Rafiyq Cromwell started out as a kid from Pittsburgh who had dreams and aspirations of playing for one of the best teams in the NFL. He didn’t have a specific team in mind –he just knew he wanted to ball in the big leagues. He put in his work on the field and eventually, when he got to college, needed something besides his skills that would get him noticed by scouts. He turned to t-shirts.
It sounds simple, but those t-shirts were the start of a movement which soon turned into a business. Rafiyq went from the field to a desk — dreams still on buku, and mission on a thousand!
“I made some shirts to brand myself,” he told us. “I figured I could have my fanbase wear these shirts in the stands, and then it was up to me to show that I could play.”
His shirts read: “Pick 6 Empire.” If you’re into sports, you understand the linkage. Anywho, Rafiyq reached out to close friends and family and asked them to support his t-shirt line and furthermore to show up to his games to help grab scouts’ attention. He tells us the support was tremendous. So tremendous in fact that it expanded his plan. He soon reached out to athletes at other schools so they too could use his tactic.
“Although we played for different teams, I wanted to create a team atmosphere across the board,” he said.
His plan worked. Athletes from other schools had now joined the Pick 6 Empire movement and although the name wasn’t a brand just yet, it was a “thing” to be a P6E athlete!
When the 2016 NFL draft came around, God had other plans because not one team that showed interest decided to sign him.
“None of the teams that showed interest called. I cried my eyes out,” he said. “I had -$100 in my bank account, just had a car accident, and still had 2 finals left to graduate school. I got up off my a** and chased what I believed in and turned dreams into a reality.”
Rafiyq says although being on the field is very near and dear to his heart, career longevity became his priority, so he switched the name of his brand and turned his dream into a business — Dreamers Worldwide was soon born. He decided that he wanted to work on the other side of the field — he wanted to represent the players he aspired to be.
“I wanted to help maximize these players opportunities so they too could have longevity in their career –I wanted to help build their legacy.”
He changed the name from Pick 6 Empire to Dreamers so his brand would appeal to more than football players. A few prayers, some tears, hella paperwork, and an office later, Rafiyq is now the head of a fully functioning sports management company! He manages three NFL players, three 2018 NFL Draft participants, and one 2018 NBA summer league participant.
Dreamers World Wide offers career management, education continuation, public relations, brand partnership, and content creation.
He tells us his favorite brand partnership so far is Will Clark’s campaign with the American Diabetes Association.
“We are always diligently working to create a legacy that will be legendary,” he says. “We produce solutions that are tailored to each person’s passions and find things that are personable to each player — no cookie cutter themes. We focus on generational wealth. Game checks are cool but let’s find something to solidify you as a person and brand you outside of this sport. I strive to build the brand off the field.”
To learn more about Dreamers Worldwide, visit their official website!
Go, Rafiyq! Keep chasing your dream!
TSR STAFF: Chantel Kelli! @_popchanny on IG!
Photographs: @IamSeton on IG!
If you or someone you know is an Athlete with a story to tell, contact Chantel@TheShadeRoom!