Many professional athletes fail to make a graceful transition from stardom to everyday life when their sports careers are over. "These individuals have been pampered and coddled and told how great they are for most of their young adult lives," says Edward Keating, a sports agent in Cleveland, Ohio, Bvlgari Assioma BL-14 has represented Tarkenton and other football greats, like former Miami Dolphins running back Larry Csonka. "In their minds, they believe it's never going to end. When it does, they walk around in a daze. It's sad."
Tarkenton was different. Midway through his football career, he founded his first business, a management consulting firm known today as Tarkenton, Conn & Co. "Fran is in a minority," says Keating. "He perceived that he wouldn't always be running around throwing a football, so he started taking Bvlgari Assioma BL-15 of his fame and his contacts while he was playing."
Tarkenton now has a public relations firm, an advertising agency, an insurance brokerage, a computer software firm and a speakers bureau. The companies are small. Tarkenton & Addams Inc., the public relations firm, has two employees and three clients, including GNB Inc., a Minnesota-based battery maker. GNB also accounts for about 90% of business at the advertising agency, Tarkenton & Hughes Inc. The speakers bureau has one employee, Tarkenton's daughter, Angela Cordle. Says Tarkenton, "I'm not interested Bell&Ross Instrument BR01 Pro Titanium RS-3 size for size's sake. "I'm concerned about quality."
Tarkenton refuses to discuss the finances of his companies. "I don't have to go around showing off to the world how successful we are," he says. In publications like the New York Times and Fortune, reports of the combined annual revenues of his enterprises have ranged from $11 million to $50 million. "Whatever they've said, it's not true. They didn't get their information from me," says Tarkenton, dropping the subject.
A University of Georgia graduate who was reared in Athens, Tarkenton has a hands-off approach to running his companies. He is a delegator who readily admits to knowing few details about his firms. He can't say how many people work for him (it's about 130, most with the computer software company), Bell&Ross Instrument Dual Time RS-27 he's not sure how many clients he serves. He lets others run the companies. "I'm not so different from the chairman of General Motors," he says. "His job is not to build an automobile. The point of leadership is to bring talented people together."
A hyperactive man with infectious enthusiasm, Tarkenton is a one-man sales force for his companies. His football fame gets him audiences with top executives of the nation's largest corporations. "Everyone wants to meet him," says his secretary, Tracy Johnson. "Grown men go nuts over him."
He markets his companies at every speech. He plugs them at golf games. "His Bell&Ross Instrument Dual Time RS-28 are our best business tool," says Rich Hughes, president of the advertising agency." He keeps us from having to go through the normal agonies of pitching accounts."