Alex Rodriguez’s goals in business started as soon as he turned pro. Now on the other side of one of the most successful—and controversial—careers in baseball history, his ambitions are accelerating.

“I came to a place of accountability,” Rodriguez said in an interview. “I had good moments and I had very tough moments [in baseball], but I have a clean slate when it comes to being a father, to being a partner, to being a businessman, to being a friend. So I draw incredible motivation from that.”

During a series of wide-ranging interviews in Miami for the Quicktake Originals series “Athlete|Empire,” the 46-year-old Rodriguez laid out a vision for a network of businesses under his A-Rod Corp. umbrella that builds on his success in real estate dating back two decades and now includes private equity and venture investments, a SPAC and an ownership stake in two professional basketball teams.

The baseball world continues to weigh Rodriguez’s achievements against his sins. The former Mariner, Ranger and Yankee is newly eligible for the Hall of Fame, and it remains to be seen if his world-class stats and subsequent work as a CEO, broadcaster and investor draw attention away from the troubling parts of his career on the field.

From MLB To The NBA
His partner in purchasing the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA’s Lynx is founder and Walmart Inc.’s former head of e-commerce, Marc Lore. He and Rodriguez met initially in a failed bid to buy the New York Mets and have since collaborated on a number of projects, including a $400 million fund called VCP Ventures.

Rodriguez has assiduously courted advice from some of the world’s best known business leaders and investors; his Miami office features pictures of him with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. He credits basketball star Magic Johnson—one of just a few former players who moved into team ownership—with writing a blueprint for building a business empire.

Winning On Social Media
Beyond those associations, Rodriguez has become a mega-presence on social media: A video board steps from his desk tracks his followers and impressions. He has more followers on Instagram than the team he just bought (the Timberwolves), the last team he played for (the New York Yankees), or any other baseball player, current or former.

Rodriguez said his interest in social media and communications evolved in the year he spent serving the longest suspension in baseball history, his punishment for using performance-enhancing drugs. During that time, he “had an opportunity to turn the lens inward and understand why I was making some of the good choices, the poor choices, the bad bad choices, and understand the conversation, understand storytelling,” he said.

“We’ve really leaned into data, into social media, the digital conversation and commerce,” Rodriguez said, noting that his teenage daughters were responsible for turning him on to Snap Inc., where he became an early investor. “We’ve invested a great deal into really understanding where we sit as a company, as a person, as a family.”

That analysis has helped drive investments in consumer companies like Hims & Hers, Gopuff and Acorns. All told, A-Rod's venture arm has backed more than 60 companies since 2011, and the portfolio has average annual unrealized gains of 2.2 times during the past three years, the company said.

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