Five-day program includes seminars in Business Management and Entrepreneurship, Franchising, Product Design and Real Estate
Thirty-four current and former NFL players – including Philadelphia Eagles WRJORDAN MATTHEWS, Washington Redskins RB ALFRED MORRIS, and Green Bay Packers LB JULIUS PEPPERS – will take part in the inaugural NFL Business Academy Feb. 29-Mar. 4 at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, named for Miami Dolphins Owner STEPHEN M. ROSS. Spouses and significant others of eight players will also attend as part of NFL Player Engagement’s commitment to involve players’ families in the professional development and career transition process.
The NFL Business Academy builds upon and brings together the Business Management and Entrepreneurship (BM&E), Consumer Products and Franchising Boot Camps to offer a single, comprehensive program. During the week, participants will hear from Ross faculty, successful business leaders, and NFL veterans who have transitioned to careers in the corporate world. Participants will explore three concentrations – Franchising, Product Design, and Real Estate – in addition to the high-level BM&E curriculum.
“We are dedicated to preparing our players for the next phase in their lives,” saidCHARLES WAY, vice president of NFL Player Engagement. “This expanded program provides the education, mentorship and business advice that will help our players and their significant others to achieve success in a variety of careers after their time on the field.”
Mr. Ross (BBA ’62), the chairman, and founder of Related Companies, an international real estate firm, will open the program with a question and answer session with Dean Alison Davis-Blake. Former NFL players with corporate experience, including TOM ANDREWS, senior director of Real Estate at Papa John’s; ANGELO CROWELL and his wife Kim Crowell, Jersey Mike’s Subs franchise owners; BRADIE JAMES, MOOYAH Burger & Fries director of brand engagement and franchise owner; and VAN JAKES,McDonald’s franchise owner, will take part in panel discussions. Participants will also make site visits to local businesses, franchises and real estate developments in Ann Arbor, MI, including Orangetheory Fitness, Papa John’s, Jersey Mike’s, Bleznak Investment Group and McKinley Properties, to supplement the classroom experience.
Michigan Ross Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research FRANCINE LAFONTAINE, co-author of The Economics of Franchising (Cambridge University Press) and leading academic expert on franchise performance, and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship LEN MIDDLETON, serve as faculty co-directors of the program and will lead program workshops along with other distinguished Ross faculty members.
“The NFL is exactly the type of organization we like to partner with as they are eager to co-create truly unique and impactful learning experiences,” said Lafontaine. “We are especially excited to work with NFL Player Engagement to bring this year’s expanded curriculum to players and their families so they have the sound business fundamentals necessary to pursue whatever business path they choose for their post-playing careers.”
NFL Player Engagement worked with Michigan Ross to design the customized program. The curriculum is based on a proven pedagogy that mixes lecture, group discussion, practitioner presentations and visits to the field, with an action-based project where participants will apply their learnings with group business presentations.
Following is a list of participating players:
Former (MIN, PHI, SEA)
Former (IND, NYG)
Former (DET, MIN, SEA)
About NFL Player Engagement
NFL Player Engagement assists players in reaching their highest potential on and off-the-field with guidance, support, and resources provided before, during, and after their NFL experiences. NFL Player Engagement works with three core audiences: Prep, Life, and Next. NFL Life (current players) and NFL Next (former players) reach more than 2,000 NFL players and spouses each year through a variety of programs and services focused on career development, financial and continuing education, as well as personal, psychological, and physical wellness. NFL Prep provides high-school and college student-athletes of all sports with tools to help them succeed in life, focused on awareness, prevention, and education. More information can be found atwww.nflplayerengagement.com.
About Michigan Ross
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today’s dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.
Ross is consistently ranked among the world’s leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the BBA, MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.
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