A Jack of All Trades
Andy Alberth Gives A Glimpse Into His Life As A Business Owner, Entrepreneur, And Cousin Of Superstar Quarterback Tony Romo
Andy Alberth is quickly becoming a recognizable name in the sports world. Although some people used to associate Alberth with his superstar NFL quarterback cousin, Cowboys’ Tony Romo, this entrepreneur and CEO is making his own moves in the sports industry.
I sat down with Alberth to speak about his company, The National Fantasy Football Convention and, of course, the ever lingering questions about his famous cousin. Most of you reading this may be looking for “exclusive” and definitive answers to Romo’s future; and some of you may get the answers to questions that keep you up at night. However, Alberth is more than a kin to the most famous NFL player in the media right now. As CEO to The NFFC and former professional poker player, Andy Alberth has created and continues to create and inspire entrepreneurs, dreamers and is bringing together the NFL players we all so admire with the fans they so adore with the National Fantasy Football Convention.
KT: Hi Andy! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today.
AA: Absolutely, thank you for having me!
KT: I know that you are probably used to people immediately asking you about Tony, but we will get to that. I want to talk about your company and upcoming event, The National Fantasy Football Convention. How did you come up with this idea??
AA: We came up with this with a friend of mine named Mark, and he’s kind of a convention guy so he asked me one day if there has ever been a fantasy football convention. I said, “There has, but they have done them all wrong.” He goes, “What are you talking about?” and I brought up that the ones that have happened before, are just fans and personalities, but never any players at these things. So I wanted to try and do something different, and the thing that would make it successful was to bring fantasy experts and players together with the fans. And I knew that’s where you could really build something special.
KT: That’s a brilliant idea! I know the NFFC is hosted by your cousin, Tony Romo, and ESPN Senior Fantasy Analyst Matthew Berry. How did they get involved?
AA: I approached them both and both really liked the idea. Both see the vision in it and those are the types of partners you want when you are really doing something you are passionate about.
KT: I think it this is an amazing way to give people an experience of a lifetime they wouldn’t normally get! What will fans experience during the Convention?
AA: It’s going to be very interactive. It’s going to be NFL players signing autographs, taking photos, even doing Q&A’s with the fans. Ezekiel Elliot, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant, just to name a few, will be at the disposal of the fans. The fans will see and experience unique things that are normally not seen at a convention. The goal is for fans to walk away with an autograph or picture, fantasy advice or even just a story. That they walk away with something they can remember for the rest of their life!
KT: You really are creating an experience of a lifetime for these fans!
AA: Yes! That is the goal here. We’re also going to have an exhibit hall with some brand new sports products that are trying to get their name out in front of the consumers and also in front of the players.
KT: Can anyone attend? If so, when, where and how much will tickets cost/where can tickets be purchased?
AA: It is in Dallas this year! Tickets go on Sale April 15th and the Convention is July 14th-16th. The location will be announced when tickets go on sale. There are 1,000 MVP tickets available that will sell out quickly for $375, GA tickets for $99 and kids admission for $49. You can get the tickets starting April 15 on www.gonffc.com.
KT: That is great! Now, I have heard people speak of you with nothing but great things to say along with your various endeavors. What else is going on in the life of Andy Alberth besides the NFFC?
AA: Haha, those people are lying about me! I do a lot of consulting for sports start-ups and tech start-ups in general. I jump in there and help them in areas where I can. I also do a little basketball coaching, consult for the Indoor Football League and a couple of other little ventures.
KT: You are a very busy guy! What is your background?
AA: Haha that’s funny! Went to college, finance guy and ended up playing professional poker in Las Vegas for six years before I moved to Dallas.
KT: Remind me to never play cards with you! So, now we get to the inevitable Romo questions. I have known you guys for a while, and being the daughter of a sportscaster, being around pro-athletes my whole life, Tony is legitimately one of the nicest people I have ever met. This whole season and beyond must have been hard for him. How have you helped him through it? Have you been kind of a shoulder for him? Have you given him any advice?
AA: I mean, I am always there for moral support but Tony doesn’t need much help. He is a smart guy, probably one of the smartest guys I have ever met. He definitely relies on friends and family as an advisory if he has a big decision, but he’s got a great support team and he’s doing pretty good.
KT: That’s really good to hear. With his two adorable sons Hawkins and Rivers and wife, he clearly is a family man that built a life here in Dallas. Is he nervous about possibly having to uproot his family? Is he feeling well health wise?
AA: He is taking it day by day. I don’t think he even knows where he is going to be yet. He is just relaxing and working out in the offseason and really figuring out what he wants to do. Health wise, yeah I mean, he hasn’t taken one really bad hit in two years and he hasn’t played much. Which is a blessing when you think about it because he’s not being hit a lot. Staying upright, and he’s probably in the best shape I have ever seen him in my life.
KT: That’s really good to know he is feeling well. We all heard about CBS wanting to possibly hire him to replace Phil Simms. My question is, does he even WANT to be on TV?
AA: You know, I don’t really know if he wants to be on TV. We have really never had that conversation. I know he would be good on TV, but I am not sure. He may want to play golf!
KT: I do remember him almost qualifying for the Byron Nelson in 2008! There was a news story yesterday about him, “shunning Dak supporters” and that there was “tension in the locker room”. I find that very hard to believe in any way shape or form. Especially with his Christian values and genuine personality. Do you have an opinion on that at all?
AA: Yeah, I think a lot of people find that very hard to believe. I think it’s just someone trying to make a name for themselves in the business. But I know Dak and I know Tony and they have had a great relationship. There’s never been any animosity and Tony has always been there to help. Dak is a real good kid.
KT: That kind of leads me to my next question. When he (Tony) hears these stories about him being painted out to be angry with Dak, or mad about the whole situation, does that ever affected him or hurt his feelings?
AA: You have to have thick skin to be a quarterback in the NFL and even thicker skin to be the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Like being shortstop for the Yankees or center for the Lakers. It’s definitely not easy every single day and you are definitely going to get criticized, but that comes with the territory and he knows that.
KT: When we watched him on the sidelines this year with the mic on, I, personally, felt he fit the role of coach famously and he would be a great one at that. Would that be a possible scenario for his future?
AA: I agree with you, I think he would be an amazing coach. The only thing I think that would be hard for him, is the fact he would have to be putting in 80 hour weeks and he is such a family man and such a great dad, there’s nothing more he enjoys right now than spending time with his two boys. It would take time away to spend with his family and I think that would be difficult on him.
KT: So, back to YOU! I saw a “little” video you made for your girlfriend, Sylvia, for her birthday! Personalized videos from some of the most famous people on the planet including: Dirk, Mark Cuban, TO, JoJo Fletcher, of course Tony and Candice and their ADORABLE babies and even Jimmy Kimmel!! How in the world did you come up with that!? Was she surprised? Did she love it?
AA: She was surprised, and she loved it! We started dating during training camp and she’s a big Cowboys fan and loves Jimmy Kimmel, the Mavs, Mark Cuban and JoJo from The Bachelorette. So I just reached out to these people I have done stuff with and they were more than generous to come and give me a video; and they even made it personal and funny! They said her name and even threw me under the bus, (haha) it was fun and so worth it. She had no clue! I actually ended up going overboard with it, I had too many videos! One of her favorite players of all time is Terrell Owens so I led with that one video around 6:15 on her birthday, and every 15 minutes for the rest of the day, I gave her a video. Then I put it all together in one video with her favorite songs and gave it to her as a Christmas gift. She’s totally worth it.
KT: Oh my gosh I just got goosebumps; that is so sweet!
AA: After the third one, she was so grateful and said it was the best birthday ever. She had no clue there were still 60 more coming! She truly brings out the creativity in me. I have always been somewhat creative, but she is the main reason I can now excel. She is my main motivation and inspiration. I am a lucky man!
KT: Yes you are! Don’t let that one go! You can watch this incredibly sweet (and entertaining) video here! Sylvia’s Birthday Video from Any Alberth My last question for you is something I want to know personally, as well as get out to readers. Some people may think you have achieved your level of success because your cousin is who he is; but you have worked very hard to achieve your goals yourself. Do you have any advice for anybody out there wanting to reach for the stars, start their own business and/or follow their dreams? The ones that have a passion but may feel discouraged sometimes or feel like they will never achieve their goals?
AA: I’ve been asked this question a lot and honestly, there is an advantage to having Tony as my cousin but I try not to live on that and do my own thing and get away from that label. I actually love that question because I am really focusing on a career format that will happen at the Convention this year, where guys that are successful working in sports will come and speak to teenagers and kids in college and even the younger kids. And to me, I’ve been working in sports for almost four years now and I would do it for free; it’s that much fun! Being around the players, stuff like that. It’s really a blessing to have that. I think you just have to follow your passion. If you are 25-26 years old and don’t know what you want to do yet, don’t get down on yourself; start researching. Start researching how to get where you want to be. If you are a mortgage broker or real estate agent and you find out you want to be in sports, do some research on how to get into it; how do I get better? We have so much information at the tip of our fingers now, anybody with enough dedication and determination can do almost anything if you really put the time in. The thing you have to know is to take it one day at a time. You can’t become the best in a day, or a week, or a month, it’s going to take time. But if you put in the work everyday and if you wake up and you take it seriously, it can open so many more doors.
KT: That is great advice and I will actually take that to heart myself! Thank you so much for spending some time with me and you truly are an inspiration. We wish Tony the best of luck in whatever his future holds and wish you ultimate success in your endeavors as well!
AA: Thank you for having me!