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Connor McDavid talks business with Bloomberg

When you’re Connor McDavid there are a lot of demands on your time. Being one of the most marketable faces in the NHL means that the guy has to go out and do all kinds of marketing assignments for the league while also finding for the obvious training but also on his personal brand. Over at Bloomberg, Jon Erlichman sat down with McDavid to talk about what it takes to get his game to the level it’s at, and also how he has time to focus and work on the business side of his life.

Before we get started, I have to say that this was a different side of Connor that we don’t really get to see all that often. To hear him talk about picking sponsorships and how he handles cash was super interesting and I was bummed when the interview was over. Sure, part of that is because I love all things Connor McDavid but also because it was interesting to hear the best player in the world give us all a little taste of what it’s like to be a McBusiness. As always, I’ll jump in with my unwanted two cents.

To start, Connor was asked about training and where he got the work ethic that led him to becoming the player he is today.

“A lot of people can sometimes assume that a player just shows up and plays but it’s definitely a lot more than that.”

Well, those people are morons, Connor, and I’m apologizing on their behalf for being so stupid. I assume they were dropped on their heads often as children and it’s upsetting that you have to deal with such people, so, from all of us, I’m sorry. With that out of the way, I want to know where your work ethic comes from. Where do you get the drive to work harder than everyone else?

“I came from a very hard working family — my dad kind of instilled that in me, just to always be working and keep an even keel. When the times get tough, don’t lose your mind and keep at it. When times get good, it’s time to work even harder.”

Speaking of good times, how about that $100 million contract kicking in this summer, amirite? *whistles* Seeing that first cheque hit your account must have been something special, and I’ll be the first to say that you earned every Gord damned penny. In fact, I’d say you deserve more than $12.5 million but what’s done is done. All we can do now is look for sponsors to line your pockets with sweet sweet cake. Now, how do we get this done?

“To figure out partners, obviously, it’s gotta be a two-way street. The partner has got to want to work with you, and you’ve got to want to work with them.”

We don’t need to be modest here, pal. Everyone wants the McD and we both know it.

“I’ve been in a very fortunate position to be able in a position where I’ve been able to pick and choose.”

Effin’ eh right, my man, and you’ve earned it. No need to be modest with me, playa. I’m happy to see you getting paid without having to sell shitty jewellery to your friends on Facebook.

“Social media is something that I definitely don’t excel in, I don’t love doing social media, but obviously it’s part of the job and I have an understanding of that.”

Tell me about it. I have people calling me an idiot on Twitter and I have about $13 dollars in my bank account which is barely enough to drown my beet-stinking tears in 40 ouncers. But how do you make it work on social? How do you pick what you want to plug and what you don’t?

“To be part of a brand, you want to be able to promote it and you don’t want to be like, ‘ah do I really have to do this post.’ You want to be able to do everything you can.”

But you have to get paid, amirite? Ol’ Connor can’t be tweeting about nobody, no time, no how until all of the cheques have cleared. Considering the bankroll you’re going to be rolling with, how do you know where to put your money? I assume you’re not burying it in the yard like I do.

“I think everyone is always trying to offer advice, and I’m very lucky to be in a position where I know a bunch of different players that have come before me (including) some of the greats.”

Ah, hell yeah! You need to get you some of that winery money! Would I buy a $32 McCaesar from McDavid’s, if it was a real thing? Hell yes. you know I would. But seriously, though, what’s your approach here?

“One thing that’s always kind of stuck with me, that my dad always taught me, is make every day count and I try to do that.”

Ah, yes. So wise is Mr. Brian McDavid and you’re lucky to have him. I’ve been letting him parent me since the day the Oilers won the draft lottery and we’ve never even met, so I can imagine he had all kinds of good advice for you growing up.

“Being an athlete, your window to make your money is not as long as if you’re an executive so you really have to be smart with your money and you gotta make your money go a long way and last a long time.”

Damn right. I don’t want to be seeing you on some 30 for 30 down the road that features the next line of superstar athletes that are now bankrupt. You ever see Broke? This can’t happen, my man. We need a plan and we need to make sure that baby gets executed.

Check out the full video below:

THE WRAP…

I know that this wasn’t really “newsie” or anything like that but I couldn’t help but want to share the video because I thought it was super interesting. For me, it was a fun little look at what it’s like to be one of the NHL’s most marketable faces and the responsibilities that go along with that while also finding the time and maintaining the discipline required to play at his level. Obviously, my schtick is to pretend I’m conducting the interview but it was interesting to see how he thinks about making money and sponsorships at this point in his career. And to have Mike Cammalleri as one of his biggest business influences? Who saw that coming?

For as much as we love Connor for being the mega man he is on the ice, this is a guy that has a lot going on at a corporate and sponsorship level that we can often forget. This guy is a one man business and it’s going to be very interesting to see how that brand grows over the coming years and decades. The guy is going to make mountains of dough during his career and beyond and I’m looking forward to following how that turns into a McEmpire. Anyway, all of that is a long ways away but I just thought the video was interesting and worthy of sharing, especially considering I’ve been sitting at my computer for months just gagging for Oilers content. Now that the season is back and the coffers are filling with stories, I’m sitting at my laptop packing Oilers-related info into my brain bank as much as humanly possible. Anyway, is it October 6th yet? What did you guys think?

THE SEASON OPENER BRUNCH PARTY

If you’ve ever been to one of our season opener parties before, you already know that one of the best parts is getting 200 Nation citizens together to meet up and start off the new season on a high note. Not only are these parties a great way to get the band together, it’s especially fun to meet new people that you’ve been arguing with talking to online for Gord knows how long.

WHAT YOU GET:

The bag: Exclusive Season Opener Party tee, Pint GC, Oodle Noodle GC, stickers, and a ticket to enter all of the draws and raffles
The giveaways: 
Memorabilia giveaways, NationGear giveaways,
Anything else: We’ll also be having a NationGear pop-up shop that features some of the new shirts and hoodies that we’ve got for the upcoming season.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Where: The Pint Downtown
When: October 6th, with doors opening at 10 am and the hockey game starting at 11 am
Who: Every single one of you… that is of legal drinking age
Why: To celebrate the launch of a new season, get together, and to raise as much money as possible for our friends at KidSport
How much: Tickets are $25 each with net proceeds going directly to KidSport
How: Tickets are available here.

  • Jnizzle

    Mcdavid is a phenomenal hockey player. I think what he truly gets remembered for will be his business prowess by the end of his career. This is where pro athletes are heading, see Levron James. Their sporting career rides shotgun with their business goals, however realistic or not.

    In the long run players will play shorter careers because of other options. Mind you this will be attainable only hit top tier talent which will be a loss for the nhl, as the best of the best will only be playing for ten years before riding off into the executive sunset.

  • SRELIOFAN

    I loved that scene in the video of the wall in McDavid’s parents garage with all of the holes from Connor practicing his shot as a kid. That’s where the McMagic started. So cool.

  • Moneyball

    Hockey certainly is a business. The players should remember that everything they are paid above minimum wage to play hockey is an overpayment. After all who wouldn’t play a kids game instead of having to work for a living?

    • SRELIOFAN

      A kids game? Really? You sound like a salty player who got cut from his Jr team as a 12 year old and vowed to hate everyone who did better than you.

      Sports is a massive part of the world we live in and these players are the best of the best. They deserve every penny imo.

      • Moneyball

        It is still a game. You have to remember that there are actual people working for a living. Firemen, soldiers, coal miners. The players should remember this when they attempt to pull a Darnell Nurse. Everything over minimum wage is more that they should be paid and they should be grateful for that.

        • Spydyr

          The NHL is a business a billion dollar business. Are you saying the owners should reap all the financial rewards like they did before Ted Lindsey and the NHLPA? The players are the show and the current NHLPA agreement addresses that fairly.

          Your argument otherwise appears naive even childish.

        • Top4D

          I get what you’re saying to some extend. Yeah they’re just hockey players and we shouldn’t idolize them. They are not not an essential service.
          However they do a lot more for their communtiy then fireman, soldiers or coal miners do. When the last time anyone of them donated $9 million to a childrens hospital or $1 million dollars to help poor kids play sports. Look at Lebron James and what he does for inner city kids.
          With our professional sports their wouldn’t be scholarships. People who can’t afford an education can now go to an Ivy League university.
          Hey if Darnell wants to hold out for money that’s his business. Especially when Chia pays $4million/yr for Russell.

        • Bills Bills

          Wow man. Have you dedicated your entire life to one thing only to have some schmuck come and tell you it was for nothing and you should not get to reap the rewards of all the hard work you put in? No of course not. You have likely never committed to anything. These players, athletes have sacrificed more than you will ever know. The fact that you would say something so stupid just demonstrates your idiocy.

    • BlueHairedApe

      Believe me when I tell you it’s not all fun and games at that level. I’ve known a few players that weren’t elite like McDavid and they had to work their arses off. Until they made the nhl in their mid 20’s they made absolutely peanuts. They had some help with tuition fees and boarding is about all. Not only that but they were in the gym or on a practice sheet of ice every single day they weren’t playing hockey for at least 4 to 6 hours to try and keep in good enough shape to compete. They weren’t allowed to do the same things as the rest of us as far what they ate or drank or socialized. The guys that made it in my opinion are some of the most committed hard working individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure knowing. Let’s face it if McDavid never went to another hockey practice in his life he would still have a 20 year career in the pros but for the other 99.9 percent of the players it’s not like that. They put in their time and I’m always happy for them.

  • rivid

    I just read an article talking about it looks like a players strike will happen soon as the players want more money and security. The players feel the escrow is too high and want more control of revenue, plus Olympics.With players making more money out of hockey, would it be out of the question for owners to ask for revenue earned 50/50 just like in the NHL from players who earn money through endorsements or business? After all it was the exposure to the NHL that made them the extra money. This is a business for both sides after al.I have had this conversation with friends and was just curious on your thoughts. Just a question and looking for intelligent responses.

    • A-co

      What if all players made the same money..say $100,000 / year and owners charged $25 per ticket and any additional money made by the players came from endorsement deals???

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    A buddy of mine not only went to school with Connor, but he also lives down from his parents house. He said that no matter what the weather was, Connor would be shooting pucks at a net, practicing footwork and stickha sling skills. He also said some of the other boys at their school would make fun of Connor and ridicule his work ethic because “he won’t get far” and “nobody will draft him”.

  • Regarding money, any fool can spend it. Making it is hard, and saving it is almost impossible.

    Things can go sideways real fast. Young people need “Money Education”, and this should be taught in school. There should be a course like money 101 or something teaching kids about all things money. Investing, interest, mortgages, stocks, bonds, risk, etc.

    Don’t let “Friends” manage your money. (See Mike Modano)

    Don’t lend money to friends.

    Don’t be greedy when it comes to investment return.

    When in doubt, listen to your parents and save, save, save. Save for a rainy day, that is sure to come.

  • getsome

    The NHL sure is a business. Problem is Edmonton fans are supporting a crappy franchise here. Only way to force changes is to stop going to the games. We are enabling the foolishness that is Oiler management.

  • Dark Knight Returns

    Would be nice to see an article that reads “Nurse talks business with chiastupid”.
    Sign him already! This is equivalent to splurging at the brunch buffet, mimosas and all, and then heading back home in the lrt.
    Nothing wrong with the lrt, but come on.

  • BobbyCanuck

    Gawd..”my dad always taught me, is make every day count”, I cannot even remember when last I had a day like that. Kudo’s to an exceptional young man, mature way beyond his years