Joe Burrow, Khris Middleton among two dozen athletes investing in northern Iowa farmland

(ABC 6 News) – Several top athletes are coming together to invest in farmland in northern Iowa.

The athlete investment platform, Patricof Co., which helps athletes find investment opportunities, announced they have acquired a 104-acre farm in northern Iowa that specializes in corn and soybean production, and that around two dozen athletes have committed capital and are buying in.

Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals, Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks, Blake Griffin of the Boston Celtics, Kevin Gausman of the Toronto Blue Jays and Anders Lee of the New York Islanders, are among others that have committed to the farmland investment strategy.

The $5 million investment is the first step of a broader farmland strategy for the firm, which has plans to invest in at least four more farms in the United States. Patricof Co’s investment is through a Midwestern company that sources and manages farm investments.

“I think of it as a really smart recession hedge for people who are learning to invest for the long term,” said Mark Patricof, the firm’s founder and CEO. “It provides really significant downside protection and the opportunity to create a long-term investment strategy that fits the profile of somebody who’s young and can continue to make a lot of money and wants to be conservative with their investment strategy.”

The group will lease the land to farmers and seek a single-digit-percentage annual return on the total investment.

“As a pro athlete, I’m pitched countless investment ideas and ‘opportunities’ all the time,” said Middleton. “When it came to this specific deal that Patricof brought to me, I was attracted to it because of how different it was. Why farms? But when I looked at the history of returns, especially how U.S. farms have performed over the last 30 years, including during bad times in the economy, the stability is what stood out. I’m always thinking about the long term when it comes to my wealth and how I can provide for my family after I retire. And this deal is a long-term deal. That’s why I wanted to be part of it.”

Since launching in 2018, Patricof Co. has amassed nearly 200 athlete clients and deployed over $125 million across a series of private equity investments in companies like Bombas, Cholula, Daily Harvest and SpaceX.