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Suiting Up with Paul Rabil

Suiting Up with Paul Rabil

United States

An International, MLL, NLL and NCAA lacrosse Champion, Rabil splits his time between the gym and office, where he operates companies, oversees a lengthy investment portfolio, and runs the Paul Rabil Foundation. Mashable said, "Talking to Rabil can feel more like a conversation with a business development executive than the average pro athlete." Suiting Up is an interview style show that explores the playbook of tools, skills, tips, technologies and strategies professional athletes (NBA, NFL, MLB, PGA, etc.) use to succeed on and off the field. 

Episodes

Joe DeFranco: High Performance Specialist and Entrepreneur  

"The best athletes in the world train for a higher purpose, not for the money." Joe DeFranco is the founder and owner of the world-famous DeFranco’s Gym. For the past two decades, athletes from around the world have hired Joe because of his remarkable ability to improve strength, speed, power, mobility, agility and sport-specific endurance. Joe’s training techniques have been featured in and on ESPN, Spike TV, NFL Network, WWE Network, Men’s Health Magazine, Men’s Fitness Magazine and in the NY Times best-selling book, The 4-Hour Body. His resume includes NFL players from all 32 teams, MLB & NBA players, UFC fighters, Olympic athletes, MLL players, WWE superstars, and college All-Americans. 

In 2015, Joe was inducted into the Personal Trainer Hall of Fame (an international organization) in the Trend Setter division. He is recognized as an individual who has had a significant contribution to the personal training industry, specifically by creating trends which have dramatically influenced the world of fitness.

Joe co-created the Certified Physical Preparation Specialist (CPPS) course, DeFrancoInsider.com membership site, as well as a series of best-selling DVD’s and manuals. He also hosts the Industrial Strength Show – a top-ranked weekly podcast dedicated to training for peak performance, mindset and living your passion. 

I’m your host Paul Rabil and welcome to Suiting Up Podcast, where I interview athletes, media executives, team owners, and other key stakeholders about the performance attributes acquired through the vehicle of sports.Today’s athlete, whether active or retired, is continuously redefining what it means to be a professional on and off the field. You can find more info on DeFranco's podcast, links to his social media and businesses, by visiting http://suitinguppodcast.com.

Mike Rabil: Dartmouth Football Captain and Entrepreneur  

"People build businesses, not excel spreadsheets." It's my favorite quote coming from this week's multi-talented guest: my older brother, Mike Rabil. There are many layers to how this saying can be interpreted, especially in sports. An easy translation could be "people win championships, not statistics." However, I think unpacking which type of person who wins championships should be our core focus. Mike believes the emotional intelligence of an individual has become the core ingredient to business and sports success. 

Mike's senior to me by 23 months. We did everything together growing up, are best friends, and business partners today. We started our professional relationship by opening a franchise gym together in 2008. That gym, called Snap Fitness, turned into a portfolio of 7, followed by the development of our own concept, a hybrid spin, TRX and group training business called TurnStyle Cycle. Along the way, we won and lost, learned valuable lessons, made relationships with new operators and business partners, built new properties, and began our own venture investment portfolio company, Rabil Ventures.

This is by far and away my most personal and intimate interview yet. The former Dartmouth football lineman, all-Ivy League captain, now multiple-time entrepreneur, investor, and most importantly, operator, has a lot of wisdom to embark on us.

I’m your host Paul Rabil and welcome to Suiting Up Podcast, where I interview athletes, media executives, team owners, and other key stakeholders about the duality of the modern professional athlete. From player startup investing appetite, NewCos, social media influencing, creative marketing and digital strategy, today’s athlete, whether active or retired, is continuously redefining what it means to be a professional on and off the field.

Nikki and Brie Bella: WWE Wrestlers and Reality TV Stars  

Nikki and Brie Bella are the next Kardashians. They're professional wrestlers in the WWE, massive social media influencers, women’s inclusion and health activists, and co-founders of Birdee Bee, a women's health clothing line. From a stat-staggering standpoint, the Bella's represent the largest aggregate social media following of any female athlete or sister duo in professional sports. Throughout the show, I look to unpack how they’ve built their audience, what platforms they’re investing in, how they curate differently on each, and how Total Divas and Total Bella's on E! Network has impacted their career.

When their first WWE tryout didn’t meet their expectations (they weren't given the chance to wrestle), as former college soccer standouts, they plead to executives to give them a chance in the ring. They earned that contract and since their entrance into the WWE, the women’s division has blossomed, with main events at PPV’s, and its own Women's Championship Division.

The Bella Twins are gearing up for Season 6 of Total Divas and Season 2 of their second reality TV show on E!, Total Bella's – which premiers on September 6th. We’ll have all their links, social media handles, and show notes on www.suitinguppodcast.com.

I’m your host Paul Rabil and welcome to Suiting Up, where I interview athletes, media executives, team owners, and other key stakeholders about the duality of the modern professional athlete, their startup investing appetite, other strategic investments, NewCos, social media influencing, creative marketing and digital strategy. Today’s athlete, whether active or retired, is continuously redefining what it means to be a professional on and off the field, or in this case, the ring.

Travis Pastrana: Motosports Champion and NitroCircus Co-Founder  

He's a motorsports competitor and stunt performer, winning championships and X Games gold medals in major events like supercross, motocross, freestyle motocross, and rally racing. Never a challenge too daring, Travis Pastrana also competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for Roush Fenway Racing and the Global RallyCross Championship for Subaru Rally Team USA, where he strung together a number of Top 10 finishes.

Pastrana's a household name in sports. He's amassed over 10 million followers across his social media platforms. Yet even more impressive than the wins and social influence, Pastrana co-founded Nitro Circus, which in 2013 merged with the Raine Group, and is considered a billion dollar sports franchise, according to Forbes.

Talk about the modern athlete. Pastrana is the best in the world, creates premium content, launched an event circuit, hired employees, raised money, and is now taking his sport to all new heights.

In this episode, we’ll talk about “the flow state” of action sports athletes, how they put their lives on the line, and how Travis is a man of "commitment to the task". Pastrana lets us into his world of fitness and nutrition, injury recovery (there has been a lot), and how to start a sports league. 

Isaiah Kacyvenski: NFL LB and HBS Graduate  

When he was 9, he set a goal for himself to play in the NFL. He hung up a sign in his room that read, “let no one outwork you today." After 9 successful seasons in the NFL, Isaiah Kacyvenski entered into his second career, entrepreneurship.

Isaiah earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and is now the Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Sports Innovation Lab. Previously, he was one of the first employees to join early stage startup, Mc10 Inc., a cutting-edge conformal electronics company, as their Global Head of Business Development. He’s an investor in, and advisor to, several companies in technology, sports, biotech, consumer, media and sports medicine.

"Working hard, and aligning that work ethic with your passion is an unbelievable thing." Isaiah grew up in poverty. He struggled to find his identity, especially with a volatile parental upbringing. During some of his teen years, he was homeless. An incredible success story, Isaiah’s both a fascinating and inspiring individual.

Welcome to Suiting Up Podcast, where I interview athletes, media executives, team owners, and other key stakeholders about the duality of the modern professional athlete, their startup investing appetite, other strategic investments, NewCos, social media influencing, creative marketing and digital strategy. Today’s athlete, whether active or retired, is continuously redefining what it means to be a professional on and off the field.

Drew Brees: NFL QB and Investor  

"I want to be the best football player I can be for as long as I can be." Drew Brees is a man of football records. For starters, he's the Big Ten record-holder in virtually every passing category. Since 2006, he has more touchdowns, passing yards, and 300-yard games than any other NFL quarterback, he's eclipsed the 5,000 passing yard season-marker five times in his career, where no other NFL quarterback has achieved this more than once. He's a Super Bowl Champion, MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and the list goes on.

Off the field, Brees owns dozens of franchises, including Dunkin' Donuts, Jimmy John's, Title Boxing Club, and others. He's invested in tech startups, most recently leading a $10mm seed round with a Louisiana-based food delivery startup, Waitr. His investment thesis is tight.

In Episode 13, Drew and I talk about recovering from career-threatening injuries, his crossover skill sets from NFL captain and quarterback to business operator and investor, and what characteristics he looks for from founders in pitch meetings as well as rookies in the NFL. 

Welcome to Suiting Up Podcast, where I interview athletes, media executives, team owners, and other key stakeholders about the duality of the modern professional athlete, their startup investing appetite, other strategic investments, NewCos, social media influencing, creative marketing and digital strategy. Today’s athlete, whether active or retired, is continuously redefining what it means to be a professional on and off the field.

Scott Soshnick: Bloomberg Sports Business Reporter  

“Athletes are crossover stars in business, fashion, media, news, you name it.” The business of sports has changed. Athletes have more leverage than ever, ownership groups and labor lawyers are restructuring their Collective Bargaining Agreements, brands are paying more in endorsement dollars, and media spends are being governed by social media influence.

In Episode 12, I sit down with the head of Bloomberg Sports Business to discuss the overarching landscape. Bloomberg Media is the largest global business news platform, powered by 2,700 journalists and analysts across 120 countries. Scott Soshnick has written major breaking and news headlines for over 120 publications, and we discuss some of his favorites on the show.

Welcome to Suiting Up Podcast, where I interview athletes, media executives, team owners, and other key stakeholders about the duality of the modern professional athlete, their startup investing appetite, other strategic investments, NewCos, social media influencing, creative marketing and digital strategy. Today’s athlete, whether active or retired, is continuously redefining what it means to be a professional on and off the field.

Paul Rabil and Tyler Steinhardt: How We Built This Podcast  

"We spend hours in prep and research for each guest on our show." Last week, we published our 10th episode of Suiting Up. It's been a year since my co-creator, Tyler Steinhardt, and I first ideated a podcast theme, built a plan, and began to take our first measured steps towards execution. 

No matter the business, taking your concept to actionable steps is challenging. Funding the product creation cycle is risky. Going to market is rare. Acquiring customers (or in our case, listeners) is hard. In episode 11, Tyler and I invite you behind-the-scenes to talk about when, why and how we created the show, what we've learned, and the challenges that lie ahead. 

From founding tech-centric startups, to deploying strategic investments to leveraging social media and building a digital brand, today’s athlete, whether active or retired, is continuously redefining what it means to be a professional off the playing surface. Welcome to Suiting Up with Paul Rabil.

Drew Westervelt: MLL Attackman and Entrepreneur  

One of the best goal scorers of the modern era, this 6'5 250 pound attackman has played professionally in Colorado, Maryland, Philadelphia, and New York. He won a Gold Medal at the 2010 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships, and co-founded Hex Performance, a athleisure detergent designed for the active person. 

As a pro lacrosse player and entrepreneur, Drew Westervelt spends close to half of his time in transit; from playing in games, to raising money for his business, testing product, and meeting with retailers. In between, Drew discovered that traditional detergent was no longer effective for cleaning our synthetic workout fabrics - so he found a solution.

I love the ingenuity of athletes that crossover into business. They attack a concept much like they would their physical training or opposition's defensive schemes. Drew gives us an inside look at the ebbs and flows of entrepreneurship, and which acquired skillsets in sports have aided his entrepreneurial spirit.

Welcome to Suiting Up, where professional lacrosse player, operator and investor, Paul Rabil, talks to influencers within the world of sports to examine the modern duality of a professional athlete.

Jeremy Lin: NBA Guard and Philanthropist  

"I want to be real. I want to be authentic. I don't want to endorse something that I don't do myself." Many know our next guest from turning around the NBA's 2012 New York Knicks Season. Growing up in Palo Alto, he was the Northern California HS Basketball Player of the Year, graduated as a four-year starter from Harvard, and went undrafted in the NBA. Now playing for the Brooklyn Nets, Jeremy Lin, is the NBA's first player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. 

Lin's social media audience amasses over 20 million followers, he's an investor in several startups, has a participatory stake in esports, and runs the Jeremy Lin Foundation, which loves and serves children, by providing hope, empowerment and leadership development. 

In this episode, Jeremy and I talk about how he prepares for games in the most traveled pro sports league on the planet, why he does business with family, as well as the media and endorsement frenzy that ensued from Linsanity. He sold more jerseys and appeared on more consecutive Sports Illustrated covers than any other NBA player not named Michael Jordan. Even the Global Language Monitor declared 'Linsanity' had met it’s criteria to be considered an English-language word. 

Welcome to Suiting Up, where professional lacrosse player, operator and investor, Paul Rabil, talks to influencers within the world of sports to examine the modern duality of a professional athlete. 

Angela Ruggiero: Olympic Hockey Goalie and Entrepreneur  

"When you're challenged, you find out the most about yourself." Angela Ruggiero is one of the most decorated American Olympians of all time. She competed in four Olympics, playing defense for the women's ice hockey team. Today, she's a member of the International Olympic Committee, serving on the Executive Board as its Chairperson of the Athletes' Commission.

Angela Co-Founded and is a Managing Partner of the Sports Innovation Lab, a market research and advisory firm focused on the intersection of sports and innovation. She's the exemplary modern athlete. During the episode we discuss Olympic selection, gender disparity in sports, her decision to go to Harvard Business School, and how that's positioned her well in business. Also, find out the mobile apps on her home screen, and why she strives for 9 hours of rest and still trains regularly.

Welcome to Suiting Up, where professional lacrosse player, operator and investor, Paul Rabil, talks to influencers within the world of sports to examine the modern duality of a professional athlete.

Miles Chamley-Watson: Olympic Fencer and Model  

Miles Chamley-Watson (MCW) was born in London in 1989. He's taken a non-traditional route to a Top 10 world ranking fencer, now Team USA member, and competitor in the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics. He's 6'5, 185 lbs, an African British-American, with dyed blonde hair and tattoos head-to-toe. Definitely not your stereotypical fencer. That's what makes MCW stand out to us. He's pushing an archaic sport to all new heights, leveraging mass sponsorship deals with Nike, Red Bull, GoPro, and now approaching Japanese-based brands, where fencing is considered a mainstream sport. MCW has vision. He's grown his social media presence by 10x over the past 18 months, far beyond his fencing peers (follow him on instagram @MChamleyWatson). His duality? MCW is also a model, represented by IMG Modeling Agency. He's done global campaigns and has been featured on a 300 foot Times Square Billboard. We discuss all of the aforementioned, including time management, training schedules, and the complex of winning and losing amidst promotional growth.

DeMaurice Smith: NFLPA Executive Director and Players' Inc. President  

“Make sure you have the right teammates and trust them to do their job.” In 2009, DeMaurice Smith was unanimously elected as the NFL Players’ Associations Executive Director. Since then, he’s structured a new league CBA, created a $160M annual marketing division, co-founded ACE Media, and engineered the first athlete-driven accelerator, One Team Collective. Smith is empowering the modern day athlete and entrepreneur through education, new platforms, and better working conditions. Throughout our conversation, Smith dives deep into the transactional trenches of negotiations with Roger Goodell, but it’s his advice on mentorship and transformational teaching that’s most impressive. Welcome to Suiting Up, where professional lacrosse player, operator and investor, Paul Rabil, talks to influencers within the world of sports to examine the modern duality of a professional athlete.

Julie Foudy: USA Soccer Captain and Author  

"Be courageous enough to stop worrying about being perfect." In this episode, we talk about leadership through adversity, playing in the moment, avoiding underselling yourself, and focusing on the significance of what you do - rather than calculating your success in wins and losses. Julie Foudy is a two-time FIFA Women's World Cup Champion and Olympic gold medalist. She played for Team USA for 17 years, registering 271 caps (on-field appearances). She captained the teams' she played for, was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, and became the first female ever to be awarded the FIFA Fair Play Award. Today, Julie's a lead color commentator for men's and women's soccer on ESPN, a SportsCenter anchor, and best-selling author of her new book, Choose to Matter: Being Courageously and Fabulously YOU. She's energetic, articulate, intellectually curious, and funny. Welcome to Suiting Up, where professional lacrosse player, operator and investor, Paul Rabil, talks to influencers within the world of sports to examine the modern duality of a professional athlete.

Justin Forsett: NFL RB and Entrepreneur  

“Scared money doesn’t make money.” Forsett was undersized by most NFL standards, especially for one of the most grueling positions in the league. He's disciplined, motivated, thoughtful, and intelligent. Yet these are only a few of the characteristics that helped the 5 foot 8 running back cut, duck, and spin through NFL defenses. Forsett led a dual life as an NFL running back and co-founder of Shower Pill - athletic body wipes developed for post-workout cleansing when showers aren't readily available. Now fresh off retirement, Forsett and I discuss the challenges of building a business, raising money, marketing, and product sell-through. His approach and mindset is fascinating. Notable, and former all-everything San Francisco 49er, Ronnie Lott, is his business mentor. Welcome to Suiting Up, where professional lacrosse player, operator and investor, Paul Rabil, talks to influencers within the world of sports to examine the modern duality of a professional athlete.

Venus Williams: Tennis Star and Entrepreneur  

She’s widely regarded as one of the all-time greats in tennis. With her younger sister, Serena Williams in a best supporting role, she’s helped usher in a new era of power, athleticism and marketability to the women's professional circuit. Her duality as a successful athlete and entrepreneur can be measured by championships and sales figures, but she would tell you her greatest impact has been made through her activism for gender equality in professional sports. Venus Williams is one of the busiest people in sports business. She’s the CEO of her own athleisure company, Eleven by Venus Williams, and CEO of her commercial interior design business, VStarr Interiors (she’s also a minority owner in the Miami Dolphins). For her, it’s important to have life balance, where she’s committed to a plant-based diet, and loves to dance. Welcome to Suiting Up, where professional lacrosse player, operator and investor, Paul Rabil, talks to influencers within the world of sports to examine the modern duality of a professional athlete.

Matt Hasselbeck: NFL QB and ESPN Analyst  

Matt Hasselbeck is the first NFL player on Twitter. Why? We’ll dig into what makes the former 41-year-old quarterback tick. Three characteristics that stood out: his intellectual curiosity, risk aggression and leadership. He was curious about Twitter, sure. However, how the BC grad got drafted to the Green Bay Packers is another story. In this episode, we’ll talk franchise tagging, contract negotiations, and specific techniques Hasselbeck uses to train his mind and body. Hasselbeck’s now a lead anchor for ESPN’s football coverage. He’s also on the advisory board for wearable tech company, Mc10 Inc. Welcome to Suiting Up, where professional lacrosse player, operator and investor, Paul Rabil, talks to influencers within the world of sports to examine the modern duality of a professional athlete.

Bill Belichick: New England Patriots Head Coach  

“Cutting at the right time is more important than being fast.” Coach Belichick is a man of few words – and very few interviews. Actually, this may be his first podcast ever. He runs the New England Patriots like a lean startup. Belichick is at the top of an org chart that employs the fewest number of staffers of any NFL team, he invests in players’ that fit their winning culture, and focuses team efforts on compartmentalizing tasks – or how he famously puts it: “Do Your Job.” Belichick talks about why Lawrence Taylor was the best football player he’s ever seen. And when it’s all said and done, I think Belichick very well may be considered the best coach of all-time. Welcome to Suiting Up, where professional lacrosse player, operator and investor, Paul Rabil, talks to influencers within the world of sports to examine the modern duality of a professional athlete.

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