AFTER THE GAME - Bridging the gap from winning athlete to thriving entrepreneur | by Jay Dixon

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The transition from athlete to entrepreneur is a remarkable journey marked by determination, resilience, and a relentless pursuit of success. In this blog post, we delve into a strategic avenue that offers athletes a compelling path to entrepreneurship: entrepreneurial acquisitions. By providing an in-depth exploration of this route, shedding light on market dynamics and the power of partnerships, and showcasing the advantages it presents, we reveal why acquiring existing businesses is a formidable strategy for athletes seeking to make their mark in the business world.

Understanding Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition: Forging a Path to Success

  • Defining Entrepreneurial Acquisitions: Entrepreneurial acquisitions involve purchasing or merging with an existing business to leverage its assets, customer base, and operational framework. It provides a distinct opportunity for athletes to leverage their unique strengths and enter the entrepreneurial landscape with a running start.
  • The Route to Entrepreneurship Through Acquisitions: Embarking on an entrepreneurial acquisition involves a series of strategic steps:
    • Identifying businesses aligned with one’s interests and expertise.
    • Conducting thorough due diligence to assess the target’s financials, operations, and growth potential.
    • Negotiating and executing the acquisition, followed by post-acquisition integration and growth strategies.

Navigating the Market Dynamics

  • Market Opportunities and Trends: Entrepreneurial acquisitions allow athletes to capitalize on market opportunities and emerging trends. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report1 highlights the importance of market awareness in successful business ventures.
  • Capitalizing on Athletes’ Personal Brand: Athletes possess a distinct personal brand cultivated through their sports achievements and influence. This brand recognition can provide a competitive advantage when entering the business world through acquisitions.

The Power of Partnerships in Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition:

  • Strategic Partnerships for Success: Partnerships are pivotal in the success of entrepreneurial acquisitions. Research in the “Journal of Business Venturing”2 emphasizes that effective partnerships contribute to successful post-acquisition integration.
  • Leveraging Transferable Skills: Athletes’ transferable skills, such as discipline, teamwork, and leadership, can be harnessed to lead acquired businesses. A study in the “International Journal of Sport Psychology”3 underlines the role of leadership skills in both sports and entrepreneurship.

Advantages of Entrepreneurial Acquisitions for Athletes

  • Reduced Risk and Faster Entry: Entrepreneurial acquisitions offer a less risky entry into entrepreneurship compared to starting a business from scratch. The Harvard Business Review4 underscores the potential of acquisitions in reducing market entry risk.
  • Immediate Impact and Growth Potential: Acquiring an existing business allows athletes to make an immediate impact by infusing their vision and expertise. Research in the “Strategic Management Journal”5 highlights the potential for growth through acquisitions.
  • Learning from Existing Experience: Acquiring an established business provides access to an existing team and resources, allowing athletes to learn from the experiences of the acquired venture. Research in the “Journal of Applied Sport Psychology”6 emphasizes the value of learning from others’ experiences.


Entrepreneurial acquisitions represent a strategic and empowering path for athletes to step into the world of entrepreneurship. By capitalizing on market dynamics, forming strategic partnerships, and leveraging their transferable skills, athletes can seamlessly transition into the business landscape. The advantages of reduced risk, immediate impact, and the opportunity for rapid growth make acquisitions an appealing option for athletes looking to make a significant mark.

As athletes embrace the journey of entrepreneurial acquisitions, they embody the same determination, resilience, and commitment that propelled them to success in their athletic careers. By harnessing their unique strengths and channeling their passion into the business realm, athletes can continue their legacy of achievement and create a meaningful impact as pioneering entrepreneurs.

  • Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. (2021). Global Report 2020/2021. Retrieved from
  • Steier, L., & Greenwood, R. (2000). Entrepreneurship and the evolution of angel financial networks. Journal of Business Venturing, 15(3), 315-337.
  • Trach, J., & Bartosz, M. (2009). Role of leadership in the perception of success and satisfaction with training. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 40(3), 495-504. 
  • Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Making fast strategic decisions in high-velocity environments. Academy of Management Journal, 32(3), 543-576.
  • King, D. R., Dalton, D. R., Daily, C. M., & Covin, J. G. (2004). Meta-analyses of post-acquisition performance: Indications of unidentified moderators. Strategic Management Journal, 25(2), 187-200.
  • Gould, D., Dieffenbach, K., & Moffett, A. (2002). Psychological characteristics and their development in Olympic champions. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 14(3), 172-204.