The Miami Dolphins began their 2022 training camp last week with the rookies reporting to the team facilities. This week, the veterans have converged on Miami Gardens, bringing the full team together for the first time this summer. While the Dolphins are fully in football mode preparing for the regular season — and, hopefully, a run to the postseason — football is not the only focus for the franchise during the offseason.
During the offseason, the Dolphins use the downtime as an opportunity to prepare players for life after football. From Feb. 28 to March 4, 2022, the Dolphins hosted their Dolphins Business Combine, the sixth-annual edition of the program. Created by team owner Stephen Ross, the DBC, according to the team’s website, features “seminars and networking opportunities focused on real estate, entrepreneurship, business leadership, business operations and wealth management.”
Former Dolphins linebacker Spencer Paysinger attended the DBC back in 2017. After the experience, he wrote: “My notebook has 32 pages of notes, front and back. Each page bursting with quotes, lessons, and strategies all positioned to give advice with my ventures outside of football. Going into my 7th year playing in the NFL, I don’t know where I will end up, or if I’ve already played my last down. Still, I find comfort in knowing that by taking Mr. Ross up on this opportunity to learn, I am investing in my future sooner, rather than later.”
After this year’s DBC, cornerback Jason McCourty, who retired earlier this month, posted on Instagram about it:
“Taking part in the 2022 Dolphins Business Combine was the best off the field experience I’ve had during my 13-year NFL career,” McCourty added, according to MiamiDolphins.com. “The business combine gave us access to resources that can be used to cultivate and grow outside of the football facility. The event allowed us the opportunity to build quality relationships, the knowledge to ask the right questions, and the confidence to move forward and grow in any entrepreneurial space. Hopefully one day we’ll be talking about a business combine in all 32 NFL cities.”
“The Miami Dolphins are the only team to provide the resources to put an immersive business combine together for our current players,” Dolphins Director of Player Engagement Kaleb Thornhill explained on the team’s website. “Our players deserve to be fully invested in both on and off the field throughout their football careers. The founders, companies, executives, former players, and hundreds of others gave our players exclusive knowledge and wisdom that will last a lifetime. The seeds planted during this week will grow into something powerful for each player and that is what makes the Dolphins Business Combine one-of-a-kind.”
The DBC gives players an opportunity not just to meet top-level executives, but also to visit small businesses in the area, start-up companies looking to establish themselves, and franchisees in South Florida. The focus for the event is to allow players to start planning for their post-playing days by positioning themselves while still playing. They are encouraged to grow their brand and create connections that can help them both during and after their football careers.
After the 2021 DBC, safety Eric Rowe told the team’s website:
“With the Dolphins Business Combine being virtual this year it was just as effective as the in-person event. It’s my second straight year and each year I learn something new from a variety of elite people and companies. The Dolphins Business Combine really helps me get out of my comfort zone, increase my knowledge, and establish life changing relationships. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be part of an organization that helps me become my best version both on and off the field.”
Safety Jevon Holland took part in this year’s DBC, saying afterwards:
“The Dolphins Business Combine was a chance to step foot into the business world and maximize the off-season. People have explained to me what real estate was in a brief conversation but never in the depth we received this week. This was a chance to see it in real time by taking it from the classroom to real estate site tours that included experiential learning. We also had an opportunity to compete by splitting into groups, building a business concept, and delivering a pitch in front of judges. This experience allowed us to know more about my teammates, work towards a goal, and execute in front of our peers. I look forward to attending the Business Combine for many years to come.”
The Dolphins continue to demonstrate their commitment to their players, not just on the field, but with off-field opportunities like the Dolphins Business Combine. Giving players the chance to learn, network, and build themselves as current or future entrepreneurs is unique around the NFL and ensures they have the tools to transition their on-field success to their post-playing days.