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 will take co-ownership of Walk-On’s in its Dallas-Fort Worth and Waco-area locations and joins former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who is co-owner of the 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 equity deal a “genuine connection,” since Walk-On’s is based in his home state, Louisiana.
“I grew up going to some Walk-On’s,” he said. “We had a Walk-On right there in Bossier City. On the bathroom, when you walk in, my high school picture is probably still there.”
The Baton Rouge company offers Louisiana Creole-style cuisine dishes including crawfish and gumbos. Walk-On’s CEO Brandon Landry, a former player at LSU, said Prescott’s addition “just made sense” as the chain seeks to add more restaurants in the area.
Walk On’s Bistreaux & Bar.
Source: Google Earth
Walk-On’s also operates in Florida and is looking to expand to Colorado and Ohio. Walk-On’s has 51 restaurants operating and wants to expand to roughly 70 locations by the end of 2021.
“We’re going to stay on that growth pattern for the next five to seven years,” Landry told CNBC. He added the company is coming off a year where sales declined 4%, but Walk-On’s is expecting growth with the U.S. continuing to reopen from Covid shutdowns.
“People are getting back out, and they have money to spend because they’ve been sitting in their houses for a year,” Landry said. “It told us that casual dining is not going anywhere.”
Prescott, 27, signed a four-year, $160 million deal ($126 million is guaranteed) with the Cowboys in March. He’ll make $75 million in 2021, including a $9 million base salary and $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 offseason status, Prescott told CNBC he had his best rehab session on Monday.
“Today was the best day I’ve had,” Prescott said. “I can go play in a game right now and be very successful. By training camp, I’ll be in dominating fashion, better than I was before I came off the field.”
Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott (4)  during the NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.
Andrew Dieb | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images
The season-ending injury further put off-the-field business in perspective, though. Prescott wants to learn the dynamics of every investment he makes, including the stock market, which he has yet to dabble in seriously.
“I’ve got a great financial team teaching me about it, and we’re getting into that,” Prescott said. “I’ve got to be educated and know about it before I say, ‘Here’s $1 million … go make money.’ I want to be educated and know how I’m getting it back — the whole process.”
Prescott plans to be diverse in his investments.
“I wouldn’t say that there is one avenue that I want to just dive into more than the others,” Prescott said. “I’m a very open guy, so I’m open to learning about new things, new investments. Whatever it is, it has to be genuine and something I care about; something I would buy and not just some cash cow.”
In 2019, ESPN reported Prescott made over $50 million via endorsement deals from companies including sports apparel-maker Adidas, Beats by Dre (owned by Apple), and Pepsi.
Asked what advice he would give newcomers from last weekend’s NFL Draft about off-the-field business, Prescott pointed to preparation.
“It’s about starting those business investments and business opportunities now, so when the game goes away, you’re not trying to learn it,” he said. “You already had a head start — you can go from one career to the next without hesitation.”