Jan 15

Athletes Turned Successful Entrepreneurs

Always wondered what happened to your favorite athletes after they retired? Check out these Athletes Turned Successful Entrepreneurs!

It’s a great time of year for sports – basketball, football, the World Cup group draw, and more. It seems there is something for every sports lover this time of year. However, athletes don’t always get the best press. We hear stories of athletes blowing their fortunes, filing for bankruptcy, and worse. An athlete can’t play forever, even if we wish they could. Some will hire wealth management experts to help them manage their fortunes and plan for the future. However, instead of opting into early retirement, many athletes are choosing to use their fame and fortune to invest in themselves and start their own business. Check out these Athletes Turned Successful Entrepreneurs!

Athletes Turned Successful Entrepreneurs – Roger Staubach.

Even a non-football watcher like myself knows about the Dallas Cowboys. I also know what the Super Bowl, Hall of Fame and a quarterback are in the football world. Long story short, when I saw that Roger Staubach was a Hall of Fame quarterback led the Dallas Cowboys to two Super Bowl titles, he had to make our list.

“Roger Staubach worked for real estate titan Henry Miller Jr. for six years before building his own commercial real estate firm, The Staubach Company. The firm began with five employees, expanded exponentially under Staubach’s leadership, and eventually sold for $613 million in 2008,” says Business Insider.

Athletes Turned Successful Entrepreneurs – Kristi Yamaguchi.

Figure skating has long been a favorite Winter Olympic sport. However, it became the cult favorite it is today in the early 1990’s. Who was one of the first big favorites? Kristi Yamaguchi who won a gold medal for the USA in the 1992 Winter Olympic Games.

“The Olympic ice skating champion who took home gold for the United States at the 1992 Winter Games founded the Always Dream Foundation, which enriches the lives of children through education and recreational activities. She also launched a limited-edition women’s clothing line, Tsu.ya, and directed a portion of the proceeds to her foundation,” say Business Insider.

Athletes Turned Successful Entrepreneurs – George Foreman.

Could one of these lists not included George Foreman? Yeah, I don’t think so either. George Foreman is not only one of the most famous Olympic boxers, he’s also an entrepreneur who has launched many products since his retirement. Probably the most famous is the George Forman Lean Mean Grilling Machine. I’m sure the cheesy infomercial just played in your head. However, did you know the story behind this catchy named invention? Foreman comes from a low-income household and often went hungry as a child. The idea behind this grilling machine, was that it was a cheap cooking device that people could make a meal with even if they were without a home. By using an outlet and plugging in the grill, someone could make a healthy meal with minimal resources.

“The boxer made a name for himself in the 1968 Olympic games when he knocked out Jonas Čepulis to secure a gold medal. He started his business career several years before retiring, when he introduced the George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine in 1994. He went on to launch a variety of products, including environmentally friendly cleaning products and a clothing line,” says Business Insider.

Athletes Turned Successful Entrepreneurs – Venus Williams. 

If you think of a famous female athlete, you probably think of Venus Williams. As you should! She is a tennis power shot who, along with her sister, Serena, have worked hard to overcome quite a few negative stereotypes in the traditionally non-diverse tennis community. Venus Williams is also making waves in a new industry – fashion. This may come as a surprise, but fashion is no new territory for Williams. She has a degree in fashion design, which came in handy as fans were always lusting after Williams’s athletic attire. Seeing this opportunity, Williams choose her entrepreneurial path by creating her own athletic clothing line, EleVen. The line was created by William’s using art and watercolor as her inspiration. She created not just tennis attire, but pieces that would fit any sport. The clothing line is a favorite by not only fans but also other athletes.

Athletes Turned Successful Entrepreneurs –  Maria Sharapova.

When you think athlete, especially professional athlete, you don’t really think of sugar and junk food. Tennis powerhouse Maria Sharpova is breaking that rule.

“She doesn’t look like she treats herself to many sweets, but Maria Sharapova has cashed in on people’s love for gummy bears and gumballs to set up her own Sugarpova Candy Lounge in Wimbledon. Speaking to Newsweek last year, the tennis superstar explained, “When I was a little girl I loved sweets (and) two years ago it just hit me: ‘Why not do something with candy and create a business of my own?’” The tennis crowd in London love their sweets, so this indicates that Maria has a lucrative career after she hangs up the racket. Sharapova has become the highest paid female athlete on the planet, making $29 million in earnings in 2014,” says The Sportster.

Athletes Turned Successful Entrepreneurs – Lewis Howes.

Most athletes are advised to finish out college and use their athletic ability to pay for education. The idea being that life is uncertain. It’s not uncommon for injuries to end even the brightest looking career for new athletes on the professional circuit. This very thing was true for Lewis Howes.

“Howes left college early to pursue a career in professional football, but was sidelined from the sport with a career-ending injury shortly into his first season. He quickly switched gears, and turned his obsession for business and marketing into a multi-million-dollar online media company, which aimed to educate people on how to grow their careers.

He sold the education company to his partner two years ago, but continues to educate people through podcasts, articles, and public speaking. His athletic career resurfaced in 2012 when he was selected for the US national handball team,” says Business Insider.

Athletes Turned Successful Entrepreneurs – LeBron James.

If you think basketball, you probably have one of these three names come to mind – Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. Who wouldn’t? LeBron James as certainly made headlines for more than basketball.

“To the naked eye LeBron appears just as good at selling himself as he does shooting hoops. An admirable role in the Amy Schumer flick Train Wreck came after the development of his own firm, LRMR Marketing. His moves from Cleveland to Miami and back again manifested because he had the power written in his contract. Put simply, LeBron is never dictated to by any NBA administrator. Such is his business savvy he created a bidding war between Nike, Adidas and Reebok to sponsor him before he even bounced a ball in the NBA. LeBron redefined what it meant to be a free agent on the open market by controlling every part of his image and career direction,” says The Sportster.

Feeling inspired? Are you a sports lover who would love to have their own sports related business? Check out these sports related business opportunities and become your own boss today!

Athletes Turned Successful Entrepreneurs

Athletes Turned Successful Entrepreneurs

Sources: The Sportster and Business Insider.