Many athletes dive into business ventures outside of sports to boost their portfolios and build long term wealth for generations and their families. Deshaun Watson is no different. Deshaun recently brought a new franchise to Houston that is based in Detroit named Lefty’s Cheesesteak. Not your ordinary big named brand like a McDonalds or Burger King which a lot of star athletes attach themselves to, but then again Deshaun doesn’t have a normal portfolio when it comes to business ventures. He’s also part owner in a Tech Company in Rally, a Nutrition Company in Zurvita, and now a Cheesesteak franchise with Lefty’s. What stands out to me is Deshaun isn’t just attaching himself as a “Brand Ambassador” like some, he’s taking ownership. He didn’t just collect a check up front, do appearances and then just head to the bank, he wanted ownership instead of collecting a check. By taking ownership, it shows his commitment to the brands success and a willingness to be a part of their growth for the future. Another thing he’s investing is his time and passion to make sure these companies are successful, just as he’s done with his football career.
The biggest thing that sticks out to me with opening a restaurant during the current climate were in during the pandemic is his commitment to “Be Legendary.” Watson could have very easily the risk was too large, and packed it in, but that’s not who he is. Deshaun has a vision and he’s sticking to it. Watson plans to open at least five restaurants in Houston with Lefty’s to start. The first location is located a stones throw away from NRG Stadium.
You may ask, well what’s the big deal with starting a restaurant? For one, it’s takes a significant investment in both time and money, but also people. Creating jobs for people during one of the harshest times we’ve faced isn’t being talked about enough in my opinion. Deshaun and his business partners recently flew the entire staff from the Houston location to Detroit, all expenses paid, to learn about Lefty’s. Many of the employees had never been on an airplane or stayed at a fancy hotel. The entire experience for them was a first-class treatment. Investing in people is what makes businesses successful for the long haul similar to a football franchise.