Daily Sports Smile: Alex Rodriguez steps up for Hispanic students interested in sports business

Alex Rodriguez (pictured), David Ortiz, Ryan Howard and Tim Lincecum are among 13 first-time candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot of the Baseball Writers Association of America, joining 17 holdovers.
Victoria Hernandez
USA TODAY Sports+

Alex Rodriguez wants young people to know they can do more than run bases if they want a career in sports. They can hire the people who run the bases.

The MLB legend partnered with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund to create the "Step Up to the Plate" initiative, empowering college students to get into the business side of sports.

Rodriguez was part of a seminar last week where he spoke about his journey as a sports professional. After playing MLB for 25 years, he became an entrepreneur and founded A-Rod Corp, an investment firm. He is also chairman and co-owner of Presidente, a cerveza from his home country of the Dominican Republic.

During his conversation with students, which was also streamed on Instagram Live, he described how sports gave him the ability to dream beyond his humble upbringing.

"I come from very modest beginnings, but my dream and my vision was never modest," he said. "I think that's the one great thing about sports, it allows you to think big. It doesn't matter what color, what demographic, what part of the country or the world you come from."

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When asked why diversity is important, he spoke about the success that can come from including other cultures in business and how he’s experience that first-hand with Presidente.

"It's not because it's the right thing to do, sure, it's the right thing to do, it's 2022 and all of that," the three-time MVP said. 

“If you think about the Latinos in this community in the U.S., we're doing over a trillion dollars in this U.S. economy," Rodriguez added. "In the next 10 or 15 years, it's going to be two trillion. So how can any company not think about tapping into this incredible community?“

This summer, the "Step Up to the Plate" program selected nine students to take part in a three-month paid internship with the sports marketing team at Anheuser-Busch, where they learned about the business side of sports and the importance of diversity. The program sets up the students to have a job with the beverage company after graduation.

“Step Up to the Plate is meant to bridge the gap between accessibility and opportunity for these students,” Alex Monroy, Senior Brand Director of Presidente at Anheuser-Busch, said in a statement. “And, ultimately arm them with the tools and experience to 'Be the Presidente' of their career in sports.”