Here are a few of my favorite images of humor, motivation and life from the week ending April 28, 2019.
- Special Olympics event—Special Olympics Chicago held a fantastic event at Carnivale. It was a huge turnout and a ton of energy and amidst the usual speeches from the board and others supporting the organization, it was terrific to see some of the Special Olympics athletes taking part in the celebration and posing for photos as celebrities.
- Crain’s Chicago Business Chicago Cubs event—We all know the Cubs have made a huge amount of progress in the redevelopment of the area around Wrigley. It has been a tremendous undertaking which was spearheaded by Crane Kenney. Nice to see him again after we had golfed together in law school and hear his perspectives about the challenges of making changes to the ballpark while trying to retain the characters (and the urinal troughs).
- Tony Robbins event—I met Kayla at Tony Robbins last July, so it seemed appropriate that we went together to this most recent event in Chicago. In addition to Tony Robbins, it was fantastic to hear from Kevin O’Leary (Shark Tank). His harsh brashness has a sort of endearing quality to it, something that seems impossible, but he pulls it off. Gary Vaynerchuk also got on the stage and in between the f-bombs, Gary gave some frank advice. He has tremendous energy and passion and he has no qualms about calling people out for their BS. Tony Robbins came on to bat cleanup for the event and despite a depleted look and his recent illness, he managed to really put a ton of energy on display. It was “only” 4 hours for him, instead of the usual 4 days, but his passion and ability to push people the right direction continues to amaze me. So much has changed in my life since I went to the first event last July it is almost amazing. Great new energy and people in my life and I definitely learned a lot about myself. I would encourage you to attend one of his events if you have the opportunity (or I should really say you need to “make” the opportunity).
- Simon’s Heart—It was a pleasure having time to talk with long-time friend Darren Sudman, the Founder of Simon’s Heart. Darren started the organization after his son had passed away and he has spent many years building up the organization to make sure that his tragedy will help other families. Both Darren and his wife Phyllis have been remarkable at their ability to grow the organization and I hope you will listen to his Sports Philanthropy Podcast which is coming up on June 19, 2019.
- Prom—Julia had a fantastic time at prom. It seems like it has become a much bigger event than I remember, but maybe that is just because I didn’t go. I joke that I was waiting for one of the girls to invite me and since that never happened, I stayed at home. Sadly, they had brutal weather including a horrific, late April snow storm that made photographs challenging. In addition to the actual prom, they had a group of 30+ kids rent a house down in the city and spent Saturday night and Sunday night there since Monday was Senior ditch day. Sounds like they had a great time even with some of the mom’s that were chaperones.
- Evans Scholars—I love hearing about how different organizations use sports for social good and/or social change. I am impressed by the creative ways different organizations help harness the power that sports has. Evans Scholars has really built a long track record of providing support which allows former caddies to get support for their college careers. Sitting down for lunch with Ryan Jones, the Director of Development really opened my eyes into the scale of the operation and the complexity of managing so many different board structures, country club environments and other groups that are aligned with Evans Scholars. I hope you will tune in to learn more their work when Ryan joins the Sports Philanthropy Podcast on June 19, 2019. I know it will be very interesting.
- NFL Draft—The NFL Draft is culmination of a long football career for many athletes. The emotions are amazing to watch. Some interesting facts that many casual (and even hard-core) football fans don’t know, include:
- These are the players that are identified as the best in college football.
- Approximately 1500 players sign with agents each year.
- Approximately 330 of them are invited to the NFL Combine.
- Only 250 players get drafted (meaning only just over 2/3 of the players at the Combine get drafted).
- About another 350 get signed as undrafted free agents.
- Doing the math, that means that only about 40% of the players who signed with an agent even get INTO a NFL Training Camp.
Very difficult business for the players and very difficult business model for the agents.
- Power Brain—Excited to start working on a new client called Power Brain. This is a neuroplasticity brain training system which has been used in a variety of settings including military, business and sports. The founder of the system has engaged us to work with him to expand the operations and scale the business. Some terrific applications that exist for this program to be able to benefit so many people. Keep your eyes open here and I will share more details over the coming weeks and coming months.