Life after Sports: Businesses Common for Athletes after their Careers

Life after Sports: Businesses Common for Athletes after their Careers

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Many athletes, after finishing their careers, find themselves very successful in other areas and often even begin to earn more income than earlier. The qualities acquired over the years in professional sports help them to become successful entrepreneurs.

Types of Businesses Common for Athletes after their Careers in Sports

In this article, we will discuss which business areas attract athletes the most after retirement.

Own team

David Beckham

Some athletes, after the end of their careers, become club owners and try their hand not in playing for any club, but in managing the team.

  • David Beckham is the owner of the American soccer club Inter Miami, which plays in the MLS. The team was founded in early 2018 and made its debut in the U.S. Major League Soccer on March 1, 2020. 
  • Michael Jordan acquired the Charlotte Hornets team on February 26, 2010, which he has co-owned since 2006. The legendary athlete became the first former NBA player to own a league club.
  • In 2018, ex-Brazilian striker Ronaldo acquired a controlling stake (51%) and took over as president of the Spanish club Valladolid, which plays in La Liga. This is not the first experience for Ronaldo. Earlier the footballer was one of the owners of the American club Fort Lauderdale Strikers, which ceased to exist.

By the way, La Liga, NBA and MLS matches are popular among bettors. On you can find bookmakers that offer the best odds.

Horse breeding 

Horse breeding is a very interesting and profitable activity. Among former athletes, it is not at all the jockeys who have finished their careers, as one might expect.

  • One of the most controversial basketball players in history, Sam Bowie, returned to his native Lexington, Kentucky, after his retirement and began breeding racehorses there. Bowie himself trains horses in the prestigious Red Mile races. He also travels around the country buying future champions for his stable.
  • A former striker for Schalke, Werder Bremen, and Hamburg, Ailton bought a horse ranch in Brazil a few years ago. These animals are his long-standing passion. Once, while still playing for Schalke, Ailton rode to training on a horse, for which he was fined.
  • Liverpool legends Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman founded The Macca and Growler, a racehorse breeding and maintenance company in the early 2000s. The players’ horses often performed successfully at the royal races, but the owners of the hippodrome themselves did not visit. They were only nominal owners of the business, and all the affairs were conducted by their fathers.

Restaurant business

Usain Bolt

Many sportsmen open restaurants after their careers. We will tell you about a few of them.

  • Legendary racing driver and 2009 Formula 1 champion Jenson Button has since retired and opened Victus restaurant in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. At the opening ceremony, the former driver even made tea for the city’s mayor on his own.
  • Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is the co-owner of Warehouse Kitchen & Bar in Southport, which he has been visiting for 11 years. The institution is included in the prestigious Michelin rating.
  • Record-holder in 100 and 200 meters, Usain Bolt owns a Jamaican restaurant. At his establishment, which is located in London, you can try chicken and pork dishes, as well as fried fish. Also, visitors are offered 150 types of rum, brought directly from Jamaica.

Clothing production

Athletes love to dress stylishly and expensively, and therefore after retirement many of them become owners of their clothing brands.

  • Undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather has his clothing brand, The Money Team (TMT). The champion himself is the face of the company, so his main task is to appear in public in his clothes as often as possible. He seems to be doing a pretty good job, with the brand making the former athlete $25 million annually.
  • Four-time Olympic champion and five-time Wimbledon winner Venus Williams is so into fashion design that she created her brand Eleven many years ago. The former tennis player recently launched the Wonder Woman collection with DC Comics, which includes T-shirts, shirts, hoodies, and other sportswear.
  • George Foreman, the WBC, WBA, and IBF world boxing champion, in collaboration with Casual Male Big & Tall, design clothes and shoes in large sizes. He is sure that thanks to his size he understands large people and knows what kind of clothes they need.


Wayne Gretzky

Are wine and sports compatible? The answer to this question can be given by those who have tried themselves in both fields.

  • Legendary ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky owns a vineyard and wine estate in Canada called Wayne Gretzky Estates.  And it works very well for the former center. His wines and whiskey take prizes in international and national competitions. The most expensive bottle of the drink costs $99 (this is Gretzky’s game number).
  • Former Juventus Turin and Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo own several vineyards in Italy and France. Now the Pirlo family distillery produces about 20,000 bottles a year, producing four types of wines, white Trebbiano di Lugana, rose, and two reds.

Chinese basketball star Yao Ming is also involved in winemaking. The business brings good profit because in the homeland of the former athlete there is an increase in demand for wine.

The first batch of the drink, called Cabernet Sauvignon Valley, was released in the volume of 5,000 bottles. Each of them costs $290 (such a high price is due to the high excise taxes in China).

These athletes prove that determination and career do not end within the four walls of arenas and courts. Surely, when one puts his heart and mind into any industry, he will surely succeed.