Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is a new investor in the restaurant industry, taking a 20 percent stake in Walk-On’s, a sports-themed bar and eatery, the parties told CNBC.
Prescott becomes a co-owner of Walk-On’s in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Waco locations and joins former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who co-owns its parent company, Walk-On’s Enterprises. The financial terms of Prescott’s investment were not made available.
In a Zoom interview with CNBC on Monday, Prescott called the stock deal a “real connection” given that Walk-On’s is based in his home state of Louisiana.
“I grew up going to a number of Walk-Ons,” he said. “We had a Walk-On there in Bossier City. In the bathroom, when you come in, my high school picture is probably still there.”
The Baton Rouge company offers Louisiana Creole-style dishes, including crawfish and gumbos. Walk-On’s CEO Brandon Landry, a former player at LSU, said the addition of Prescott “just made sense” as the chain aims to add more restaurants in the area.
Walk-On’s also operates in Florida and is looking to expand into Colorado and Ohio. Walk-On’s has 51 restaurants and plans to expand to approximately 70 locations by the end of 2021.
“We’ll stay on that growth pattern for the next five to seven years,” Landry told CNBC. He added that the company has had a year in which sales fell 4%, but Walk-On’s forecasts growth and the US continues to reopen after Covid shutdowns.
“People are going out again and they have money to spend because they’ve been in their homes for a year,” Landry said. “It told us casual dining isn’t going anywhere.”
Prescott, 27, signed a four-year-old, $160 million deal ($126 million is guaranteed) with the Cowboys in March. He will make $75 million in 2021, including a $9 million base salary and a $66 million signing bonus, the largest in NFL history.
He missed most of the 2020 season after suffering a right ankle injury in Week 5 against the New York Giants. Asked about his off-season status, Prescott told CNBC he had his best rehab session on Monday.
“Today was the best day I’ve had,” Prescott said. “I can now play a game and be very successful. At training camp I will dominate, better than I was before I came off the field.”
However, the injury at the end of the season put things off the field in perspective. Prescott wants to learn the dynamics of every investment he makes, including the stock market, which he has yet to seriously delve into.
“I’ve got a great finance team teaching me about it, and that’s where we’re starting,” Prescott said. “I need to be educated and know it before I say, ‘Here’s $1 million… go make money.’ I want to be educated and know how to get it back – the whole process.”
Prescott plans to be diverse in its investments.
“I wouldn’t say there’s one avenue I just want to dive into more than the other,” Prescott said. “I’m a very open man, so I’m open to learning new things, new investments. Whatever it is, it has to be real and something I care about; something I would buy and not just any cash cow.”
in 2019, ESPN reported that Prescott made more than $50 million through endorsement deals from companies including sportswear maker Adidas, Beats by Dre (owned by Apple), and Pepsi.
When asked what advice he would give last weekend’s NFL Draft entrants on matters off the field, Prescott pointed to preparation.
“It’s about starting those business investments and business opportunities now, so when the game goes, you don’t try to learn it,” he said. “You already had an edge – you can go from one career to another without hesitation.”