016: From NFL To Venture Capital, Ryan Nece Shares His Wisdom

Today’s guest, Ryan Nece, played 7 years in the NFL and went on to win a Super Bowl in 2002 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Following his NFL career, he went on to co-found Straight Cast – a mobile app that allowed athletes to create their own HD content. He then sold that company in 2014 to Fox Sports.

These days Ryan is the Managing Director of Next Play Capital, a venture capital fund that sits at the intersection of tech and sports.

He’s the epitome of what we think about here on the Athlete CEO Podcast, and we can’t wait for you to hear his wisdom.

A couple of things to listen for in this episode:

  • What Ryan’s transition from NCAA Football to the NFL was like (considering he broke his leg during the last game of his college career)
  • How to make sense of the business side of professional sports
  • Ryan’s advice for today’s professional athletes
  • Why information and technology is powerful (and the role it plays today in sports)
  • What you should NEVER do in business
  • How many deals you need to look at before you write a single check
  • What Ryan looks for in partnerships and ventures
  • Ryan’s take on Bitcoin, eSports, and artificial intelligence: Which are the future? Which are flops?


  • “Information is power. Information gives you leverage.” – Ryan Nece
  • “To much is given, much is required.” – Ryan Nece
  • “The great part about numbers and data is that it provides the truth.” – Ryan Nece
  • “Winning is acknowledged by performance.” – Ryan Nece
  • “It’s one thing to learn, it’s another thing to learn the best thing from the right people.” – Ryan Nece
  • “It’s hard to wait, but it’s even harder to wish you would have.” – Ryan Nece
  • “The best investor is failing 70% of the time.” – Ryan Nece


Books Ryan Mentioned (Amazon links):

Watch now:

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