Founder & Managing Partner of RedBird Capital Partners Gerry Cardinale recently talked with Jason Kelly at the Bloomberg Wealth Summit. They discuss many sports and business topics, including the XFL, and working with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Dany Garcia, his fellow co-owners of the XFL.
Cardinale was asked about the XFL, and he gave his vision of the XFL 3.0.
“The XFL for me, the investing I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and the XFL and the stuff I do today in sports and media is really a continuum of 30 years of investing.
I think it’s just harder for anybody to show up today from a standing start and start investing in these sectors. The XFL is so unique. It’s an opportunity to create a live event media company with the potential to be global, rooted in legitimate football. Most people look at the XFL and see it’s a spring football League.”
He then talks about fellow XFL Co-Owner Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and why he and Dany Garcia are so interested in the success of the XFL.
“Dwayne Johnson looks at the XFL very differently. The great thing about Dwayne is if you said to him, he’s the biggest celebrity in the world, a phenomenal human being.
If you said to him, what’s your one regret? First of all, I would think Dwayne should have none… his one regret is not making the NFL… he remembers back to when he didn’t make the NFL, and he went to the Canadian Football League… then into wrestling, he didn’t make it in the CFL.
That is a passion for him… that he wants to now revisit and make things available to fans and players particularly. So his whole ethos, what to me was, look, we should look at this a little differently. Obviously, we’re not the NFL, but there’s a need. We did the work, and there is absolutely a desire and a need for spring football. So there’s no binary risk there.
Then the question becomes, with a partnership with someone like Dwayne and Dany Garcia, can we create a new version of the way people think about leagues and sports, where it’s rooted in true live event entertainment.“
He then talks about the partnership with the NFL.
“You put a very credible and NFL quality type product on the field, but you put the fan and the players at the center. Then you have an alliance, a partnership with the NFL like we’ve established, where is a synergy where some of the things that we’re going to be doing experimentally can be things that the NFL adopts, and then it helps the whole ecosystem… I’m fascinated by this. I think it is as far as I’m probably going to go to something like this.
Still, I’m very proud that with everything going on in the world. You talked about the convergence of sports media and culture. This XFL is the first League in history owned by a diverse woman and an African American.”
They talk about investing in sports, The YES Network, how sports cable viewership is up, not going down, working with LeBron James, Sports 2.0, and more. You can view the full Bloomberg Wealth Summit interview here.
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