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Welcome to a new episode of Office Hours: a podcast with Front Office Sports CEO Adam White and figures from the sports industry. This season is focused on athletes, both current and retired, who have found success in business endeavors off the field.
On today’s episode, we’re joined by Devon Kennard, Arizona Cardinals Outside Linebacker and Real Estate Investor.
A product of USC, Kennard has found success on and off the field with a multi-million dollar real estate portfolio that includes 14 different properties across multiple states.
Edited highlights appear below:
On how his senior year of high school changed his outlook on life after football (4:17)
Kennard: My senior year, I essentially just needed to stay healthy.
I had every top university coming to my school, the head coaches pulling me out of classes and I just needed to stay healthy my senior year.
The third game of the year, I was trying to seal the game and I took a crack across my kneed and I tore my ACL. That was a devastating time for me. It was the first time in my life where I faced some real tough adversity.
The injury made me realize I have to have something else. I have to tether my identity to more than just football because football might not always be there.
On building a network while in college (11:08)
Kennard: When I was in college I started to think about what I wanted to do and I was big on networking.
I went to every booster event, alumni association event, really anything where I can meet some older people that are successful and get business cards.
When you meet people and get business cards, write something memorable about them. It differentiates you from everybody else.
So I started doing those things in college to build relationships, build the network and figure out ways that I could be successful.
On his Mount Rushmore of business leaders (19:55)
Kennard: It’s hard to say one person. I actually take a lot from a lot of different people. Names that come to my mind are Magic Johnson, LeBron James, and Grant Cardone. I’m a big fan of Tony Robbins. I’m a big fan of Kevin Hart and what he’s, he’s built. I’m a big fan of the Rock and the success he’s had in business and obviously in his profession.
I feel like I’ve kind of taken a lot from a lot of different people.
On dealing with current events and acts of racial injustice (25:20)
Kennard: It’s been hard to juggle. Seeing all of the social injustice going on against Black people in America and dealing with that and seeing it on TV every day is heavy.
It’s conversations that need to happen. And I’m glad that it’s being addressed. And I hope that our generation and generations moving forward can start to move the needle on the systemic racism that’s plagued our country for generations.
Now we can start to move forward and make this place a better and more equal place for all.
On the legacy he wants to leave behind (27:25)
Kennard: I’m a firm believer that football is what I do I do, but it’s not who I am.
I want to leave a legacy for my family beyond just the game of football. It starts with being a husband, a father, and a friend. Obviously I’m a football player, but I’m also a businessman and a real estate investor.
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