Jalen Ramsey is a huge admirer and fan of Muhammad Ali. The Los Angeles Rams cornerback appreciated Ali’s dominance in the ring, but more importantly, the boxer’s larger-than-life influence in society and culture. Ali exuded confidence that some mistook as arrogance. Ramsey can relate.
That’s why he jumped at the opportunity when a pair of 1975 fight-worn Ali boots came across his desk. Ramsey bought stock in that valuable set of boots worth $46,000, as well as shares in Ali’s “Fight of the Century” contract worth $39,000 via Rally Rd.
“I’ve always been influenced by Muhammad Ali,” Ramsey said. “That was dope to be able to hold a piece of history in my hand.”
Rally Rd is an alternative investment platform that securitizes high-value assets then splits them into shares that are offered as equity investments.
Ramsey and Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson partnered up with Rally Rd, which offers luxury items including vintage and rare cars, watches, purses and memorabilia.
“We look at Rally Rd as being a stock market for collectibles,” co-founder Rob Petrozzo said. “As long as there’s a group who cares about it—cars, watches, memorabilia—and wants access, we want to provide that access.”
Users cycle through the assets on Rally Rd and decide which to invest in. The platform’s average investment per offering is $300, but users can invest in an asset for as little as $5 a share.
Watson invested in a 1988 Lamborghini—one of his favorite cars—worth $292,000 and a 1970 Rolex watch—because he loves watches—worth $20,000.
“Growing up money was tight so when it came it was eye-opening,” Watson said. “I never want to be broke again. I want to make sure I’m squared up with my money, I know where it’s going and I want to make that decision with what I’m paying for and investing in.
“I know for sure with this company I get to see it all. It wasn’t a blind thing.”
Rally Rd completed its first initial offering for a vehicle in 2017. Seeing there was a demand for investments in high-end and rare cars, Petrozzo and his partners began buying up inventory. They purchased more luxury vehicles, and by 2018 were offering stake in 15 cars. Since 2019, Rally Rd has diversified its assets with the inclusion of watches, sports memorabilia, handbags, alcohol and wine, and books.
While the company’s offerings began with tangible items, Petrozzo said they plan to expand with intangible items as well, including music rights and entertainment offerings.
For both Ramsey and Watson, seeing their money in a tangible object—particularly in an area of personal interest—rather than being invested in a business or product they didn’t care much for was a major selling point with Rally Rd. Each player also cited the necessity for a diverse portfolio and the need to invest, particularly now while they are in the prime of their careers.
“Our football lives aren’t forever and they’re not our entire lives,” Ramsey, 25, said. “Careers are only a short time period. If you are in your glory years making a good amount of money, you should invest in the right things, manage it the right way, and partner with the right brands and people to put yourself in the right position so when your playing career is over you can live a comfortable life.
“Take full advantage of the opportunity you have when you’re in your glory days.”