Mark Clayton is a former star wide receiver from the University of Oklahoma who played professionally for the Baltimore Ravens and St. Louis Rams. He began his entrepreneurial journey by designing waterproof headphones he could use while rehabbing from as a player from an injury. He’s involved in numerous business ventures and spoke about lessons learned from the football field.
Mark Clayton Transcript
Joel Goldberg: Welcome into rounding the bases, the podcast about culture and leadership with a baseball twists presented by enterprise Bank and Trust hashtag no stopping you enterprise Bank and Trust was founded by entrepreneurs with the core focus of serving privately owned small and medium sized businesses who have a story to tell, enterprise banks commitment is to listen, learn and guide clients to a lifetime of financial success enterprise bank. Together, there’s no stopping you. My name is Joel Goldberg coming to you from the Kansas City audio visual studios, they create engaging spaces, check them out at kcav.com.
Joel Goldberg: Have a phenomenal guest today. I always have phenomenal guests. But every now and then. That guests ties into the sports world. They don’t have to. I think that there are amazing ties between the sports in the business world in terms of teamwork and leadership and culture and all of it. But when you can tap into someone that plays or has played at the highest level and then even more interesting when you can tap into someone that played at that level and is now taking those skills and put them to work in what I call the real world, the business world. Well that makes for a truly amazing guest and today I’m joined by former National Football League wide receiver and businessman entrepreneur, with many, many things going on in life, Mark. Mark, how are you
Mark Clayton: Awesome, man, that’s what happened. Oh.
Joel Goldberg: It’s good to have you. And I’ll say, which of course you’ve heard your whole life. There were two Mark Clayton’s that caught a touchdown passes in the NFL, one that I grew up watching when I was a kid. And that was Mark Clayton of the equation and duper years and then the other. Mark Clayton who just tore apart defenses at the University of Oklahoma back in the early 2000s late
Mark Clayton: 2000s. Right. Yes. Yeah.
Joel Goldberg: And then went on to play for the Baltimore Ravens also a little bit with the St. Louis Rams so that is this Mark Clayton, who made an amazing pivot. From late in his football career to designing something that he needed. Let’s I want to just talk about that first bark and then we’ll talk about how you got there. But it was an injury and some frustration about being able to listen to what some music, or whatever it was that that helped launch this right
Mark Clayton: Yeah, absolutely. I. And so, you know, there’s a long road leading up to it, just to be in the headspace to even think about, you know what I think I’ll just design that And so in, you know, junior high and high school. Of course I play sports and I was football, basketball track and I tried tennis baseball for like a hot, hot, hot second like a really awesome like I went to try out because put me on basis. I didn’t know how to get a lead off. He was like, I, thanks for coming out. But no like before getting recruited to college. I thought I was gonna go into the Air Force and be an architect and you know, learn how to fly planes and so kind of the, the sketching ability and engineering kind of mentality was always there. So as I, you know, play through college and going to the NFL, you know, Beats headphones came out in 2008 and whatever has given them to the guys and I love you know the base and how they sound and
we do all my workouts and training you know in them as much as possible. And then when I got to St. Louis Missouri, ruptured my patella tendon week five took about a year to get back and a lot of the rehab that was done over the year was in the in the pool. And so, you know, at that time, I didn’t want to get my headphones wit. And I knew you know there was slide if I got going, you know too much. And so I was like, You know what, I think I’m gonna try to design some that’ll work in the pool. And so that’s that’s what started the journey.
Joel Goldberg: I think that’s interesting to me. Is there a lot of former athletes, you know, that made some money in the league that then can pretty much get into any door and maybe they invest or they and that’s great. I mean that all of that is a product of all the hard work. And I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but then there are some that say you know, I have this other skill always had this other skill or maybe I would have gone into some version of this field anyway. And so now that career is over, and I’m sure that being able to say, former NFL receiver helps with some things but you went out there and did this like this was your creation. This was your thing. And I sense and you tell me if I’m wrong. This is as much your comfort zone as as jumping on a football field was
Mark Clayton: Well, it is now was an effort you know,
Joel Goldberg: But you are but you are. I mean, you were a look I’m still trying to figure out, you know, Business and Entrepreneurship and all that and I think we’re too but but you were destined I think from what you told me about your childhood to create something
Mark Clayton: Yeah In regards to mentally been able to have these pieces of understanding and knowledge and to be able to put them together and then go source the resources needed to complete, you know, the tasks, that was definitely there. Well, it was, it was a lot more learning the intricate, you know, as you know, facets to what that meant. Although I knew how to sketch. I’m not an industrial designer. You know, although I understand you know you know materials ish, I’m not a I can’t go into the lab and you know put together plastics and then, you know, add add a little bit to get a little more thickness and you know I’m not that so it was it was cool to have the, I guess the the railroad railroad kind of the row rail rail ways in place and then as I started to go down and I saw like the different caboose is I need to add to the track and was able to put that together and you know successfully complete I guess I’ll call it the first iteration of what live headphones are today.
Joel Goldberg: Alright, so it’s live headphones Li ve EV, and you could jump right online. I think it’s Kickstarter com and and see everything you want. About those headphones and I love to me that shows the design that shows it shows everything that that goes into this. So, how, how much of one. How long did it take to really figure out the right iteration and how much how passionate, are you about about that product and everything that you’re doing with the lip headphones.
Mark Clayton: So initially it was all I was ridiculously excited and and you know just going down this road bright eyed and bushy tailed and all these are going to be amazing. And, you know, we’ll get this product will get this project done and I don’t know for six months and have it in the market and will be sell in and people will love it. It’s like, about three years. Well, originally about to two years. You know, to actually get our first production round off the production line and into people’s hands and then after I started getting emails about hey, my head for my left ear ear cup is out, or I can’t hear anything on the right side. And, you know, Hey, I heard a little noise when I hit this button as that stuff. Start to pour in it was that, that’s when it became really real. Now we got to go back to work with the factory and do all this stuff to make all these corrections and had, you know, one major issue and I got that from a I remember as it got from Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. And he was like, Hey, man, I put plugged in, because there’s MP3 player on there so I plugged it in, and man is telling me, they’re dead. The Trojan of ourselves, like what he’s like yeah
Mark Clayton: So do I had we flew back over to China and, you know, had to spend time going through and sure enough in their factory, they had that and I was like, man, this is crazy. So we have to do a essentially a recall early with a startup company who was not ridiculously you know capitalized highly capitalized. And so that was a big hit, but with that I you know I learned what it meant to go through all of the the testing phase, you know, it was, Hey, we don’t have a lot of time and we don’t have, you know, a few hundred thousand dollars to go through what that meant to do, you know, six months. Or six months to nine months of testing really it was what what was proposed and I was like, we’re just gonna rock with it. Then that happened, but it took about six months, six to nine months to make the corrections. And so, like, man, you know, if we would have spent time a friend, would you know bypass probably all the issues that we’ve had. We’ve had would have had something, but not the major ones that we have to deal with. And so to that point, I was a. That was a great learning lesson. But, uh, yeah.
Joel Goldberg: Well, I think that there there have to be lesson is first off their lessons for all of us every day in life in business, whatever we do, but I was wondering how much the lessons in football have helped you as an entrepreneur. I mean, there’s not a playbook.
Mark Clayton: In the NFL.
Joel Goldberg: Of how to be a successful businessman, so to speak, and I know that certainly there are a lot of resources as a young NFL player about what to do with your money or this or that and some people take them some people don’t. I mean, it’s like any other walk of life. Some people are good at this. Some people are bad at this. But when I think that NFL players are professional athletes, should even high school kids where you’re part of a team you’re part of something. So there are a lot of life lessons that you can learn but, having operated in the NFL and everything that it teaches you like, you know, as a wide receiver that no play rarely does a play actually go to perfection. Right. It wasn’t supposed to go to you, but something ended up happening or like you spend all this time,designing and these coaches spend like 1000 hours per week game planning and it doesn’t go the way it’s planned. So how much did did those experiences.
Mark Clayton: Right, you run a route. Yeah.
Joel Goldberg: But something changes along the way. How much did that help you in terms of mindset. Flexibility creativity with the fact that this business wasn’t going to go exactly as planned.
Mark Clayton: Quite a bit. I mean, it was actually that’s tremendous. Because It men, it helps you manage your expectations. You know, going into it. It was, you know, for me it was like there was the bright eyed, bushy tail part and then there was the my expectations in life as a whole.
And then have an experience what I’ve experienced through football everything I go on the right way injuries. You don’t account for those all of us anything. You’ll be fine. But they happen. When I do, there are setbacks and you have to mentally be able to push through that and then you know after successfully come back from an injury, that builds a lot of trust and understanding in the process. It’s like, man. All right. Yeah, that’s but, here I am playing and I’m actually stronger and faster than I was before I got injured. And so in business I mean for me in this situation was was very similar. And as I approach life outside of football was you know nothing. Nothing. Rarely does anything go exactly as planned. Very rarely so, it really helped manage my expectations.
Mark Clayton: And in doing that, it allowed me to be real, you know, gracious with the group that I was dealing with with the you know manufacturer and fortunately, you know, I’ve heard horror stories with manufacturing. Fortunately we was able to deal with a really good group. That was a, you know, very accommodating and you know help tremendously. And so, you know, just having those expectations being managed, and not letting a ton of frustration, you know, come out and be projected towards whoever up to me, I believe, help retain you know relationships and build them in addition to, you know, have them people wanting to be willing to help you know as much as they possibly could.
Joel Goldberg: I want to go back a little bit and and I am fascinated by your journey because again, I think that if someone told you when you were a kid or in high school, maybe it wouldn’t have been hey you’re going to design headphones, but you’re going to design something, you’re gonna you’re going to come up with something, it sounds to me like most people that knew you would have said, Well, yes, of course. But if if someone were to say to you say your junior year of high school, as you are, initially playing some quarterback for the JV team that you will go on to be one of the greatest receivers in the history of the University of Oklahoma and you would play in the NFL. What would people have thought
Mark Clayton: Bullshit, this guy, like a little HE IS LIKE HE CAN’T EVEN THOUGH fast. So,
Joel Goldberg: I mean it but i i love that because this wasn’t even a consideration. I mean, You’re a junior
Mark Clayton: Yeah.
Joel Goldberg: Often JV team in the Dallas area a hotbed for football, the junior on the JV team who correct me if I’m wrong WAS ASKED TO PLAY QUARTERBACK and wasn’t all that good at it for the JV was going to go on to be in the NFL, take me back to that time.
Mark Clayton: I guess this is crazy to think about. And so, you know, sad story was, after all, everything kind of played out and I ended up in a first round draft pick two ravens in a play for a couple years. You know, play for a couple years. I went back to school and Mike students was there. He’s like, it is like, man, I gotta tell you, man. We brought you in. I really thought we waste discussion. That’s awesome, because I didn’t understand. It was a man my junior like I you know I grew up playing defense. And then I went, I went to quarterback my journey journey in
sixth grade. I think it was six or seven grain. We were option team. And then they found I could throw the ball in an office. At that time we had started to throw a little bit more. Our varsity team was spread was all to about 231 we were calling plays on the line in 2000 you know we’re not for color, you know, high school that was Aaron it out. And so, you know, in on JV with the word a little bit, but we’re, you know, we’re running quite a bit. And then we have some Kimmy run game me And so I did not expect to be on varsity until my senior year maybe when I got there, I didn’t, I didn’t think that I was going to be playing varsity ,even when I made it because we had a quarterback that essentially was a four star guy want to say, and went to TC. He had a number of scholarships. But, you know, wanted to see Brendan hassle. Great guy still a friend. And so I thought, yeah, I’ll be on varsity but I’m not gonna be playing
Mark Clayton: And that’s why, in my mind, my family background is all military somebody has served in all the branches. We had, but nobody has served in the Air Force every branch has self Air Force and you know I was really into architecture. I was a math guy. Like I wrote me and kid named, ma’am. I mean, we wrote our class final and couple math classes and that I love that. And so for me, I was meant to be an architecture, engineering, and I thought, you know what I would, would be in the Air Force and learn aviation. So those two things would was very intriguing and then Dubai was very intriguing to me because there were there were beginning to do all this development. That was crazy. In Super events and very progressive and edgy and
you know 9897 98 you know Dubai today. It’s insane. But I was really into that although you know back then and. And so for me, in my mind, that was kind of the trajectory that I had and then the injuries happen. You know, our starting quarterback got injured the backup got injured.
Which got me brought up and then, that was it. And so I play one game and I was, I was pretty shitty we’ve lost 30 to zero and say, hey, we’re going to move you to the receiver and got to receiver. And I think a lot of it was the way our process and information.
Mark Clayton: As a quarterback allowed me to be a receiver and it to be fairly easy. And then once I got, you know, to a seven on seven tournament that takes them. That was all she wrote. And so I got a letter from them from a seven on seven tournament and all their letters are flooding in and they were all in engineering schools. Because our coach did a great job with knowing his kids and and really, like, you know, pushing his kids and talking to recruits about his kids and what they were into. And so it was really cool because I had, you know, Purdue come in Stanford Vanderbilt Georgia Tech. USC like some really awesome engineering schools, man. And so it was that was kind of initially what it was going to be. And then Oklahoma came by and Mike Leach and that often. You know, for 17 year old receiver. I was like up, you got me.
Joel Goldberg: Seriously. No disrespect meant to Oklahoma in terms of academics, but you just rattled off five of the best in the country, you know, outside of the Ivy Leaguers they’re, they’re pretty much in that league. I mean, Stanford, suddenly you start talking about engineering and Georgia Tech and Purdue and I mean all those that you just mentioned, but yet you then made the pivot to the football route and the kid that was more interested in engineering and math suddenly goes on to Oklahoma and I’ve got the numbers here 3241 yards 221 catches 31 touchdowns two time all American. When did it sink in that, hey, wait a minute, I’m pretty good at football.
Mark Clayton: Yes. It was my junior year for sure, always knew I was quick and it was fun to me, Peter work was the guy that I looked up to it was at Florida State he were number three on our number nine at Oklahoma, and it was always fun. And so I was happy go lucky kid that never worried about anything. And I was probably from California, but he was from Texas is out here and my going into my junior year one of my best friends to this day will people’s, Is like MC man like you don’t need you play too much. And she’s like, bro. You play like you can kill your even like you just out here. Is that bro. If you you can kill it like these, they can focus you basically. And I was like, I, I, I, let’s go. And that summer going into my junior was an insane amount of
where I would just do extra stuff that to me, almost. It makes it like I would run routes you know barefooted, you put the weight vest on. And then, you know, like the the waitlist and then go run with the guys or I would do catch with gloves. Our slippery. So I had to, you know, really grab the balls of my feet like really be you know be focused and grab the walls, I would do like little
that run with tennis shoes on and try to stop. So I had to keep my feet up under me and just really just start doing all these little things that were different.
Mark Clayton: And grow like it was, it took my into an entirely different level. And that junior season was unbelievable. It was all like the games were, it was, it was just a walk in the park and then until we came up against some real competition. Anybody else that wasn’t that should not have been on the field. For me was like, I’m going to make you look like you do not belong like period and then almost said for the rest for third and fourth. I mean, I’m I don’t know how many games. I didn’t finish. I mean, there was a few. We started in play, because we just went out. We got busy. We did our work and we set out. Now we’re on to the next one. And it was that kind of machine that was built from that SUMMER AND THEN FOR ME. IT WAS THAT LIKE was the the Ignite, or to the. You can do this. And you can do this at a high level, like fruits
Joel Goldberg: So you did. I mean, you went on to do that. Obviously at the NFL level. But I’m always fascinated by the highest level of athletes. And by the way, not all of them. I mean, you know, just because you’re a high level athlete doesn’t mean that you’re out working everyone else. There are some that are so gifted, but they don’t work as hard and you sit there and think if they did work harder, they can be one of the greatest of all time. And that’s what keeps them back. The flip side, and I’d rather this person is the person that will outwork everyone obviously have to have enough talent to be at the level of playing in an Oklahoma or in the NFL anyone that gets a tryout in the NFL is going to be the best athletes in most rooms. They walk into in America. I mean, we’re talking about you’re on the practice squad. We’re talking about you’re better than pretty much everyone in the world. And so those guys don’t always get attention.
But. Give me, give me one of those guys that wants to work harder than everyone else, and you’re going to get something good out of it. And so my question to you, how does that work ethic. And that that I’m going to be better than you. I am going to, I’m going to crush you. I am, you know that that competitiveness of controlling what you can control and putting in the effort. How much of that you take into your everyday business now.
Mark Clayton: Been fooled. At least that just said it’s been a a I’m I’m retired. And so I embraced some of that. It was like, for most of my life I’ve been in a machine. That is insane. That will say we say civilians, simple, it’s like, you know, people come from in the military background. The civilian experience, you know, you can’t compare it like you mean, you just can’t compare. It was like a programming that happens, you know, been in the space that is like no other. Apart from other you know any other like military experience. Anyways, and so for me, it was decompressing in in in reprogramming kinda just getting away from from that and just being free and enjoying life as it is and then spending time working on my project as a as a project like it was a hobby, so to speak, and so for me, now I’m just like, as I’m getting into my 40s.I’ve had, you know, the seven years that I’ve been in retirement. I’ve actually even in that space of like successfully, you know, produced a headphone of learn how to trade. Some have started, you know, helping with high school eschewed on a couple of real estate deals and you know, is these things have happened. So I’m having I’ve got a lot of knowledge around different industries now. And so as I’m getting into my 40s. I’m starting to feel a little bit more of the fire and competitiveness to build something that’s really, really badass, to be honest that encompasses you know finance,: e commerce tech and real estate.
Mark Clayton: Even in the you know the canvas space as well. And so putting one into to unlock and just go go and go hard building a portfolio that’s full of really cool stuff that I’ve been able to be engaged and involved in and learn quite a bit of, you know, each of those spaces. I’m coming up on that on at that time. Yeah.
Joel Goldberg: Well, you got a little, just a little bit of time left until you get into your 40s, so enjoy the rest of your 30s and all I could tell you is that looking at your birth date. A few months before you you jump into the 40s. I will make sure that we never end up in the same decades all I’ll leave the 14th.
Mark Clayton: heading to the fifth house.
Joel Goldberg: Right, right, right. Like a couple of months before you get into the 40 so it’s just a reminder of however old you feel at any point, I miss you. I’m a decade ahead of you. So that doesn’t really mean anything other than to say that I’m getting old for Mark Clayton, the NFL stats. We’re at three games 65 starts 14 receiving touchdown. So with all that said, We’re going to make the sort of shift. From football to my baseball themed questions, brought to you by construction trusted team reliable partner, check them out at kiss a co.com you did mention that
the baseball experience didn’t go all that great for you, so we’ll leave that one alone. I’ll ask you a football question best quarterback you played with
Mark Clayton: Aaron McNair Awesome. Awesome, great. I mean, airmen and I got to play with them, you know, the year before. Essentially, the year before you retire, so he will season he he had experienced and it was almost like I’ve been there, done that, apart from winning the Super Bowl but. Man The, the wisdom and understanding and knowledge that came from that guy and poise, that, you know, I learned from him was was awesome, who’s like a big bro recipes Birmingham know
Joel Goldberg: Yeah, he was I covered him in the in the Super Bowl against the St. Louis Rams and that was the the big stop at the goal line by Mike Jones and the tackle. And again, that went down to the, really the final play what a. What an amazing athlete that Steve McNair and hard to believe he’s he’s now been gone for for over 1010 years. Yeah, but he was he was special tonight. I’m going to get off topic here but I mean I know that you’ve had involvement and certainly thoughts on on Black Lives Matter and everything that’s going on in this world. But, I mean, I think back to Eric Marin, and he wasn’t the first. I mean, I remember growing up. Doug Williams winning a Super Bowl but back then it was like it was not normal to have a black quarterback, which was just such extreme racism, like it was there was all this you know all this bullshit of, oh, he must be smart. Like somehow right and as it just was enough.
Mark Clayton: Yeah.
Joel Goldberg: I’ll get off topic here for a second but that when when I think about that, like, we don’t think about it quite the same anymore. I mean, there’s still a lot of work and places to go. But it was like it was it was jarring to see a black quarterback back then and I think it was guys like Steve McNair that made it normal like, no one sits there now and says, wait, there’s Patrick Mahomes there’s, you know, there’s Lamar Jackson, there’s that way. That’s a black what you don’t, you don’t say that anymore. Now, what do you make of that.
Mark Clayton: I think is incredible. You know, and I look at the game how its evolved over time. And you know it’d be hard to say like, hey, there was there was no black guys that could play this position that we could train and put through you know programming or whatever to get them to mentally process as a pro style quarterback. But, you know, nowadays is like, Man, I see the beauty of the fact that you know as black people are pretty friggin athletic We run and jump and do all this stuff like and we can throw the ball and some of you know to see kind of the progression of the game. And now you’re saying these dual threats. And and obviously, you know, Doug. Did we did, which was awesome. And then when Vic came on the scene. IT WAS THAT WAS THE EARTH kind of shifting moment in the NFL to have somebody of that athleticism play the premier position that has been in the history of the NFL and the NFL being what it is, and in regards to I mean today is the top sport by revenue and engagement. It is like it was, it was like mind blowing to see that. But today, it’s, I mean we’re comparing you know it’s like well tomorrow he yeah he’s great Russell. Awesome. Mahomes are like. These are viewers to name the top five quarterbacks in the NFL right now. You know, there’s three of them that are going to be the door. There are guys that are going to be in that mix and even Aaron, who are still like have a dinner he has some of the, you know, escape ability that doesn’t have to have four or five speed, but enough to be a problem. And you have to think about it as a defense. And you see how much this stretches defenses and now you see the scoring is going up. It’s just it poses a really difficult task for defenses. Now the offices, wasn’t that back in the day. You know, it was a lot of ground and pound, you know, take a shot here hit a slant receivers was getting a three point stance to run. So just overall as a as a whole to see the systems changing and see a lot more, you know, black quarterbacks getting the not as the guy and then seeing how successful they’ve been in those positions like is incredible. It’s incredible.
Joel Goldberg: Time now for our final four questions as we round the bases. Let’s get to the first question. What’s the biggest home run that you have hit
Mark Clayton: The biggest home run hit that was there, like two balls got pitched to me. But don’t worry about the part. It was been drafting verse around and sip somebody actually seeing value in purchasing a headphone does a purchase like you have to think all the all the traveling all the work all the stuff that that they all the stuff down learned and all that. So my soul value and they spent like I said, you know what, I like that. And I won’t want to that those are those are the two for me to know. Awesome.
Joel Goldberg: Very good home runs, one from each world. : Which is cool. Okay, the second baseball theme question swing and miss. What’s the biggest swing and miss. You’ve taken and what did you learn from it.
Mark Clayton: And spend a chunk of money on a flashy marketing group that use big words and
try to essentially, you know, made me feel like they can do anything and they they did. They got me. You know, as a you know, a young, young and in the industry. They got me pretty good. And in that cost me quite a bit. And so that, for me, is still the yes so that one is as far as my biggest house a swing and miss cuz I committed quite a bit.
Joel Goldberg: While you but you learn right like you learn that just because it’s flashy or they say this. And that doesn’t mean that it’s the right fit.
Mark Clayton: Fit. That’s right.
Joel Goldberg: She got sometimes you got to learn it the hard way. And you know it’s it’s it’s great when people are throwing good things that you’re interesting things that you and I I’ve kind of come to learn that when when the initial pitch involves big time promises. Yeah, that sometimes that doesn’t add up. And sometimes those big pitches are coming on solicited to and he sit there and say, Okay, what’s really the motivation. That’s just my little sidebar there last baseball being questions small ball. What are the little things that add up to the big things from Mark Clayton
Mark Clayton: I’ll say, part of it is, you know, calling my kids just or, you know, my daughter, she’s to is not quite as like a just, you know, engage with her column, my son, make sure they’re good. Because to me, I think, all the stuff that I desire to comp. Now my new desires. A lot of it if if that’s not secure for my relationship with them is not secured and it’s often not and so, you know, little, little calls to my son, make sure he’s good. And then on top of that, it’s a you know, connect them with my, my, the people that I’m working with, and my friends. Non that they’re good, knowing that I care and you know as much as as much as I do. It’s relationships, those, those, those little engagements with the relationships that mean most to me to me make business. Awesome.
Joel Goldberg: Of it. Okay, I’m going to pick up where we left off before and then we’ll, we’ll wrap it up. Second question as we round the bases what is the live experience.
Mark Clayton: It’s a, it’s the ability to be versatile. So for me, as an athlete and an entrepreneur. There’s a part of life that I need my music experience to be comfortable comfortable and then there’s a part where I needed to be secure. When I’m in the gym and so it’s the, the freedom to flow in both lanes and be versatile.
Joel Goldberg: And what makes the live headphones so good.
Mark Clayton: Well, they, they are the most secure over ear headphones on the market. Which for at the end of the day, when it comes down to, hey I want something with big sound and I want to where I want to sit on a plane or or I want to go to the gym and when I start sweating. I don’t want these things sliding all over the place, they meet both of those needs.
Joel Goldberg: Okay. Third question, as we round the bases you have become extremely involved in flag football and I’m not saying in a hey, I’m going to go out and play flag football on the weekend. I’m talking about as a business as something that is really growing, and you were, you were telling me this isn’t just like the local rep type of thing here. Tell me about the future of flag football and your involvement.
Mark Clayton: Man on the guy the future flutters so much upside to flag. And, you know, as you know, in football. A lot of the studies that are coming out in regards to concussions in the movie concussion came out and was really well done. What will increase the engagement for tackle football at the youth level has declined over the last decade and the engagement in flag football has increased. Over the last decade. And you know me. And, you know, my group we sit back and we’ve thought through having our kids and what it looks like for the future of football and providing. Another option that is as competitive that also offers a potential career, and benefits and gives kids. Something to look up to, as well as parents because they invest quite a bit of dollars in into the youth space. And when it comes to flag. And as we know, the seven or seven kind of you look the trajectory is college and then the NFL. Flag kind of starts and ends, you know, right there. You can parlay that into you know FOOTBALL AND TALKING FOOTBALL and so on and so forth. But we felt like, Man, there’s a space for flag football in the professional ranks and so we partnered with a group FM W CT flag football world championship tour. They are the premier flag football company in the world. I’d say they hose. The biggest tournaments across the states coming up as a tournament in Las Vegas over the Halloween weekend. It’s a $10,000 tournament as a $50,000 tournament coming up at the beginning of the years, the biggest is worlds, and our goal is to, you know, take what exists, which is the largest adult recreational community in the country in regards to flag tournament and league championships, and build out a structure that encompasses youth and then. So ultimately, look at what it means to create something professional that give these guys and girls and boys and girls, something to look look forward to and up to
Joel Goldberg: You said this is making its way to to colleges and not just not just for the guys to
Mark Clayton: Yeah, so read this year. The NAIA approved flag football for for women want to say 15 NAIA schools picked it up as an official sport in Florida, there is a one of the one of the districts. They have flag football for women to as a as a sport for high school. And so, I mean, this is within the last year and a half. And so just getting started. The regulations are are being put in place in in those spaces as well as there’s been talks in regards to flag then and official Olympic sport. 2022 the world games will be hosted in Alabama Birmingham, Alabama and fly will actually be a part of that. So they’re putting together a national flag football team as we speak in, you know, through our tournaments, some of the Scout and will be will be happening. And so, you know, for all the guys and girls that you know love the sport and want to get scouted for the being on USA National Team, you know, come out plan our tournament.
Joel Goldberg: It’s pretty awesome. The world continues to change it always will. And so you know what flag football looks like today be totally different five or 10 years and marks in on the ground level of that I say ground level because this is moving right now. I mean like footballs around when we were all kids at one point. But that was just that was just an activity, you know, that was you know something fun to do. And now it’s becoming a much more serious thing. Final question the walk off for you. I know you have big aspirations. I know you’re a big thinker. You were from everything. I understand as a kid that hasn’t changed. Now, what are the long term goals because I’m guessing, especially as you wrap things up a little bit, have that, that same attitude and passion and desire and commitment that you did as a football player you already have that. But it sounds like there’s a lot more in the tank. What are the long term aspirations.
Mark Clayton: Long term is to, you know, kind of build a salsa Taj Mahal of business entities in different lines. And so the pillars are flag been one of them, you know, and finance real estate in another and then cannabis is one for me.
And, you know, ultimately, when I look at that, I think, Man, I’ll be able to you know help a lot of people and offer a lot a lot of jobs. But that’s like the big pictures is essentially that those building a portfolio and then the, I mean, I just like the near term. Ultimately has been able to get getting through this flag tournament.
Joel Goldberg: Sure. Yeah. Short term, short term.
Mark Clayton: Short term, short term. And then, you know, helping helping my young guys through the season. We were in, you know, help out at MoMA Catholic high school to a couple times a week. And so we got this game night tonight and so excited about that. What’s been, you know, spent all my young guys and, you know, mentoring them and teaching them the route tree and giving them little, little pointers that you know as they go on to college, though they’ll be able to take with them.
Joel Goldberg: There’s a lot there. We didn’t even get into the candidates destroy that discussion and not one that I’m afraid to have but that maybe like flag football is like that’s not don’t know world. Where it is today.
Mark Clayton: Yep.
Joel Goldberg: Is different than where it was, and different than where it will be. We could say that about a lot of things, but but I think we all know that that is an industry that is about to boom, if it’s not already. And so really, really interesting stuff. So Mark, if people want to be able to get ahold of some live headphones. I think one of the websites that throughout the other earlier in the episode may not have even been the official one. But that’s what I found. And I know you get them on Amazon and all the places, but how can people learn more
Mark Clayton: Hit me up, to be honest, like it’s just me. I handle everything for the time being, because it’s, you know, we’re I mean, I’m in here essentially just letting that letting it run its course. And so if somebody wants to know more, hit me up. You can hit me up. I’m using on Instagram on Instagram, a lot and it’s Clayton that MC
Joel Goldberg: MC on Instagram.
Mark Clayton: Yeah, just shoot me a message and we can talk
Joel Goldberg: All right well lot going on, as I said, and it’s been a great conversation fascinating one to four. For a guy that has had an amazing journey and much, much more to come. So Mark, I really enjoyed it. Congratulations on all the past success. More importantly, congratulations on all the success that I think is on its way. Hopefully on the football field for all the all the kids that you’re coaching in the short term, long term with all the other endeavors. I really appreciate the time today.
Mark Clayton: No thanks, man. Appreciate you having to have this is a great
Joel Goldberg: Well as we wrap it up here thanks to Mark Clayton a shout out to my sponsors Kansas City audio visual kissick construction and enterprise Bank and Trust businesses often come to enterprise. Because they demand and frankly are worth are worthy of more than the status quo. They need a local partner who understands their business that is enterprise bank. You can reach me At Joel Goldberg media comment on all the other social media spots. Thanks for listening to rounding the basis, presented by enterprise Bank and Trust hashtag no stopping you catch you next time.
Rounding the Bases with Joel Goldberg Podcast was created to share the stories of men and women in business and entrepreneurship that are both well knowing and or hidden gems. Joel believes that everyone has a story and their story matters which is why Joel is eager to connect with individuals that are bringing value to their community through innovation, leadership, entrepreneurial journeys, and developing company culture. If you would like to be a guest on Joel’s podcast please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.