonna do Houston or something. So it was like oh yeah we did that in ninety-seven. We, but we, and you’re, I was like, I’m sorry, wait, what?

We launched a and somebody was like, oh yeah, we launched this thing into spa. Yeah, it’s been done, so there’s always this. It’s a different level at Nike. And athletes can, it is really hard to get to number one, but it’s so much harder to stay at number one. And so Nike is usually number one, and you’re having to like, just beat yourself year over year.

Favorite projects super random. One that I started and then the rest of the team finished with Gibson. Hazard was this young music video director who had started to get some waves and I looked him up and found, I think a lot of people make him, you need to find some commonality. So I found this to, he was an athlete in college and he had dropped out and had been making music videos and they were these incredible like otherworldly wild, like virtual reality like stuff.

And I was like, this dude could crush sports. If I just, if we turned him loose, and DMed him on Instagram and he responded a few days later and was like, yeah, I would love to.

[01:17:57] Gabby Reece: And

yeah, I’ve worked with Nike. Could we work with you? That probably makes it great. It’s not a hard sell, it’s a great calling card.

[01:18:02] Jordan Rogers: But honestly, like he, at that point, he had just done a Drake video. Oh. And he had done something else so he was like getting early traction. So he might’ve said, Hey, music is my thing.

[01:18:10] Gabby Reece: It reminds me sometimes SNL less now, but they used to sometimes throw out a musical artist. It was always the musical artist that somebody saw early.

They’d used to do that very beautifully. I used to, I think. But. What I get from that is that there’s an invisible tie. Yeah. You shared that about I think you were criticizing I don’t know if it’s Houston, not Houston. Who is it that you don’t like their marketing from? Texas. What? Oh, the Mavericks. Oh gosh. Yeah. Is it Mavericks? Yeah, the Mavericks. But there is a musical pass. A theres a musical past. Jazz. Past, yeah. And you were complimenting. So it’s also realizing that if there’s a tie, but it’s not obvious, it’s still intuitive.

[01:18:48] Jordan Rogers: Yes. So I thought that was a really good, yeah. And I think in this world of collaborations, everybody wants to just grab two big names now.

And put them together and we have to find the, and you can stretch that. So I would argue that one that I was giving credit to, the Dallas Mavericks had this story of Dallas is actually this old city of like, where this birthplace had this really great birthplace of jazz and it led to the development in the United States.

So they pulled Leon Bridges, who’s actually from Fort Worth, and most other people, same state. It’s okay. It’s the same state, right? Yeah. Just Texas. It’s, you can drive 14 hours and still be in the same state. But it’s down the road from Dallas. It’s not quite Dallas. So that would be my only one-point deduction.

But he’s close enough. But there’s that common bond and you have those two names and that’s great. It’s important to just find someone who is an anchor in that thing. I was criticizing Puma and ASAP Rocky I think originally because I had never seen ASAP Rocky talk about his love of Formula One racing, and all of a sudden they wanna trot him out there as the face of Formula One for Puma.

And I was kinda like, oh it would help if he had maybe once talked about Formula One once in his life. Some people came and said, Hey, talked about Mercedes and stuff. And I was like, okay, maybe. Fair enough. Oh. ’cause of Lewis. Yeah. Mercedes, Mercedes, we all, oh, come on.

Which of us has not declared that we want Mercedes in our life. Yeah.

[01:20:05] Gabby Reece: I do not think it was around the paddock or so I think that’s an important, going back to young athletes, we all have something to contribute. It is. So when you go and you go to these schools and they bring you in to talk to athletes what are the main things? Just so I make sure that we reinforce them for these athletes to think about what, ’cause these are a lot of decisions. Sure. And they’re big ones.

[01:20:26] Jordan Rogers: Yeah. I say, Hey, there’s a lot of people we have your, in your personal brand sits between how you view yourself and how the world views you.

Your personal brand sits right in between in these like concentric circles. And most people will focus on the external and go, okay, what do I need to be posting on Tik Tok? What do I need to be saying? What do I need to be performing? What platforms do I need to go be on? To me, all of that is a cart before the horse.

We need to figure out who you are, what makes you tick, what are you passionate about? What do you want to get out of this experience in college? Where do you wanna go? And once we start to figure that out, then we can utilize these external tools to take you there. Because you may say, oh, someone, everybody says I need to be on Tik Tok.

What is it that you wanna do? Yeah. Like I work with a couple quarterbacks. Maybe TikTok is not the maybe YouTube would be the platform for you where you can actually break down defenses and you can be signaling to your audience that are quarterback loving, wanna learn offenses, they wanna know everything about you.

Not only that you signal to your audience, but then you’re signaling to future pros that I’m cerebral. I know this game. I love it, I live it, I break it down. So there’s ways to think about that. And so my encouragement for them is just gosh, all of us need to do this. This Gabby, like you read, you lead retreats for grown adults who are like, I haven’t stopped and thought about what I want in twenty-five years.

And many of us in life have not had the luxury to be able to do that. I which I think we’ll get to, but at twenty-one years old, I sat for a year incarcerated. And sat around to think about what do I want my life to look like going forward? And so I’ve realized now looking back on that was a great privilege for me in some ways to like just go, Jordan, stop.What is it that you want this thing to look like? And as I was driving up the hills in Malibu, I was having a reflection or I was actually drinking my green juice at this. Beautiful. That’s very California.

[01:22:21] Gabby Reece: Oh, I love, I’m so proud. You were here for 30 minutes and you had a green juice and I was eating kale and green juice.

[01:22:26] Jordan Rogers: I love it. I love eating healthy. I love like treating my body because I treated it so poorly for so long and I. I do have to reflect on moments like this because all I wanted was to not stick a needle in my arm. Yeah. And I just wanted to have a boring, dull life. And here I am, like flying to LA and getting off the plane and driving up here and grabbing a green juice and yeah. Talking on a podcast. Super fun. But my encouragement is to think about what do they actually want out this, and where do they wanna go and what do they wanna do? Because that will then inform the type of brand deals they wanna make, the what they should be communicating on social, if they should be communicating on social.

And so many people just start shouting advice in their ears, post on TikTok, more post on TikTok, use trending audio, do all this stuff. So stupid. It’s what? What, that doesn’t help if we don’t know what the end goal is. And Yeah.

[01:23:19] Gabby Reece: I think that’s true to everything in life.To follow that, that inside, amen. I think it’s, I really appreciate that. So you’re at Nike for years and years. Prior to that and you put this on your website? And it’s actually the first thing you put on your website that you were a heroin addict. And the reason I didn’t wanna put that at the top is not that I think it’s a distraction. I think it’s great. I think it’s just so fascinating that I didn’t wanna get lost there. Totally. Because actually that’s probably more of the type of interview I would do. Yeah. I love sports. That’s fair.

But this podcast is usually about like health and how to take care of yourself and all these things. Totally. But it’s it is something. It’s surprising, but I really appreciate that you put it top of list. But why, first of all, how, what was going on?

[01:24:02] Jordan Rogers: Yeah. Yeah. What happened that led me to that path.

[01:24:06] Gabby Reece: And I live with somebody who I joke, if they didn’t find the ocean could easily be dead or in jail. Absolutely. Yes. This is someone who go, they, oh, this is greatness. And I’m like, yes. And it was one inch from either somebody who could be dead or in jail. Totally. So that energy that you’re talking about, yeah.

This energy that creates and does all this stuff. Yeah. For a lot of people, and I don’t, I’m not saying it’s more male, but young male, yes, absolutely. Young male I feel sometimes gets misunderstood. We try to shove young men like, sit down on your desk and be quiet and all these things and Oh, don’t cry.

Yes. And don’t tell me how you feel. So I think there’s a lot of cases of men and maybe they are in incarcerated, that given either the chance or the environment would be brilliant at something. Yes. So what ha what happens? ’cause that’s not oh, I smoke some weed.

[01:24:54] Jordan Rogers: Totally. Yeah. Went out drinking one night.

In fact, yes, to your point it is a big source of concern for me. I did, and I will say actually. I should go back and, I had a lot of creative projects. The two most meaningful years of my time at Nike were in Nike Women’s. So really loving. Yes, I got to do all this sexy stuff.

I flew around the world, like helping with the biggest athletes in the world, a lot of male athletes doing big commercials and stuff like that. But the two most meaningful years were in Nike Women’s. And it was when trying to help Nike figure out how do we really serve women well? And it was really helpful for me to not only just understand women better, help me understand my wife, help me understand my sister and my mom better and just in general.

I became so just a better human and I, and so much of that is the team that I got to work with, and it was really challenging. And anyway but in the best of ways, in the best of ways.

[01:25:44] Gabby Reece: That’s a guy who has a wife and a daughter, and Amen.

[01:25:47] Jordan Rogers: It’s it’s so challenging. It was but yeah. Anyway, let’s go back to, to, to the oh, but I was saying like I have a son now, and so I see it.

[01:25:55] Jordan Rogers: There’s a lot, there’s just some challenges with males in America, at least. We have a weird epidemic going on with this kind of purposelessness and we’re sitting guys, there’s a retreat. They’re retreating. Yes. Totally. They’re not, they’re falling outta the workforce. They’re living with their parents.

They’re not having sex. They’re like, that’s the weird thing in the basement. That’s the weirdest thing ever. That’s the weird not having sex. We’ve got some weird stuff going on our culture right now. But, so I was at the very beginning of this I grew up in a great home. My parents have never spoken a negative word to me, ever.

They breathe life into me. They breathe life under my wings. In fact, I think the, one of the reasons that I’m so creative is because of the confidence that my parents bolstered in me. Creativity is risk. And, you’re just stepping out to do something that hasn’t been done or like taking a risk to do this thing and try something.

And when we’re in my fear or like a trauma response or whatever we don’t, we can’t take that risk. And I think my parents like love and encouragement really bolstered that. So I always wanna acknowledge that, especially now as a parent.

[01:26:56] Gabby Reece: . And so I, you’re hoping that the cost you pay, the price you’re gonna pay is gonna be softened somehow? I’m trying to pay my penance.

[01:27:02] Jordan Rogers: Sure. Yes. No, I’m not I know a giant karmic boomerang is coming my way.

[01:27:07] Gabby Reece: Was it smooth sailing till 16 or something?

[01:27:10] Jordan Rogers: No. It was pretty smooth until maybe like 12,11. I think I. So I was obsessed with sports, played all sports loved Bo Jackson because Bo played all sports.

Or the campaign was Bo Knows Golf, Bo Knows racing, Bo Knows basketball, Bo Knows football, Bo Knows baseball. And I loved all those sports, but I was a jack of all trades, master of none. And so in Dallas, Texas, if you want to continue to play and you live basically in the city you need, and you’re going to big junior highs and high schools, like you need to be able to play one.

You need to be really good at least one. And so I dropped out of golf. I probably had the best promise in golf, and it wasn’t cool. Tiger Woods had not hit the scene yet, and it just, it wasn’t cool. Basketball was cool. I wanted to play basketball. I also wanted play football, but I only played one year in fifth grade, and that was very clear.

I was not cut out for football. I tried out for the basketball team. I couldn’t make it. And I just didn’t have I watched my seven-year-old son now has practice. My daughter, she comes home from piano and she’ll start to play, or my son will wanna go practice. And I did not have the practice gene.

I’m like, Alan, Iverson before him, it’s just like practice. I couldn’t get it. And later in my life I totally get it. I wanna sharpen, I wanna get better. I just didn’t have, I don’t know where, I don’t know how that comes, but it didn’t come naturally to me. And I wanted to lower the goal and dunk with a mini ball and have fun with my friends.

I didn’t wanna work on my left-handed dribble, and I think it’s maybe that gene that you’re talking about where you just need that stimulation and you want to go for it. And if I had, I do look, when we lived in Oregon, I looked around gosh, maybe this was what I was missing.

I grew up as a city kid, the most fun you or, you we rode our bikes around everything, but it was like, going to the mall was like the thing, it wasn’t hitting ocean and waves. And I love it so much. I love California. I love being here. I love the West coast. I love trees and plants.

My, my wife has put a Moratorium on my plant buying, because there’s no more plants allowed in the house. They’re everywhere. But I love all that stuff and I just I maybe didn’t, steward that enough. And so I fell outta sports and it was kinda like musical chairs. I had dropped the golf and I had left that behind.

I had dropped football tennis, like anything that I had played baseball. I had a chance to go play like in select soccer, but I. My parents sat me down and were like, Hey, this is a big investment. Yeah. And it’s a lot. And we will, or we’re willing to fund it, but you have to be like all in on this if you want.

And I respect them for that. I appreciate that conversation to have with me. And I was kinda like, eh, I don’t want soccer to be my whole life. And I think this was the early a stages of specialization when they were forcing you to pick a path and so anyway, the music stopped and I didn’t have any of that stuff left.

And all my friends who were like athletes all went off to their sports. Yeah. And there I was and I was friends with everybody. I still pride myself on that to some degree. I can get along with anyone, but I gravitated towards, just anybody doing drugs and all that. So I started getting high at about 13, 14 drinking.

And I think it was just really bad combination of adolescent angst, purposelessness a lot of pain. My grandfather had died at that age. I had a couple of, had my little heart broken a couple times. And you add all of this stuff, like you lose your positive outlet, you lose your, positive figures in your life.

You lose the, whatever your, my conception of a girlfriend at the time, and Adolescence was really hard. And so I found something that would treat that, all that angst and pain and. How does a teenager get access to heroin though?

[01:30:38] Jordan Rogers: Oh my gosh. Tell me about it.

[01:30:39] Gabby Reece: No. Is it you have to steal to get money to buy it or how does that work? Because that’s a, that’s not, you’re not taking your parents booze out of the booze cabinet outta of the cabinet.

[01:30:45] Jordan Rogers: Exactly.

[01:30:48] Gabby Reece: And that’s freaking ballsy too, by the way. Yeah. That’s No, but that same marketing here’s my idea.

[01:30:53] Jordan Rogers: Yeah. That’s ballsy. Yeah. Yeah. It’s, yeah.You do have to be a combination of kind of reckless and foolish and then yeah. Yeah. A little bit of that. So are you 15, 16? Yeah, 15 got introduced. I was hanging out with some older kids. This is the beginning of the opiate epidemic. Oh, yeah. There’s always that. So I missed fentanyl, thank god I missed fentanyl by literal months.

I’ve retraced I’ve gone back and done a lot, read a lot of literature on this stuff. And one of my first friend who died of an overdose died when I was just maybe six months out of jail. And so I was about a year and a half clean at that point, and my first friend died and then subsequently lost so many more.

[01:31:30] Gabby Reece: So are you talking about, are you really saying more like oxy or pills?

[01:31:33] Jordan Rogers: No, so heroin was introduced in a snortable powder form. Oh. It was black tar heroin. You could break it down and then you could snort it. So it was different than like your, you’re watching basketball diaries or whatever the movies train spotting.

Oh, yeah. It was, it’s, it didn’t have to go that grimy, so it made its way to middle class, suburbs, trailer parks, inner city. It did everything now. Like it wasn’t just your old, philadelphia, New York, gritty streets. And it came from Mexico. I was in Texas. So this black tar Mexican, black tar heroin started to come up and it was cut.

It was called Shiva. And it started to make its way into America in a lot of different ways. And so I was in the early wave of that. So I got caught up in that and basically just spent the next several years in addiction and just couldn’t get out of it. And so did you, could your parents recognize it? Yes. After a couple of years. Because you know what’s weird?

[01:32:21] Gabby Reece: And I can say this just from different experiences as a parent is, there was an expression I heard when I was in high school to the pure, all things are pure. And I, someone told me that one at one point there were some indigenous tribes that they’d be on the shore and they couldn’t see a boat, a sailboat That was in the ocean. ’cause they’d never seen one. Yeah. So they couldn’t recognize it. Sure. And so I think people go the parents, how do they not know? It’s if you’re not doing it and you’re not around it Totally. You, it’s very difficult. It’s we like, you don’t Yeah. And you’re there.

So you have a couple years and then are, do you ask for help? Do you get in trouble?

[01:32:53] Jordan Rogers: All the above. I got arrested for the first time at 14. Got arrested again at 19 for small possession charges. And then I was just constantly in trouble with the law, with the school, with everybody, just I was getting all kinds of tickets, minors and consumption, minor in possession fake driver’s license.

It was always something. I was always in trouble. And this brain that I have now that can do fun, smart things a lot of times was just being used for all kinds of nefarious reasons. And you basically end up at 21 years old and the state of Texas says, Hey this is your third strike now.

And they gave me a chance, they gave me several chances they would gimme probation and all that. And then they said, okay, we’re giving you like one last chance. We’re gonna this prison treatment program. So I went to a prison unit in Texas. Had to wait for that for about six months and then went to this prison unit for another six months.

And where you’re on a prison unit and you do some groups during the day, they call it like a therapeutic community. I use that term very loosely.

[01:33:57] Gabby Reece: Because are you just teaching each other new bad stuff? There No, I’m kidding. I’m kidding.

[01:34:00] Jordan Rogers: There’s some of that, but some of the tools could have been effective.

A lot of these places have been shut down. They’ve been, it’s not helpful. So I believe I was the outlaw. I am an outlier with an addiction to my knowledge. So there’s something like ninety-three percent of people who are in addiction or alcoholism have at least three or more adverse childhood experiences.

So you’re dealing with some form of trauma, usually physical, often sexual really bad scenarios, particularly in incarceration, especially with men in incarceration. I believe. Eight outta 10 men in incarceration did not have a positive father in their home or present.

[01:34:36] Gabby Reece: And that must have made you feel shitty.I would imagine. Like why is, why knowing all this and being like, what’s my problem?

[01:34:43] Jordan Rogers: Totally. You know what I mean? Yeah.

[01:34:44] Gabby Reece: You’re, because I’ve had experiences where I’m like, why would I feel that way? ’cause nothing’s, I would imagine it must have been an interesting extra layer.

[01:34:52] Jordan Rogers: It was confusing, I think. Yeah. I was like, people would be like, what? What is this thing? People have these big breakthroughs. And I was like, I don’t know.

[01:34:59] Gabby Reece: What do you mean, you’re like my hardwiring and I’m sensitive

[01:35:00] Jordan Rogers:. Yeah. I couldn’t articulate. I like, so many years later I can figure this stuff out.

Like I know, but God, ask a young man to say that he’s sensitive. Like I, I know that in the truest sense of the word, like I am a, I am highly sensitive. There’s this personality type actually found, I don’t know whether it’s, whatever, but I found it to be really helpful, highly sensitive personality, and I’m a high sensation seeking, highly sensitive person.

Yeah. And it’s basically, I think most of us as a male, we view that as a negative term. But I’ve actually realized that my superpower so I sense everything, this is why I can speak in a room. I know very quickly whether I’ve lost their attention, whether they’re paying attention to me, whether they’re in the mood for, emotional or energetic or whether I need to be funny or what, and so I, I real, it took me so long at Nike to realize like not everyone in the world knows exactly what pair of shoes and what brand they’re wearing and all these other, and what kind of socks they’re wearing from the moment they walk into a room. I just pay attention to that stuff. I don’t know why. And so much of us, and like what I would do with athletes is figuring out what are those God-given talents that we have that then we need to bring to the surface That just saying not everybody has that. Yeah. That’s not the way everybody’s wired. And that was a process over a long period of time to realize.

I think it was just this. I, to my knowledge, do not have that childhood trauma. But I had a swirling of effects that all happened at a really perfect storm. Of like a pretty sensitive soul going through really hard things death and breakups and losing your passion in sports and adolescence. And you introduce this thing that helps calm all that not only my mind, but my heart, and it’s a painkiller, yeah, sure. You look at painkilling it’s, people are often treating the emotional pain that they’re going through when you’re dealing with addiction. So how about

[01:36:56] Gabby Reece: So how about coming out of that? How does one rebuild their life? Because sometimes we get labeled, we label ourselves. And you built this life out of this. What w what were the first steps to that rebirth? And building, building a life. ’cause that I would imagine could be daunting.

[01:37:15] Jordan Rogers: Yes, absolutely. It was again, I would point out that I had two positive and present parents, which is not a luxury that a lot of people have.

And so while they were done with me at that point, they at least visited me, I think twice during that year. And maybe more, but. Not much more. And my sister didn’t come. She still to this day will apologize for not coming. But like she was done with me, like she was at Texas, she had done all the things right.

She had seen my path. Not all the things she would tell you, she was acting She your younger sister? Yes. Yeah. And she was amazing. And but she was done with me, and my parents were done with me too. They kicked me out. They had shut cut me off. And I think that may have helped me.

I dunno that it is the strategy that everyone should employ. But so I got out I went to the Salvation Army, which is like a halfway house in downtown Dallas. And lived there while I started to put one foot in front of the other. I started working at the Sunglass Hut and then just working a part-time job.

And I might have I actually worked full-time at the Sunglass Hut for a while, and then was going to meetings, getting in recovery, got a sponsor and was, going through that process was really rocky and hard. And then I finally found a guy who reached out to me and was just like, Hey, I’m gonna sponsor you.

I’m gonna walk you let, it was this crazy moment. I talk about it on the, I’m second film that’s on my site, but and I got walked into recovery and found a really good community of people who were walking on the same path. And really, we were all just. Broken and bedazzled, but trying to piece it all together, trying to be accountable to one another and try to be better. And I met my wife in recovery. And so I really lucked out in that way. And then I had my parents, at least my dad had gone to college and I think my mom had regretted not going. And so they really pushed me to consider it. And they was like, you’re so smart, you should do this.

And I have a, my grandparents are really smart and academic and all these things. And so they really pushed me. And so I would try, I went to community college for one summer semester, take one class. And I was like, okay, I can do it. And I was like, okay, take two classes. And I was like, oh, okay.

I think I could do that. And it was like, okay, take one semester of 12 hours, and started putting that one foot in front of the other. And then, eventually went through school into college. I went to SMU. I applied to go. I probably would’ve gone somewhere like farther away, but I was like, only a year into recovery, I think.

[01:39:51] Gabby Reece: : But that’s a nice school too ’cause it’s faith-based, so at least it’s like you’re getting support.

[01:39:54] Jordan Rogers: Yeah, it was the main benefit of SMU was I don’t think there was a lot of faith really. There. There’s a lot of finances at SMU. Oh, there you go. There. But there was I, and while I didn’t have those, I had small classes.

And that was a real, and I got federal aid to pay for. My education. So I had a couple things. One, there were tools available. Everybody who’s incarcerated talks about these resources that are available. Are there enough? Are they in the right place? We could have that debate. I have a lot of hot takes on the criminal justice system, but there were some, and I, most guys will talk about it, plan it, and then not do anything.

And I stuck with a couple of those. So like they paid a few thousand dollars. I got the state of Texas paid for usually my books most semesters and I had to go once a semester and meet with a counselor and that was like my checkoff. And then they would give me like a check to write for my books and all that.

The federal government, I got Pell grants to pay for my education. And so there’s some legislation recently passed where they can allow Pell grants to pay for incarcerated men and women to get education because education will lead to liberation and freedom. We punish and Humiliate and yeah, prevent people from getting back in the workforce.

And I hope that people can see my experience that when I had a Softer landing, when I had support, when I had people encouraging me to go in the right way, when I had resources to pay for my education, I took advantage of some of those. And look at what my life has been able to come. It’s amazing.

[01:41:25] Gabby Reece: I can’t help but think that journey you went on though makes you more, Maybe I would say compassionate. And even easier to relate to these athletes that you’re trying to help right now. Because a lot of them come from really hard places. Yeah. And so weirdly, you building your life and building who you are and finding out what are your interests and going through a hard time makes you more sense, compassionate.

And it just is that reminder over and over that, especially the hard things that we go through, if we can survive it and learn from it, that they just always catapult us. And yes. I really appreciate that you keep that on your docket because you have a lot of things you can talk about.

You can talk about marketing, you can help athletes. It’s all very sexy. Yes. But you keep that in there because, a lot of people are navigating this. Totally. And I, I always tell people like I’m a very linear thinker. I. But I’m married to a very sensitive person who’s very creative. Yes. And I, I said I, I’ve never met an addict who wasn’t sensitive.

I just haven’t Totally. And so it’s not oh, what’s wrong with them? It’s oh no, they’re experiencing the world in a very different way. Yeah. And so I, I just think that’s an important reminder.

[01:42:35] Jordan Rogers: Very insightful. I think a lot of people just view, and it makes it really hard to deal with people through their shenanigans There, I don’t also have, I don’t have all the answers. I am a super pretty liberal. I think we should legalize drugs. Sure. I think we should. I think we should. I’ll go as far as to say sometimes we should give people clean needles so they just don’t die. There’s all kinds of ways that I’ll go.

And yet when I have a, grandmother who talks to me about her son who keeps using and he is got a 4-year-old daughter that he leaves alone or what, or drives drunk with their kids in the car. These are very hard things to deal with. And they are unlovable in a lot of ways, but I think when we can go beyond, and I rattle off those statistics for a reason, because I think a lot of us just think that.

I don’t know. Somebody’s just getting drunk because they love it. And if you’re moving into that place, like addiction is usually defined by continued use despite negative consequences. Yeah. And like most of us have that response that goes, okay, this thing hurt me. I’m not gonna do it again. And it gets broken.

Or they get overwhelmed with whatever life or the thing is. And that is what they’re using to treat Yeah. What’s going on in town, the pain. And Yes.

[01:43:52] Gabby Reece: Do you think that your love of all athletes and all sports, that’s why you put your sights on Nike? ’cause they were the king. So you’re like, I love all these sports.

I always think I’m gonna work for that company. Do you think that was the why?

[01:44:03] Jordan Rogers: I just have a, I have a bizarre and inexplicable, okay. So I was sitting, I had a next door neighbor I graduated college. I got a degree in history. I couldn’t get into the business school. I wanted to go teach and coach and I applied to go basically teach, I was gonna teach history and coach like JV basketball or something.

I just wanted to settle down and just not rock the boat and just whatever. And my next door neighbor, I, I bought a pair of shoes on sale at Finish line. I come home and my next door neighbor works at this running specialty account. His name’s Duncan. He’s like the yoga Yoda of footwear. He’s a savant when it comes to fitting footwear and all this stuff.

He’s amazing. He’s South African and he has this great accent and all this stuff, but and I go, wow, Duncan, it is like the home improvement, probably dating myself here, but tell Oh yeah. Over the fence. Like over the fence. We were literally over the fence and I was like, Duncan, I just bought another pair of shoes against my will.

I’m like, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m obsessed with Nike. I’ve had a bizarre brand loyalty from the time I was a kid, and I’m sure my name and Michael Jordan was coming up at the time and Dion Sanders and all these athletes, Bo Jackson, it all contributed the machine, certainly got me.

It worked. It got me. Yeah, totally. But I also, I wrote this in a newsletter last week. I started reflecting like, as cheesy as this sounds, when I got outta incarceration, I was very determined to, I got into working out while I was locked up. Mind, body, spirit, I knew I had to give myself a chance. I had to do something drastically different.

Drastically different or I was gonna go right back to the way I’d been living before. And so I wanted to keep into working out and I remember going to academy and trying to buy some Nike pro like workout gear on sale. And I felt like Superman putting that stuff on. I felt stronger, yeah. And that may sound weird to people, but you put the costume on. Yeah. And it was like, I felt like I could work out better, like by putting it on. And so yes, all those athletes. I also believed that there was this bit of, like we mentioned John McEnroe earlier, like there was this rebel spirit at Nike and you have some of that as well.

There is Nike is best when there’s like a rebellious spirit in them. Yeah. And I think I always sensed, we mentioned Charles Barkley and others that they could they would welcome like misfits and rebels. Bowerman and Phil are both Yes. Are like misfit, they are.

Totally. And so it was like I preta you could go on the whole lineage. Yeah, for sure. That’s what makes ’em best. And so I thought maybe like they would accept somebody like me. And while my story was not front and center when I applied for the job, I didn’t tell my story publicly until I was five years into that 10 year career.

And I’ll leave you with this. ’cause you were saying something about it. I wanted you, why do I keep it? Because what I realized was that people admire us and our strengths, but they connect with us through our struggles. Yeah. And so you didn’t get choked up when I was talking about all these cool athletes that I worked with.

It’s oh, that’s cool. And that’s fun to talk about. Yeah. But it’s like whatever. But when we connect on a deeper level is through our. Faults and our struggles and what we’ve been through. And so when I saw, when I took this risk, I thought I was maybe committing career suicide.

But again, I had done the work to say, what do I believe I was put here for, was to try to help people and steward people and help people live a better way of life. And a lot of that was in recovery. If I could do this film, I got approached by this organization. I’m second, if I could do this film publicly and save at least one person, then am I gonna sacrifice that for some cool job, and but these were false choices that I was putting in front of myself. I did the film, Nike supported it, and it, I connected with my teammates on a whole nother level. Yeah. And people started coming to me and telling me all kinds of things that they had been through and that they appreciated.

And I was celebrated at Nike and they promoted me and they put me on stages and they, did all kinds of cool stuff. And that was, I my senses early, were affirmed later. By when I shared that story. And so a lot of what I’m doing with these athletes is then just trying to give them my story and my experience and trying to encourage them in that, Hey, I know everybody celebrates you and your strength, but you’ve also probably been through some struggles.

I know you have. And if we can find the right way to share that struggle. Through your story. You will connect with people on a much deeper level than whatever you can do on the Volleyball court or basketball court or football field.

[01:48:26] Gabby Reece: Yeah. And it’s fun when it becomes less scary to be who you really are.Oh, yes. It’s a much nicer way you go to go through life so much easier, it just is. Oh my gosh. When you publicly speak, do you get scared or are you like, do you, have you, you worked it out?

[01:48:39] Jordan Rogers: I’ve worked it out, yeah. All right. That’s a gift to you. ’cause you know that a lot of people, they don’t like that.

So I do know, I know I probably should be more scared of some things like heroin and other, drugs in my past. But no problem. But I don’t know, it’s probably my need for attention or something, I can, I’ve used it in my favor now, but I really enjoy it and I enjoy sparking something in people Yeah. And trying to move them in a positive way. So I’ve really enjoyed it since I was young.

[01:49:05] Gabby Reece: Tristen. Cameron, if you have a question or anything left over that I missed, didn’t cover,

Tristen: I’d love to hear just a little bit about your transition from working at Nike to starting your own company. Yeah. Touch on a little bit. I think that’s quite the drastic change. Totally.

[01:49:20] Gabby Reece: Yeah. It’s called stuck at home with your children. No. So you Tristen just asked if you. You have this great career. Deep roots, giant company. We know Nike’s not going anywhere, and you decide, I know I’m gonna be an entrepreneur. That’s such a safe bet.

[01:49:36] Jordan Rogers: Oh gosh. Yeah.

[01:49:39] Gabby Reece: So what was the had it been a long time coming or what happened?

[01:49:41] Jordan Rogers: No halfway through I did get a real itch to leave and start my own company. I started learning all these things and that’s what I do. It’s a lot of the content I do. A lot of the resources I put on my site are just like, I had no idea how this stuff existed.

I didn’t know things that agencies, I didn’t know what a marketing agency was. I didn’t know what a creative agency was. I didn’t know there were people, like the very talented people here filming this studio. Like I didn’t know all that stuff existed, before I would’ve seen. Yeah. I don’t know.

I just, and so I feel like it’s a little bit of my duty to go did y’all know there’s all these opportunities to do this stuff? Like I just linearly put my sights on Nike as this corporation and was just like looking at that job board and I didn’t realize that there were all these other things surrounding it.

That I could have, that I could eventually got into that would then help me get in there much better. And anyway, it was a great career. It was awesome. The first time I almost left was like, I wanted to help teach college creative. I wanted to help, I could see the wave of how powerful, creative and social was gonna be for college teams.

And I wanted to go teach them how to fish or fish for them. They’ve eventually brought all that stuff in-house. Sometimes I don’t think they invest enough in it still even though it’s the number one place that their brand shows up. And so I’m pretty passionate about that stuff.

And when I go visit these college campuses, I usually, have fun chatting with the creative team or whatnot. And that was the first time I always felt like I was entrepreneurial. I had this spirit in me and people would ask me about the cool stuff at Nike and they would say, what do you think has helped you succeed?

And I was like I know this sounds weird and like a multi-global national corporation, but it’s ’cause I’m entrepreneurial. And I do love the, I saw you had a shoe dog there. It is a company that even though there’s a lot of bureaucracy and there’s a, it’s a corporation, like everything, it does welcome in the right places and entrepreneurial spirit.

It still has that. And so that was welcomed in me and stewarded me in a lot of my roles. And then, but you have kids, things change. My wife and I, we had four miscarriages trying to have our first kid, and then we got pregnant and she was five months pregnant. I got the job offer to go to Beaverton.

I had been with Nike down in Texas, our home. And so we moved. So we we had just bought a house six weeks prior, so we sold a house, bought a house, moved across country, had a baby, and I started a new job. All in, this few months. And it was great for a while. And then we had our daughter who’s beautiful and such a gift.

And then the pandemic hit and it was like my job went from flying all over the country, flying over the world, sometimes Paris, Madrid, London, working with all these cool athletes, going to games and being on the sidelines and doing all this stuff. And again, that high sensation seeking like I was just like, it was moving and grooving.

And I didn’t love working on campus as much because I was in a lot of conference rooms and meetings. And so that creativity would get but you had enough breath of the fresh air where you go down to la go to New York and all this stuff. And so we just sat at home. Now he worked for home for two years straight with little kids, two little kids. 18 months and three 18 months old, three years old.

[01:52:48] Gabby Reece: That’s like almost the worst ages possible. Literally because a new baby would be fine. They sleep a lot.

[01:52:53] Jordan Rogers: Yes, totally. One baby. Baby. Even two babies. Gimme two babies. But two toddlers in a, it was a relatively small house. So suddenly, and I was looking back at the pictures, I’m speaking to a company tomorrow who’s like a they do baby strollers and all this stuff.

And I was thinking back about how hard that was and anyway, it just got really hard and. I’m not afraid to run or I’m not afraid to go into hard things, but I just started to have to ask myself is is this where my wife is served best? I love her and my job is to serve her and my job is to serve my children well.

And if we are like sitting in the cold, rainy, wet, Portland Oregon for seven months out of the year. Yeah. With these two toddlers and it Portland was like, shut down. Shut down y’all. It was none of this Texas stuff. I don’t know what California, I think California was like in normal.

[01:53:43] Gabby Reece: No, we were pretty, we were, they’re scared here.

[01:53:45] Jordan Rogers: Yeah. In Texas it was like on for two weeks and then go back to life. Portland was like for two years.

[01:53:52] Gabby Reece: They literally didn’t you, how about when you flew? Wasn’t it the best? Like you fly into Texas and somehow Covid doesn’t. I love that contrast. It’s amazing. You get Oregon, they’re like triple masked.

So did you do a, it was a culture shock. Did you do a business plan or did you have a plan before? You said a ham? I’m shutting it down.

[01:54:06] Jordan Rogers: Nike. Two things. One, again, I met so many amazing people there. One of my really good friends, guy mentored me through personal finance. So I got really into personal finance a few years before.

And so I had been investing, I had been saving, I’ve been doing all this stuff even on even when my wife stopped working and we were making it online I’m so grateful for that because I could not have made the jump into entrepreneurship. It was so much more expensive than I thought it was gonna be.

Oh yeah, so much more. I was like, oh, I’m a single consultant. Like I need a MacBook and like a camera and an LLC and I’ll be good. And I was like, oh my God. Like I spent so much money the first year, but you invested in yourself. I did invest in myself, indeed. And I just had to again, call my own bluff and go if I believe that my first role is if I believe I’m entrepreneurial.

If I believe that my wife and my children are not set up for success. All of our family lives in Dallas, Texas. When I say all, like all of our family and friends live in Dallas, Texas, I wish that they live somewhere else. I do not wanna live in Dallas, Texas, but my life is not about me at this stage. Yeah.

I think eventually we’ll make it to the west coast or something. But and I also wanna be clear, I don’t want to sound like a martyr here. I was not happy in Portland Oregon when it rained for seven months out of the year. I the cruel irony of Nikeables to say this is like in a corporation.

I think they stewarded my talent, they rewarded my creativity. I kept getting promoted for my creativity. And the higher I went, the less creative I got to be. Yeah. My creativity was being used on like, how do I not let this corporate machine chew up and spit out really talented kind souls designers and stuff, and like the team o marketing, they’re young and whatever, and it’s doggy dog like, anyway. And or I just want, and I, what I realized is Nike’s probably better than ninety-eight percent of corporations I was like up against, I was at fundamentally at odds. I don’t think human beings can function and thrive as we are intended in a corporate setting.

But and so entrepreneurship has been really good for me. One, I was really passionate about NIL. I’m obsessed with this concept of looking at what is a perceived disadvantage that I perceive to have and how do I turn into advantage? So it was like, I need to live in Dallas, Texas. That was very clear.

But there’s no sexy, like my the world that I was in, like sexy marketing doesn’t exist in Dallas. You either in Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New York. Not even Chicago as much anymore, right? Like you could be in Chicago, but so there’s really five cities you could live in the United States and do stay in my genre.

And so I was like, okay, NIL is coming. I’m super passionate about it. If you looked at like my Twitter feed from years ago, it was just basically. Blasting amateurism and being very frustrated with it. I don’t know why. But it was this passion that I had and so I was like, I’m within a three hour drive of 15 universities who are obsessed with sports.

I think this could be an opportunity. And so it was a lot harder than I thought. I thought, look, I’ve got this crazy story we had. I’ve just rattled off to you for the last hour and a half. I’m like, I’m gonna tell them that they’ll hire me like next month, it’ll be great. I’ll be booked up. And all these people were like, oh yeah, you’ll be booked up.

You’re gonna be doing great. But it took a lot longer than I thought. So like I saw you I think in November and it was this amazing week with Flora State. I got connected with Flora State in July of 2022. Oh. And it took over a year of this relationship with Sarah Petronio is amazing human. We had an amazing touch base. She was one of the good people who are like serving student athletes.

[01:57:29] Gabby Reece: So that’s like more than 14 or 16 months?

[01:57:31] Jordan Rogers: Months, yeah. Yes. So while keynote speaking you can get good rates and all that, it just took so much longer to steward those relationships than I thought. And yeah, there are all kinds of other challenges in the business, but, so I got scrappy, but I had this moment and James Clear does the Atomic habits.

I Abhor email. I hate email. I do not want an, I never want any. People are like, join our email. I’m like, I would literally rather stab myself in the eyeball than sign up for another email. But and now I’ve asked people to join my newsletter, but he had this one and was like, how would you counsel your best friend if they were facing your biggest problem?

And when I was really worried Meditating in Portland, Oregon, rainy Portland, or my kids climbing all over me, and I was like shaking to my core, thinking about, I’m about to leave this dream job. Are you freaking crazy dudes? ’cause I knew when we moved outta Portland Oregon I’m leaving Nike.

Yeah. And I don’t think they’re gonna change their remote possibility. And it might be three months I get to stay. It might be six months, it might be 18 months. It ended up being like, I think 15 or 18. But and I, and I had this like out-of-body experience where I looked at myself, and it would be like, after I just rattled off all this to you, I would be like, dude, do you think that Nike’s the mountaintop, you’re gonna be freaking fine.

You are going to figure it out. You’re going to overcome you’ve been through all these hard things. You’ve hustled, you’ve done all these things, you’re gonna be fine. And so I had to give myself that pep talk to like actually do it. But I’m really glad I did. Yeah. I am.

It’s been really hard. Yeah. But I’m so much happier.

[01:59:04] Gabby Reece: It seems  like you’re finding a stride Yes, too, because I am, we can’t have our legs underneath us until we know what the speed of the game is, of what we’re doing. That’s right. There’s just no way. That’s right. Tell me about it. Yeah. So Jordan, in wrapping up I will say that if I oversimplified it, it is that true reminder that it, this is our one true life, each of us.

And when we can get in touch with who we are, what we’re good at, what we can contribute, whether you’re an athlete or you’re looking to start a business on your own or take on an adventure or career that a lot of people would be like that’s really hard, or Why do you think you can do that?

I think that strong reminder of if we do it as our authentic or our real selves, it finds it its way and it is scary. Yeah. And it’s even scary though when I think when we follow the rules, I think when we hit a clock, there’s elements of that are either a slow death or nothing’s for sure guaranteed.

Anyway. So the idea of taking chances and I really appreciate you sharing your story a lot. You can see why I didn’t wanna start with that.

[02:00:06] Jordan Rogers: Oh, no. Now I, yeah, I : see.

[02:00:07] Gabby ReeceYeah, totally. Because it makes talking about marketing okay. That’s great. About your addiction and let’s talk about marketing. It’s okay. Weird. Totally. Because it’s like in the grand scheme of things.

[02:00:17] Jordan Rogers: Yeah. What’s more important than what strategies should these athletes green screen is good.

[02:00:22] Gabby Reece: Now that we’ve moved beyond on the death defying addiction, can you remind people I’m not turning you? No.: Seriously. Should they do bullet points? And how’d, to point here and then point there? Can you just remind people of all the ways to reach you? And I do feel like you offer that if people write you a note that you’ll respond.

[02:00:34] Jordan Rogers: Sometimes I, I do, I try to actually respond to almost everything I get.

Yeah. Most of my website, which is Jordan J-O-R-D-A-N-R-O-G-E-R-S xyz. It has links to all my social, I’m most active on Instagram, which is @JordanRogers. J-O-R-D-A-N-R-O-G-E-R-S. Yeah. And that’s where I’m most active, so I try to respond to everything. It’s getting harder.

[02:01:00] Gabby Reece: So good news for you is I hear on the horizon that there will be probably in the next year almost like a chat GPT assistant that can funnel through your emails and help you with that. So I’ll be learning that myself.

[02:01:15] Jordan Rogers: I just wanna let you know I’ve got a great DM automation system that’s working for me right now over the last couple of weeks. What do you mean I. It’s incredible. I basically, you see these people that’ll say, comment X and I’ll send you something. So it’s a Oh yes. DM automation. So I’m, I’ve been utilizing it over the last couple of weeks and I’ll be like, comment sports and I’ll send you this PDF that I just made and it’ll collect an email.

I’m doing like a trade-off a lot of times for an email to try to build a, newsletter business. Eventually to share the, I’ve realized I, ’cause I, while I hate email, I’ve learned that a lot of people don’t necessarily wanna watch TikTok videos they would like, but they would like my wisdom in another form. And yeah, the DM automation is pretty cool. And then most of my site is built around trying to a lot of people want to pick my brain or talk to me for 15 or 30 minutes about getting a career or whatever. And I’m I’m like, I have a whole page of, I literally bought

You can go to And it’s my website and it has all these free resources. It’s got a paid workshop you can take if you want, like the deepest. But it’s all my podcast appearances where I talk about my career. It’s my life story. It’s tips and tricks. And then, speaking inquiries are on there. And consulting inquiries, which I less and less time for, but it, I try to arm everybody where you don’t need my time. Yeah. To answer all those questions. So maybe AI will help us with that in the future.

[02:02:35] Gabby Reece: I think it’s right around the corner. You have no idea.

[02:02:36] Jordan Rogers: I’ve got some idea, but we’ll see. I talk enough. I don’t know if I need an AI chatbot to talk anymore, but it might. We’ll see. It might help. Thank you. Thank you for having me. Thank you, Jordan. Yes, absolutely. ​


About Jordan Rogers

Jordan Rogers has built a 15-year career with Nike after recovering from heroin addiction and incarceration.

Most recently leading brand marketing for Nike Basketball in North America, he’s had the privilege of serving athletes in many divisions, from Nike Women’s to Nike Football.

He was fortunate to work with some of the best athletes & artists in the world, including Ja Morant, Kevin Durant, Sabrina Ionescu, Odell Beckham Jr, Kyler Murray, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sanya Richards Ross, Virgil Abloh, and many more.

Jordan didn’t have the grades to get into the business school, but studying Ancient History birthed a passion for stories that last forever. It turns out branding & marketing are more about stories than studies.

Husband & Father are his most cherished titles. Founder was added to the list when he started Perseus Creative to help College Athletes & Companies Be Brave, Think Different & Celebrate Victory.