Newsom launches podcast, not presidential run. His running mate is ex-NFL star Marshawn Lynch

Left, California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during an event in San Francisco on Nov. 9, 2023. Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch leaves the field after the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom and former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch are teaming up on a podcast called "Politickin'" that will premier July 15. (Associated Press)

Gov. Gavin Newsom knows the value of connecting with celebrities. And of connecting with the wealthy.

Now he's banking on an alliance with "Beast Mode."

Newsom will host a weekly podcast along with former NFL star running back and noted disrupter Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch and his agent Doug Hendrickson. It premiers July 15 and will be titled "Politickin'."

The podcast is billed on the iHeartRadio platform as "an unexpected collaboration," and the hosts are described as "Gavin Newsom like you’ve never heard him and Marshawn Lynch exactly how you’d expect him."

Despite the title, Lynch said in a short preview that the podcast won't address politics.

Read more: Column: After Biden's debate fiasco, Harris or Newsom could be Plan B

“It’s bridging gaps,” Lynch said. “You sit down, you come to the roundtable, we need to figure it out. I need to figure out where you’re coming from, right? But you need to figure out where he’s coming from.

"Your politicking may be a little bit different, you feel me? You handle yours a different way. We bring each side, all walks of life, and we figure out what we’ve got going on.”

What brought together a former NFL player whose exploits on the field — he rushed for 10,413 yards and 85 touchdowns in 12 seasons — were often overshadowed by his quirky, amusing and profane personality, and the Democratic governor of the largest state in the U.S. who may or may not have presidential aspirations?

More like, who brought them together: Hendrickson is a lead NFL agent with Wasserman — who represented Lynch — and he's been a friend of Newsom since the 1990s.

Newsom and Lynch, who grew up in Oakland and attended UC Berkeley, share Bay Area roots. The running back became a star in Seattle, rushing for 6,381 yards and 58 touchdowns over seven years with the Seahawks. Lynch helped them win the Super Bowl in 2014.

Read more: Newsom praises Biden, shoots down post-debate questions about replacing him

Lynch, nicknamed "Beast Mode" because of his ferocious running style, retired after the 2015 season but returned in 2017 with the Raiders, saying in a tweet: "I had hella fun in Seattle ... But I’m really from Oakland.”

He enjoyed a strong season in 2017 but injuries sidelined him much of the next two years, and he retired for good after the 2019 season.

Though prone to often bizarre and hilarious pronouncements, Lynch also has been active in social and philanthropic causes. Along with Seahawks teammates Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, he went to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake that claimed 300,000 lives to help build houses and schools.

Around the same time, he helped establish the Fam 1st Family Foundation, which is described on its website as instilling "the intrinsic family values of loyalty and leadership to impact the lives of Oakland’s disenfranchised youth." Lynch serves as vice president.

This won't be Newsom's first foray into hosting a media show. As lieutenant governor, he hosted “The Gavin Newsom Show,” which briefly ran every week on San Francisco-based Current TV and featured interviews with celebrities and business leaders, especially from the burgeoning tech industry.

Read more: Must Reads: How eight elite San Francisco families funded Gavin Newsom’s political ascent

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.