12 Apr A Look At Athletes Dominating The Business World
We all cheer for our favorite sports men and women for their commendable performance on the field, court, rink or arena, but many are unaware of their successful entrepreneurial ventures off the field. Here are a few favorite celebrity-athletes that have triumphed in the field of business.
Venus Williams’ performance on the court needs no introduction, but did you know that this popular tennis player is also a successful businesswoman? In 2007, Williams started her own fashion line EleVen that aims to help women lead an active yet fashionable lifestyle. In addition, Williams leads V Starr, an interior design company, and is also part owner of the Miami Dolphins.
While Kobe Bryant was dominating the professional basketball space as a player for the Los Angeles Lakers, he was also discretely building a $100 million venture capital firm, which was announced in 2016. Co-founded by serial entrepreneur Jeff Stibel, the firm heavily invests in technology, media, and data companies with a primary focus on the sports, health, and wellness spaces. As equal partners, Bryant heads leadership within the firm and Stibel heads operations.
Kevin Durant may have moved to the Bay Area primarily for a Golden State Warriors contract, but he didn’t dismiss his close proximity to Silicon Valley. Within two years, Durant started the Durant Company, which collects early-stage investments that range from $250,000 to $1 million. Some of his investments include spare-change app Acorns, pizza chain Pieology, food-delivery service Postmates, and cold-pressed juice company WTRMLN WTR.
This tennis star not only conquered the court, but also made her mark in business with her candy line, Sugarpova. She started her venture in 2013 and within one year, amassed a ROI of more than 120 percent. The premium candy line presents typical candies with a twist from the tennis star herself and comes at a very reasonable price. The brand then partnered with Baron Chocolatier in 2016 to make Sugarpova Premium Chocolates.
This popular NFL player had a setback in his athletic career when he suffered multiple injuries, which ultimately forced him out of the game. Pyatt soon realized that he had become susceptible to the injuries mainly due to the supplements he had been advised to take during his career. He decided to collaborate with Cory Gregory for a venture into the world of nutritional supplements. Together, the two founded MusclePharm, which has has since earned the reputation as a trusted and affordable supplement brand for athletes worldwide.
This popular NBA player had a whopping net worth by the time he was in his late 20s and a good part of it came from his business ventures. Apart from his $90 million deal with Nike, James also holds a minor stake at the EPL club Liverpool. In addition, he earned a handsome $30 million when Beats Electronics, a company he had a deal with, was taken over by Apple. He also runs a marketing agency LRMR that oversees marketing campaigns for major brands such as Sprite, Upper Deck, and more.
While many would never even dream of taking up skateboarding as a career option, Tony Hawk proved that it was not only a good career option as a professional athlete, but also a great lifelong career choice. After impressing everyone with his skateboarding abilities, he went on to establish Birdhouse, a brand that sells gears, skatedecks, clothing, accessories, and much more. In addition, the professional skateboarder also founded marketing agency D/CAL, which now has offices in both Detroit and California.