NFL Players to Converge in Wayzata This Weekend
IFA president and founder Blake Baratz reviews documents with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Rachaad White. Photo courtesy of IFA

NFL Players to Converge in Wayzata This Weekend

Hanging out in Wayzata this weekend? Watch out for a group of NFL players attending IFA's “Empowerment Summit.”

Taylor Swift will surely be the most prominent guest in Minnesota this weekend, but she won’t be the only star visiting the state. A local sports management agency’s summit will bring a few big-name athletes to Wayzata this weekend. From June 22-25, the Minneapolis-based Institute for Athletes (IFA) is hosting its “Empowerment Summit” to educate and provide networking opportunities for its NFL clients.

“The whole idea is to build a lifetime of success,” IFA president and founder Blake Baratz said in an interview with TCB. “These guys have a lot of moving pieces in their lives, and we want to continue to introduce them to our network and people that can help them in all their different walks of life.”

The Empowerment Summit will take place “in and around Lake Minnetonka in Wayzata,” according to promotional materials for the event. Attendees will include the Minnesota Vikings’ Harrison Smith, the Washington Commanders’ Jonathan Allen, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Rachaad White, the Carolina Panthers’ Adam Thielen, and others. In total, there will be 60 to 70 people from IFA’s client base, along with their families. Corporate partners will also be in attendance.

So, what are the chances of actually running into an NFL player in Wayzata? Fairly low. Being a private event, the Empowerment Summit likely won’t interfere with citizens’ weekend plans since most of the activities will be in private or semi-private areas, Baratz said.

Former Ohio State University running back and current CEO of Elite Mindset & Performance Raymont Harris will deliver the event’s keynote speech. There will also be a panel discussion. Baratz said IFA sought diverse panelists who were willing to be vulnerable and share their stories.

“It’s hard enough to navigate life, but [our clients are] navigating a lot of things they’ve never dealt with, so we want to make sure they’re with good, trusted people,” Baratz said.

IFA is hoping to grow the Empowerment Summit into an annual event. In the future, IFA wants to increase planning time from four months to one year so it can partner with a charitable organization and bring in more people and brands, Baratz said.

The event was a large investment on IFA’s end, according to Baratz.

“[Our clients] have an opportunity to make a major difference, not only for their own families and create generational wealth for them, but they have an opportunity to be influencers to their fan base, their communities, and their charitable initiatives,” Baratz said. “We want to help guys utilize their platform for better.”