(CARSON) - Southern California trucking entrepreneur Herbert Cash, 33, became the youngest and first minority business owner to be granted a franchise in Developmental Football International LLC, after his application was approved for play in 2018.
"We have a responsibility in our communities to discover all the energy, brains, imagination and talent that our young people can bring," Commissioner Joel Williams said, in reference to the DFI opportunity seized by Mr. Cash, and the expansion California Wolfpack.
The California Wolfpack has partnered with DFI in the launch of their own scalable franchise platform designed to produce 'Game-Ready Players' and 'Life-Ready Men ™.'
"The pendulum has swung," Commissioner Williams said. "Our young people today are being misled about their futures. They've been propagandized and patronized. There is no distinction between fantasy and reality.
"The more participation of young people in our communities, the brighter our future in society," Williams said. "Together, with football as a platform, we all have a chance to solve a lot of issues."
Like all DFI applicants, Mr. Cash was approved after clearing a rigorous vetting of personal, financial and business background history. In addition, to ensure efficacy and parity, DFI franchisees are required to support and comply with all standard DFI player development processes.
This includes technical abilities, fiscal responsibility, career trajectory, and social and civic responsibility. DFI franchises share scalable brands, policies and procedures, verifiable data, and deliver measurable results.
DFI is the nation's only scalable turn-key developmental American football franchise opportunity, with a focus not just on players, but young executives like Mr. Cash, according to DFI Commissioner Williams.
Mr. Cash said the Wolfpack organization "is honored to be partnered with DFI on such a great business venture." He said DFI represents more than just football, but "a real opportunity to prepare young men for adult life" outside of sports.
"After multiple discussions with DFI executives, it is clear that our goals are in alignment for preparing young men straight out of school," Mr. Cash said. He specifically noted DFI's 'Above the Line' leadership development program.
"The most important years in a man's life are when he is left alone to fend for himself and become a real man," Mr. Cash said.
This fall the Wolfpack will play an eight-game DFI schedule, with additional playoffs, in at least a four-team conference. DFI executives confirmed that as many as 12 more teams are working through the intensive DFI franchise application vetting process.
DFI is the first American developmental football organization engineered to cultivate the annual flow of 16,000 Division I, II, and III prospects. It develops elite athletes who are attempting to thread an NFL/CFL needle of opportunity.
Without DFI, those leagues turn over roughly 250 jobs each year. DFI refines and showcases player skills through trademarked processes similar to the NBA's D-league and MLB's minor-league systems.
The league plays by NFL rules, with NFL-style uniforms, and oversight from former NFL executives, coaches and players. 'Above the Line' leadership development is a Chief Cornerstone of DFI, where becoming a ‘Game-Ready Player' also requires prospects to be a 'Life-Ready Man™.'
The market for DFI is substantial. The Southern California soft launch of DFI encompasses the second-largest urban region in the United States, with a population of 19 million. With its success, DFI will grow professional American developmental football across North America.
By 2021, DFI's flagship franchise will invest more than $200 million into stadium infrastructure to create the first of many venues that deliver an unforgettable fan and competitor experience.
DFI Productions will invest in a state-of-the-art facility that will produce and distribute games nationwide, along with original content to national partners and local affiliates.
The executive branch of DFI provides its member clubs unparalleled support across 19 departments, ranging from branding, marketing and communications to corporate partner development, and leadership and vocational programs.