Troy Aikman gained three Tremendous Bowls. He made an preliminary funding in Wingstop, owned automobile dealerships and transitioned to calling primetime Nationwide Soccer League video games for Fox Sports activities.
You would say Aikman has finished lots on the sector and within the enterprise world. Now the previous Dallas Cowboys quarterback will strive his hand within the beer trade.
On Tuesday, Aikman, 55, launched EIGHT, a light-weight beer firm he co-founded with 4 different people. EIGHT will solely be bought in Texas and distributed at notable retail areas, together with HEB, a outstanding grocery store chain in South Texas.
Aikman spoke to CNBC this week about EIGHT’s future.
“If we transcend the borders of Texas,” mentioned Aikman, “then we’ll all be excited as a result of which means that there is a want and demand exterior the state.”
Aikman labels EIGHT “better-four-you-beer” because the beverage says it is low in energy and makes use of natural elements. He additionally spoke about his unsure future at Fox Sports activities, calling Sunday afternoon video games, because the community is in a bidding warfare with Amazon to retain Aikman.
“I do know there are a number of conversations which might be happening, however in all honesty, I do not know what that may appear like,” Aikman mentioned when requested about his future calling NFL video games.
From Roger Staubach to Dak Prescott
Earlier than working in media, Aikman led the Cowboys to a few Tremendous Bowls within the Nineties, together with the franchise’s final championship in 1996.
However Aikman pointed to a time earlier in his profession studying from one other Cowboys star quarterback in Roger Staubach.
He needed to imitate Staubach’s success in actual property investing. Staubach bought his actual property empire – The Staubach Firm – in 2008 for $613 million.
Troy Aikman #8 of the Dallas Cowboys throws a pass against the Washington Redskins during an NFL football game October 2, 1994 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
Focus On Sport | Getty Images
“I thought at the time that was going to be kind of my business venture that took me into some areas away from football,” said Aikman, who eventually found success in the auto industry.
Aikman opened a line of car dealerships that sold brands including Chevrolet, Jeep and Chrysler. He sold the dealership in 2000, according to ESPN.
And Aikman was additionally an early investor in Wingstop earlier than promoting his shares when the restaurant franchise went public in July 2015.
Mentioned Aikman: “What I’ve discovered in my enterprise ventures is that there have been some actually nice ideas of nice manufacturers that you just be ok with, however in the end it is the individuals who execute it. I actually discovered through the years to speculate extra within the folks than the rest.”
Aikman joined beer trade consultants Doug Campbell, a former president of Brewery Ommegang, former Anheuser-Busch official Phil Leinhart and enlisted Oregon State College’s beer program to assist develop EIGHT over the past two years.
“It took a number of effort and a number of time,” mentioned Aikman. “We had some actual consultants who have been concerned. We went by a number of samples and a number of tastings to get it to the place it’s.”
Aikman mentioned EIGHT would seem on draft in Texas eating places beginning Feb. 1. The corporate will promote packs of the beverage in shops, together with HEB. The native distribution at HEB, which brings in $32.8 in income in accordance with Forbes, will assist develop EIGHT’s model consciousness and availability amongst beer customers in Texas.
“I used to be amazed at how enthusiastic they have been about our idea and what we needed to do with it,” Aikman mentioned. “It solely stood to motive that if we’re launching in Texas, and initially solely going to be in Texas, that HEB can be a giant a part of that.”
Aikman did not disclose the value vary of EIGHT however mentioned “it will be worth lined with our rivals.”
Requested a few future pouring rights alternative along with his former workforce, which might permit EIGHT to be bought at Cowboys video games, Aikman responded: “It appears pure that we’d be on the AT&T Stadium, however I do know there are different manufacturers which have paid some huge cash. So, I do not know the place that may lead. However [Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott] has gotten his shipments.”
Prescott is co-owner of Stroll-On’s eating places in Dallas-Fort Price and Waco, so the present Cowboys star might be influential in EIGHT’s availability on the areas.
“We’ll see whether or not or not he likes it and needs to be part of it,” Aikman mentioned.
Broadcast character Troy Aikman, left, talks with sports activities reporter Ed Werder, proper, earlier than a NFL soccer sport between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019.
Michael Ainsworth | AP
However whereas Aikman waits for his mild beer enterprise to develop, there’s the upcoming enterprise to deal with along with his NFL media profession.
Final November, Front Office Sports reported Amazon would goal Aikman for its NFL Thursday Evening Bundle, which begins solely within the 2022 season.
Aikman gained expertise calling the competition with Fox Sports activities along with Sunday afternoon NFL video games on the community final season. The NFL’s package deal will air on Amazon’s Prime Video nationally however nonetheless seem on TV networks in native markets.
Requested to deal with the hypothesis surrounding his future, Aikman mentioned: “I’ve completely loved my time with Fox. I have been there 21 years – it is exhausting to consider – and I have been working with Joe Buck for 20 years. I’ve had the identical producer for all 21 years I have been broadcasting. I like the folks I work with, and I like the folks I work for, so my hope is I get to proceed to remain on with Fox.
“However I actually,” Aikman added, “I do not know the way that is going to shake out when that is all mentioned and finished.”
It might come right down to how a lot Fox values Aikman.
Aikman is making roughly $7.5 million per 12 months at Fox Sports activities, in accordance with USA Today. Requested if cash will play a giant half in deciding his subsequent transfer, Aikman responded: “I feel that is all the time part of it, but it surely’s a lot larger than that.”
Newly inducted members of the NFL Corridor of Fame stand after a information convention in Detroit, Michigan February 4, 2006. (L to R) Former quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys Troy Aikman, former Oakland Raiders coach John Madden, Sara White, the spouse of former Inexperienced Bay Packer Reggie White, former quarterback of the Houston Oilers Warren Moon and Rayfield Wright of the Dallas Cowboys.
Mike Cassese | Reuters
Aikman’s Madden reminiscence
However although Aikman was uncertain about the way forward for his NFL broadcasting enterprise, maybe him reminiscing in regards to the late John Madden will present some hints to his future.
Aikman mentioned he shared an in depth relationship with Madden, the previous NFL coach and iconic broadcaster who died on Dec. 28 at age 85. He recalled the day Madden called him about a career move following the 2001 season – Aikman’s first year calling games on Fox.
“He said, ‘Hey, I just want to let you know I’m going to Monday Night Football,'” Aikman remembered. “I couldn’t believe it. And then the very next year, all of a sudden, I was working in the number one booth.
“I think one of the reasons why he left was at that time, I think he was interested in working a primetime game on Monday Night Football,” added Aikman. “That was unique, and the only time there was a prime time game.”
In the later years, though, after Madden retired from broadcasting in 2009, Aikman said, “in conversations that I’ve had with him, he always felt that the best time for NFL football viewing was Sunday afternoon at 4:20 Eastern Time. I think there’s a lot of truth to that – it feels good.
“Sunday afternoons, I think that’s when people are used to really gearing in and watching the big game,” Aikman added.
When discussing his favorite Madden moment, Aikman flashed back to 2006, when the two were inducted together in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
At the event’s luncheon, Hall of Fame honorees were asked to wear the same colored golf shirt, and unsure of which color to wear, Aikman sent Madden his first text message ever. But Madden’s response was delayed for a good 15 minutes.
“All of a sudden, my phone lights up, and he texted me back and told me [the shirt color],” Aikman said. “I saw him 30 minutes later, he told me, ‘I didn’t know what the hell that was. My phone lit up, and I got these words on there. What do you call that?’ I said that’s texting.
“I’m dying laughing as he’s telling me this story,” added Aikman: “That was his greatness – he can take something that was pretty mundane for most people and turn into a really entertaining moment.”
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.