The playmaker

Former Dallas Cowboy Michael Irvin looks to score in the world of private equity real estate.

US football star Michael Irvin is known for a lot of things. For one, he spent more than a decade playing for the Dallas Cowboys, where the wide receiver played a critical role in the team’s three Super Bowl victories in the 1990s. Playing alongside fellow Cowboys Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith, Irvin was near the top of the league in receptions and receiving yards for much of the decade.

Even into the late 1990s, Irvin—known to fans as “The Playmaker”—continued to perform, chalking up several 1,000-yard-plus seasons and posting 10,265 yards over an eight-year period. In an early-season game in 1999, Irvin fell victim to the notorious concrete surface at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia after a hard tackle, which led to his retirement from the game.

Off the gridiron, Irvin worked as a NFL broadcaster for ESPN, where his on-air antics have occasionally put him back in the spotlight. Last year, for example, he made comments to a radio show suggesting that the athletic abilities of Dallas quarterback Tony Romo were due to possible African-American ancestry.

But now the playmaker is looking to make plays in an entirely new arena: private equity real estate. Irvin is teaming up with property development and management firm The Tetra Companies to form TMI Group, which is hoping to raise a $45-million fund to invest in retail, multi-family, industrial and office properties in the Southeastern US.

“To be successful in any team effort, you have to be able to look at the people around you and know there is commitment to doing things the right way and winning,” Irvin said in a statement. “With this in mind, I can think of no better partner than The Tetra Companies.”

By moving into the real estate world, Irvin is following in the footsteps of another former Dallas Cowboys star, Roger Staubach, who founded a successful commercial real estate company. Later this summer, Irvin will follow in Staubach’s footsteps yet again, when he is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.