Larry Fitzgerald is attacking the board room the same way he took on cornerbacks during a sensational NFL career.
The 11-time Pro Bowl wide receiver who caught more passes for more yards than every player in league history other than Jerry Rice has transitioned smoothly to the corporate world since playing his last game with the Arizona Cardinals in 2020.
Fitzgerald is aiming to help young athletes maximize their earning potential with more financial opportunities available to them now than ever before.
“I was fortunate to have two parents that really put my best interests in hand in every decision they made,” Fitzgerald said on the AP Pro Football Podcast. “It was never about the money. It was always about ‘who can I trust that’s going to have my son’s best interest?’ And then it really helped me flush out all the ideas and thoughts that I had. And, if we didn’t have the answers, we knew where to go to be able to get solid answers.”
Fitzgerald saw firsthand the opportunities student-athletes have when he spoke at Alabama, Notre Dame and California over the past year.
“I couldn’t believe the resources that are available. They have social media teams to help the young men create content if that’s what they want to do,” Fitzgerald said. “If they want to get into entrepreneurship, they have skills development teams that come in and help them do that. I mean, just everything that they’re doing to help create this well-rounded student athlete on top of being able to make substantial money.”
Fitzgerald recently became a board member with Infinite Athlete, a cutting-edge technology company whose mission is “to build an operating system for sports that powers infinite innovation and makes sports better for the fan, the game, and the athlete.”
Infinite Athlete, which already works with the Pac-12, has partnered with NFL Players Inc., the commercial branch of the NFL Players Association, to create more opportunities for players. Also, Infinite Athlete’s technology will continue to support player health and wellness efforts through the NFLPA’s data-driven approach to injury mitigation and its on-field safety engineering efforts.
“We’ve always been a player-focused company because what we have always believed was that ultimately you have 32 NFL teams, but you have 1,800 NFL players and that if you can sort of empower them the way we empower Pac-12 players, you can grow this business well,” said Charlie Ebersol, co-founder and CEO of Infinite Athlete.
“(Former Steelers star) Hines Ward used to tell me that the secret to being a successful athlete is learning that you are the CEO of your own brand. A lot of what we’ve built is trying to empower players to be able to do that without having to become engineers or developers or figure out how to use technology.”
Through Infinite Athlete’s technology, a player could request clips of every one of their plays from various angles. That’s important for someone like a right guard who doesn’t have easy access to clips of TD passes like quarterbacks would. Or a defensive lineman or linebacker who sacked Tom Brady but every television angle only shows the QB.
“You see what (Colorado quarterback) Shedeur (Sanders) has done, giving him access to be able to take advantage of just all of the media attention that he’s getting to be able to monetize it,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s something that a lot of athletes now that are playing wish they would have had the opportunity to do when they were playing (in college). Infinite Athlete is giving us the ability to do that, improving player safety, on-field conditions and Charlie’s done a great job of putting together a strategic board that can kind of help them think through strategically all the things that can make it a better experience for everybody that’s involved.”
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