Jerry McGuire is a 1996 movie (Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Renee Zellweger) about a top-league sports agent Jerry. Late one night Jerry has a bad feeling about the work he does- lots of players to manage, no personal connection with the players, and the single-minded pursuit of money- and he writes a new mission statement which seeks to radically change the way sports agent in the company he works for manage players. His boss and almost everybody else (I say almost, because one accountant Dorothy Boyd is inspired by his new mission) in the company does not like his new ideas about reducing the number of players and making strong personal connections with the players and he is fired from his job. Jerry starts his own company with one player (Rod Tidwell who believes he is not getting the money and the attention he deserves), one part-time employee (the lovestricken Dorothy whose salary and benefits he can not pay), and major competition from his past employer. In a classic story of David beat Goliath, Jerry finally becomes successful when Rod Tidwell is instrumental in the victory of his team, his business philosophy of personal connection with the players is noticed and appreciated, and his entrepreneurial venture takes off. Of course, as with almost all Tom Cruise movie the story of his romantic relationship with Dorothy is interwoven with the strory of his entrepreneurship experience.
Jerry McGuire was a very successful movie and most people who watch it like that it’s a light-hearted movie that makes you feel good. Here is a guy, who gives up everything he has for a noble cause, works hard, competes with the big guys, and finally succeeds. It is a great discussion movie about entrepreneurship and the role of relationships with customers and clients in succeeding in a new business. It also provides good examples of some very practical and seemingly mundane issues related to starting a new business- who will pay the bills, who will take care of health care and other medical costs, how do you market yourself, and the inevitable frustration that most entrepreneurs have during the start-up phase. It is also a good movie to talk about the role of values and ethics in our lives, especially in the sports industry (in the words of one blogger, “money controls everything else in the universe, so why not sports“). In short, a feel-good movie that most people are likely to have watched already!