Former NFL player Marques Ogden offers inspiration to the Construction Industry

Jan 23 '19 | By Ray

Former offensive lineman Marques Ogden knew that while he was enjoying an NFL career playing football he needed a backup plan, he knew it wouldn’t last for long. "I once read that 78 percent of athletes lose their money about a year into retirement," says Ogden."That wasn't going to be me. Football is such a short-lived career. It's not like baseball where the money is guaranteed. If you don't prepare to do something every day you could lose your fortune" – Ogden said in a 2011 interview with Business Insider

So a year before his 2007 retirement, Ogden founded Kayden Premier Enterprises, a minority-owned, certified construction company based in the Baltimore, Md., area that specializes in earthwork, concrete, site work, site utilities, sediment and erosion control. In 2008 launched his construction company, Kayden Premier Enterprises, in Baltimore with funds from the $2.5 million he had saved up as well as credit and home loans.

In 2009, the offensive tackle retired from football following a back injury and saw his construction company’s first big project success that same year. Ogden, 30 years old at the time found a business partner in 72-year-old Arthur Pearlman. The combination of a former NFL player with a 30-year veteran of the construction industry made for a powerful and clever team.

After experiencing several years of steady growth since opening doors for business in 2008, Ogden projected his 30-employee construction company would have earning of $24 million in revenue by 2016. His first year in business enjoyed small revenue of $450,000. In 2009, Kayden made $1.4 million, but had a loss. The following year saw a profit with about $2.3 million in revenue. In 2011, the company's projected revenue was $3.6 million to $3.8 million, with a profit.

In 2012 Kayden Premier Enterprises grew to about 50 to 60 employees; however, the company didn’t ride that wave for long when Ogden assumed a problematic multi-million dollar project in downtown Baltimore. Ogden says he never received payment and was slapped with a $2 million bill for the 90 days his company operated on the project. Ogden did his best to keep the company alive with his personal funds, but ultimately filed for bankruptcy in 2013, and went out of business. As a result, Ogden was left with a home foreclosure, repossession of his two cars and terrible credit. Ogden later said:

“It was very depressing; I had become a statistic that I was trying to avoid. I didn’t have lavish spending habits. I became a statistic trying to save my business and that can happen to anyone.”

At his darkest point, the NFL came in and helped Ogden restructure his life with a $14,000 grant. After almost losing everything, Ogden redefined himself and became a motivational speaker and marketing leader, helping to build others up to succeed. Through it all, Ogden dealt with his own personal demons of drinking and gambling to make it regardless of obstacles that were in his path. He wanted to inspire and encourage others, so he became an author, he wrote the book ‘Sleepless Nights’.

In his inspirational book he details growing up in a single parent home with a father that inspired perseverance and fairness. It was in this household where Marques Ogden learned how to define his values and set goals.

Ogden offers these five tips for anyone entering into the business world and construction industry:


1. Always investigate your business partner

2. Get background and reference checks

3. Don’t grow too fast

4. Don’t be underfunded

5. Learn to walk away if needed



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