Pro athletes will inevitably reach a time in their lives when pristine athletic ability will not continue to be their main source of income. When this time comes, it falls upon them to step into the business world and strive to maintain their disposable income. While some rely on endorsements to support them, many enter into the world of entrepreneurship to seize the reins of their own lives.
Perhaps one of the best and most famous basketball players of all time, Michael Jordan is a common household name. Although his 5 regular-season MVP awards and 6 NBA National titles are spectacular, they are not all he is known for. Image the silhouette of a man doing a split in mid-air, while reaching with a basketball. This is the logo of Nike’s Air Jordans.
Since the start of Jordan’s career, Nike has made 27 models of this product to represent his accomplishments. By teaming up with Nike, Michael Jordan has solidified his face in modern apparel and been able to retain a continuous income.
Venus Williams is known throughout the world because of her titles and accomplishments in tennis. Venus is ranked number 3 in the world for singles, holds 5 Wimbledon Titles, and an Olympic Gold medal. The duo act with her sister, Serena, has rocked the tennis world putting them at number 2 in the world for doubles.
Venus entered the realm of entrepreneurship by trying out her own interior design ideas. The ideas grew and now she is the CEO of V Starr Interiors, a commercial and residential design firm. She uses her creativity and adapts ideas from across the globe to design comfortable and unique spaces. Although Venus’ tennis career is still in full swing, she has established herself as a successful interior designer and can fall back on that in the future.
Tony Hawk is the pinnacle of the skateboarding world. He is the first person to ever land a 900-degree twist, which is two and a half spins in mid-air. He holds 12 World Championships in vertical skating as well as Make-A-Wish’s Favorite Male Athlete award and the Teen Choice Award’s Best Male Athlete.
Due to his unmatchable accomplishments in the skating world, he was asked to team up with Activision to create a video game. In 1999 the first version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game hit the shelves and outstripped the expectations attached. Since then 15 versions have been developed, including Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1-4 and many others. The popularity of his game continues today because of the ever-changing layout and goals of the games.
Mia Hamm has been the face of Women’s U.S. Soccer for 17 years because of her skill and ability on the field. She was awarded FIFA World Player of the Year for 2001 and 2002 and has scored more goals internationally than any other player. She decided to use her celebrity status to create her own foundation, The Mia Hamm Foundation.
The purpose of the foundation is to educate and support people or families needing marrow blood transplants. Her brother, Garret Hamm passed away from complications while undergoing a transplant and Mia has been advocating awareness since. Now it is an international non-profit that raises money and spreads knowledge for thousands of families.
Wayne Gretzky is one of the most famous hockey players in the sport. He holds or shares 61 NHL records and the number 99 has been permanently retired from the sport. Since Gretzky left the game, he has opened his own restaurant and winery in Toronto. It had always been Gretzky’s wish to own a restaurant, so when he had the financial backing, he took advantage of it. Now it is common to find the famous hockey star strolling between the tables and talking to the customers.
Many star athletes have entered into the world of entrepreneurship and thrived. Through clothing, games, and non-profits, retired and current athletes can be found taking advantage of their income and status to insure future success by taking part in entrepreneurial endeavors.
About the Author: Steven Doumet is a blogger who creates informative articles in the field of athletics. This article describes a few professional athletes turned entrepreneur and aims to encourage further study with an Athletic Administration Masters Degree