Beyond the Game: Andrew Petcash’s Evolution from Playbooks to Pitch Decks

For Andrew Petcash, co-founder of sports media and investment firm Profluence Capital, his years as an elite athlete prepared him to be a sports industry disruptor

The best athletes spend years learning the game they love, understanding their craft, developing strategic plans, and working toward being the best on the field. The most successful entrepreneurs aren’t so different from these athletes. For Andrew Petcash, co-founder of sports media and investment firm Profluence Capital, his years as an elite athlete prepared him to be a sports industry disruptor.

As a Pittsburgh native, watching the Steelers take home a tight win or rooting for the Penguins was a regular activity in Petcash’s childhood. But, as the child of two college athletes, it didn’t take long before he became quite the athlete himself. 

After playing all sports under the sun throughout his childhood, basketball became Petcash’s favorite. He went on to play collegiate ball at Boston University (BU) and, there, dove even further into the sports world. The strategy behind the game, connecting the dots about who was going to make what move next, and always thinking 10 steps ahead made Petcash stand out on the court. 

Before long, his ability to orchestrate the big picture while executing the details of the here and now would start serving him as an entrepreneur. While he was still playing on BU’s team, new NCAA rules went into effect that allowed collegiate athletes to accept endorsement deals and compensation for the use of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). 

Seeing how big an impact this would have on athletes following in his footsteps, Petcash jumped into action. “I knew a lot of high schoolers and their parents were going to need help navigating these new rules, so I built a publication called College Athlete Insight, or CAI,” Petcash says. As the doors to sports, media, and technology opened, Petcash knew he was in his element.

Petcash while playing basketball for Boston University


Foresight may be Petcash’s secret weapon in sports and business, but taking time to look at things in hindsight played a big role in his understanding of himself as a business leader. Perhaps it was seeing his parents and mentors successfully run their own businesses, or perhaps it was his early ventures into the startup world, but either way, 25-year-old Petcash looks back on his entrepreneurial journey with a perspective on how all the failures and successes of past ventures led him to where he is today. 

After a neighborhood venture at 13 to start a landscaping business, Petcash realized he wanted to do more than trade time for money. He wanted to unlock the ability to make an income without being present. So, being the tech-savvy teen he was, he monetized two different YouTube channels: one that shared NBA highlights and another that provided peaceful meditation videos to viewers. 

“Not only was I making money from advertisements on a residual basis, but I started to understand how I could scale a business without shoveling snow or spending my summer mowing lawns,” he says. 

With lessons from landscaping and YouTube, Petcash entered college with a new perspective but the same entrepreneurial spirit he’d had for as long as he could remember. Instead of spending his athletic stipend on gaming consoles or new shoes, he started investing in the stock market. A couple years of wins, losses, and lessons gave him enough cash to start CAI, a publication that helped explain the new NIL laws. 

“We wrote eBooks and articles on how to navigate NIL, how to make money with NIL, and more,” he says. “It all got built up so fast. Soon we had ad revenue, affiliate revenue, and eBook sales. It got to the point where I was thinking, ‘Wow, why am I even playing basketball anymore?’”


By the time graduation rolled around, Petcash had set himself up well for the post-grad life. “A Texas-based company called AIR was interested in buying CAI, so right after graduation, I officially sold my first business,” he says. “I worked there for two years, learning as much as I could about the sports technology side of things. I learned how to sell to teams, raise funds, and manage an offshore team of engineers.”

The business impact of additional resources and scaled operations launched Petcash’s NIL concept into a multimillion-dollar brand driver for top college athletes in the U.S. “Our company helped Jaden Rashada become the first high school football player to secure an NIL deal,” Petcash says. “Navigating these deals and helping AIR grow exposed me to the perfect mix of product marketing, fundraising, managing people, and selling.”

At AIR, Petcash worked closely with Scott Garber, a consultant whose skills complemented his own shockingly well. They weren’t sure what was coming next, but the duo decided they wanted to build it together.

Petcash talking on a panel at Lake Nona Tech Stopover


Together, Petcash and Garber launched Profluence.

“I can remember having the realization that if you can create media or if you can build distribution, then you can do anything,” Petcash says. “I knew how to build media, but Scott was the relationship person.”As Profluence began taking shape, the pair wanted it to be more than a sports media business; they wanted to disrupt the sports industry as a whole.

“Profluence”—which has a double meaning of abundance and telling a story or a narrative—is a storytelling platform at its core. B2B media podcasts, social media accounts, newsletters, virtual events, and resource lists for everyone in the sports world were just the tip of the iceberg for Petcash and his founding team. 

“When you’re building media, you can’t force things,” he says. “Everything has to happen organically; you need people to want to be a part of what you’re building.” 

To avoid creating an obsolete platform, Petcash and Garber studied the sports market, talked to venture capital and private equity firms, and identified key opportunities in the industry. 

Now, Profluence has three arms: an investment arm that funds minority stakes in pro teams, sports leagues, and sports technology; a media arm that provides resources and connection points for industry players; and a community arm to support individuals in the sports world.

By bringing together media, investing, and a community, Petcash is doing more than creating a business—he’s building a legacy. 

Petcash running a Triathlon


Profluence is still in its early stages, but after just two years of making waves, Petcash is already thinking about what’s next.

“I’ve always had a feeling that real estate is in my future, and funny enough, I’m seeing property conversations naturally become more prominent in my day-to-day,” he says. “For example, we found a plot of land for a team where we want to build a stadium, and I’m laughing to myself because I’m naturally foraying into this new landscape way earlier than I thought.”

As a teenager, Petcash found a mentor in his mom’s friend, Bill Malloy, a real estate-centered entrepreneur. Malloy would take Petcash around Pittsburgh, showing him buildings he had purchased, discussing a multitude of ventures he was working on, and even sharing his business pipeline.

“He had all these projects going at once, and I think that’s what really started to get my mind into thinking about connected business opportunities and the bigger picture,” Petcash says. 

Launching Profluence Capital, the investment fund, was a full-circle moment for this entrepreneur.

“I shed a tear that day,” Petcash says. “Bill was our first outside investor, and it was just an honor to finally be able to do business with him. I always joked with him about it as a kid, telling him, ‘Bill, one day we’re going to be doing deals together,’ and now we are.”

Any entrepreneur can attest to how big the successes feel and how harrowing the failures can feel. But at the end of the day, Petcash keeps his mind clear with a mindset he started learning as a young athlete.

“It’s all just a game that we’re all playing,” he says. “Sports is a game, business is a game, life is a game, relationships are a game. All we can do is have fun and keep good people around us.” 

Andrew Petcash

Co-Founder | Profluence

Pittsburgh, PA

Tampa, FL

Boston University

First Job

Philanthropy & Causes
Muttville, PRYC

Bill Malloy, Kristen Petcash, Bob Petcash

Profluence Capital