Rodriguez, who made more than $400 million during a baseball tenure that was tarnished by performance-enhancing drugs, is forging a second career in the fitness industry. The former shortstop has spent the past few years helping open a chain of gyms in Mexico called Energy.
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Now the pair looks to capitalize on the growing popularity of the UFC brand, named for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In all, there about 120 U.S.
workout gyms under the UFC banner.
6 billion in revenue last year, according to the International Health, Racquet Sportsclub Association. One of the fastest corners of the fitness industry has been boutique studios, including CrossFit and SoulCycle.
UFC, the popular mixed-martial-arts association, launched its chain of gyms in 2009. The facilities offer a variety of workout classes and training programs.
He said he watched other athletes retire after successful careers and run into money trouble, and wanted to make sure he had businesses with good cash flow. In addition to fitness, Rodriguez also has a presence in the real estate industry and is an analyst on baseball broadcasts for Fox Sports.
“I was thinking about retirement probably my first day in the big leagues,” he said. “Fear was the thing that drove me to start investing.
Rodriguez, who was dogged by allegations of steroid use during his career, was suspended from baseball for the 2014 season for using performance-enhancing drugs. He spent some of that time taking business classes.
“I understand his philosophies, as much I can understand them,” he said. “This is one he would have approved of.