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THC-free premium wellness and CBD brand Beam announced Tuesday that Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield will become its youngest brand ambassador. Former NFL # 1 draft pick has also invested in the brand using the venture fund he started with his brother Matt, Camwood Ventures.
Mayfield was kind enough to sit down with Entrepreneur and talk about his latest investment, rest and relaxation tips, how to deal with stress, and what it's like to run a soccer team over Zoom.
Entrepreneur: Tell me how you first got interested in Beam. What sold you in the product?
Mayfield: I was first introduced by my brother Matt. We started a small venture capital firm that he introduced to me. He had tried the product a couple of times when they started – the CBD bars. After some back and forth and changing some products, Matt introduced me [Beam co-founder] to Kevin Moran and Matt Lombardi via text. We just started talking and they kept sending out more and more products and I really fell in love with them especially how clean the product is.
Was there a product or experience that made you realize that you believed in the company?
For me it was the Clarity powder and the capsules. I would use that in the morning and get up to go to work out. I'm a big coffee drinker, I can't deny that. But I would get the clarity in the morning, and then suddenly I didn't need my coffee anymore. During the quarantine, I would say that the dream definitely helped with the stress of living at home. It was really valuable to be able to sleep well. And so the dream powder was great. I mean, it tastes amazing, but being able to wake up rested every day was great.
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I'm sure that when you're a quarterback and the face of an NFL game, the stress level can be compounded. What are you doing, either during a game or off the field, that helps?
During the game, we always try to focus on the task at hand – very objectively with what we are doing. Play-by-play, here are the steps I need to take to achieve what we want to do. And I think that goes hand in hand with things from the field. I have to get my body to this particular point to feel and do the best I can. How do I do this step by step? And Beam goes hand in hand with that because they offer different products depending on what your body needs.
I also think that there is always a big mindset. You must have the ultimate goal, but you must have these springboards too. The things that get you there.
Is there a process or routine that you consistently follow? I know many Beam products are designed for recovery, but I can't imagine it would be easy for the body to be attacked by 300 pound people. What do you do to relax so you can play every week?
The dream powder at night is great when we stay in the house but the best part is they came out with the capsules. This way the capsules are accessible when I don't have the entire setup for making the actual dream powder tea, and the best way to rest the night before a game. Then I do the whole week, especially on the longer days when I have to study, the whole film and on game day the Focus capsules … I moved from clarity to these. And I think that's just a personal preference for me to get my brain working so I'm ready to attack the day.
Top performance is very important for a professional athlete. How many hours of sleep are you trying to get, especially on game day?
I'm definitely trying to get at least eight. I don't think that personally I need that much sleep to be able to work at a high level – I've always been like that – so matchday eight is enough. When I sleep longer, I feel sleepy. A little overwhelmed
And it seems that Beam's products helped you with that. Did the co-founders' backgrounds as professional athletes help you win over? Have they done something that you would recommend other companies to do when targeting you or other professional athletes and brand ambassadors?
I definitely think their background made it easier for me to trust him just because they know exactly what you need to do to be at your peak. You have experienced something similar to my own, and I think one of the best qualities for any leader, company, or seller is to be reliable. Especially when you can also get the best out of your employees and the people around you. It's great quality, and both Kevin and Matt have it.
Do you focus on the theory of relativity when choosing which brands to represent?
It's something Team BRM [Mayfields Holding for Marketing Deals] … we don't just do deals for the money. It has to make sense and fit our strategy.
I am who I am and I've always been very proud of that. That's how I was raised. So I won't just put on a front for one product. It will be true and real and authentic. I try to carry these qualities and at the same time relate to one another during my work and also outside the field.
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I feel like a lot of professional athletes are a bit stiff or have a difficult transition to television commercials, but you seemed polished from the first ads. Do you think the emphasis on relativity is part of the reason for this?
For starters, a series of interviews throughout the quarterback process. You have to speak for many all year round. But then, as I said, we won't accept the deal or support something that we don't really believe in and that doesn't fit our brand. So it's easy for me to go out there and just be myself with some of these spots.
I try to have fun with it. I play the game that way too – if I'm not enjoying it then I really think I'm going to be wasting my time. It was different at first, but this time it was more fun filming the commercials – especially for progressives. It's just more natural. I think the more experience you get, the more comfortable you get.
Was there a tip that a director gave you who really stuck with you?
We had the same director for the first two campaigns for Progressives, and he said something to me in the first year. He said, "Stop trying so hard and just be yourself."
And I really liked that. He could tell that I was kind of uncomfortable at first and I was trying to do too much, but the reason we got the deal and they chose me to be the face of this campaign was because it suited them too. So I think being myself and trusting that it's more than enough is something I can rely on.
You spoke to Progressive and this director about teamwork. Teamwork and chemistry are essential aspects in both business and sport. Were there things you and the Browns did this off-season that helped you build the chemistry?
There's no getting around that, the Zoom meetings and all that. To be very clear, it sucks trying to get to know your teammates and achieve your goals this way. It's not the easiest way to go, but it's not an excuse. Everyone had to do it, and I think we did some things that were very innovative and creative for our franchise. We made some introductions for players and also for staff – not just like: "Hey, your name, where are you from …"
We called it four Hs: Your Hopes, Heroes, Heartbreak and … there was one more, but I'm going empty now. Essentially, it was a deep look into someone's life story to really know who they are. These are the conversations that everyone misses. Zoom meetings are so job oriented, and what really makes a team or a company better is cohesion. That's what you miss when you're not in person – the little conversations of getting to know someone and why they're ticking. I found this extremely creative and laid a strong foundation for us.
What is the foundation of your business activities and your presence outside the field?
Camwood Ventures is a small, small company, and we believe in everyone on Team BRM. It started from the bottom … I don't think people realize that Camwood is the street I grew up on – the street my brother grew up on. This is the basis of never forgetting where you are from and staying true to who you are. And I think my stuff in and out of the field is about realizing the work ethic you need to use to get the results you want. That and everything has to gel. So we are very selective about our choices, what we want to do, and we are very proud of that.