A partnership between Alex Rodriguez and Barstool Sports seems like a strange match on paper, but the MLB analyst has teamed with the website for a podcast series covering, of all things, sports business.
According to Yahoo Finance, Rodriguez and Dan “Big Cat” Katz will host the new business podcast. Titled The Corp, Rodriguez and Katz will cover “business success and failure” with a variety of guests. The seven part series launches Thursday and will release all seven episodes at once, giving listeners the opportunity to binge listen the series, a strategy that isn’t implemented often and is a first for Barstool and their network of podcasts. Even before the official launch of the series, a second season season is planned, seemingly indicating that everyone involved is quite confident about the launch.
The guest list is a rather eclectic group of people in and out of the sports world, including Kobe Bryant and Mike Francesa.
Guests include NBA legend Kobe Bryant, real estate mogul and CNBC Shark Tank personality Barbara Corcoran, New York sports radio host Mike Francesa, Fanatics founder and Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, Starwood Hotels founder Barry Sternlicht, and social media marketer Gary Vaynerchuk. Square’s Cash App is the exclusive presenting sponsor.
The catalyst for the partnership was CEO Erika Nardini, who got the partnership together after A-Rod met with Katz at various times over the previous year thanks to a number of references to A-Rod Corp on Pardon My Take.
Rodriguez explained why he was interested in the podcast to Yahoo Finance, and also why he wanted to focus on the business successes and failures of the show’s guests. So many people believe that you’re finished after one failure, but A-Rod wants people to know that successful people can also fail and that doesn’t mean the end of the world.
“All of our guests had one thing in common: they all had miserable falls,” Rodriguez says. “And they all had the ability to get back up, dust off, and redefine themselves. That jumped off the page to me, and how much they own their failures. And I speak a lot about my situation and my comeback.”
A-Rod also touched on his association with Barstool, which has both a fiercely loyal fanbase and an incredibly vocal group of detractors. Rodriguez casually mentioned that some may not like his association with them, but he feels it’s an opportunity to speak about business to millennials in a way that is better for them and not in the kind of “buttoned up” corporate speak he engages in while on other outlets.
“Look, any time you do something, there’s going to be reaction—some positive, some not so positive,” Rodriguez said to Yahoo Finance. “I think the Barstool platform is unique in many ways. I think it has the ear of millennials. I think there’s a way of communicating with millennials about sports and business in a way that isn’t so buttoned up. For most of my other work, it is buttoned up, whether that’s Fox or ESPN, or CNBC. I think with this, we get to have a little bit of fun and show our personalities.”
With broadcasting with ESPN and Fox, and with a non-sports role on CNBC with Shark Tank, Rodriguez is forging relationships with many media outlets. Now, he has added Barstool to his expanding workload, and I don’t think very many people would have predicted that 12 months ago.