13 athletes who actually managed their money and built businesses

It’s not uncommon to hear about professional athletes who lost all their money during their careers or after retirement. Despite making millions of dollars during their careers because of contracts, sponsorships, and endorsements, players like Vince Young and Allen Iverson have lost it all.

The most common reasons players lose their money include overspending, bad investments, and giving out money to family and friends in an effort to remain loyal to them. Unfortunately, it takes good investments and good money management to keep the millions these athletes earn during their careers.

While there’s no shortage of professional athletes who’ve lost it all, there are also quite a few athletes who actually managed their money and built successful businesses. Many of these athletes invested in franchises while others started their own company and made it a success.

Check out these 13 professional athletes who actually managed their money and built businesses.

#1 – Shaq


Net Worth: $350 million

Former NBA great Shaquille O’Neal is one of the richest former basketball players in U.S. history with a net worth of $350 million. Shaq earned $23 million in 2014. Shaq Inc. is involved in a wide array of businesses from being a minority investor in the Sacramento Kings to owning 10 percent of all Five Guys restaurants. Shaq reached a deal with Authentic Brands Group in December, selling the rights to his future business endeavors. The group has the rights to manage O’Neal’s name in the merchandise and endorsement world.

#2 – Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

Net Worth: $500 million to $1.1 billion

Michael Jordan is the owner of his own shoe line, as well as the Charlotte Hornets. Jordan makes his presence known with the Hornets in the boardroom and near the court. His shoe company is thriving and he still has tons of endorsement deals. Jordan’s brand is worth more than half a billion dollars and his net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion.

#3 – Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson

Net Worth: $500 million

Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. was a special player who has made a name for himself as an entrepreneur. Johnson is currently part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, owns Magic Johnson Enterprises, and is par of the Detriot Venture Partners. His company has an estimated worth of over $700 million invested in franchises like 24 Hour Fitness, Burger Kint, Starbucks, and more.

#4 – Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning

Net Worth: $157 million

Peyton Manning may have retired, but that probably won’t stop him from plugging companies like Papa Johns. Manning is worth about $157 million. While much of his net worth was gained through NFL contracts with the Colts and Broncos, Manning has also appeared in commercials for Papa Johns and Nationwide Insurance. Manning made almost as much off the field through endorsements as he did on the field as a quarterback.

#5 – Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach

Net Worth: $600 million

This former Cowboys quarterback now makes a name for himself as a successful real estate mogul. Roger Staubach worked as a real estate broker during offseasons in the 1970s while playing for the Cowboys. After retirement, he put all of his energy into building the Staubach Company. He developed a strong client base and sold the company to Chicago-based real estate firm Jones Lang Lasalle. He currently sits on the board at JLL.

#6 – Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

Net Worth: $90 million

Superstar tennis player Maria Sharapova invested half a million dollars in 2013 to start her company called Sugarpova. The brand has a “premium candy line that reflects the fun, fashionable, sweet side of the international tennis sensation.” The company offers unique interpretations of classic candies at affordable prices. In her first year of business, Sharapova saw a 120 percent return on her initial investment.

#7 – Venus Williams

Venus Williams

Net Worth: $75 million

Venus Williams is the founder and CEO of V Starr Interiors, an interior design company based in Jupiter, Florida. The company has five employees and offers services for residential and commercial clients. Some more notable clients of Williams’ company include NFL’s Bryant McKinnie and talk show host Tavis Smiley.

#8 – Greg Norman

greg norman

Net Worth: $300 million

Greg Norman is known for his success in golf though it’s his Australian grille in South Carolina that helps him maintain his millions. The grille is located near the Intracoastal Waterway in Myrtle Beach. It carries an open kitchen and serves the best in Australian cuisine. Signature meals include prime rib, fettuccine, vinaigrette, and roasted duckling. Norman also has a selection of cabernets that received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.

#9 – Cal Ripken Jr.

cal ripken jr

Net Worth: $75 million

Cal Ripken Jr. was one of the best baseball players in the MLB during the 80s and 90s. His household name helped him create a business brand after retirement. Ripken is CEO of his company, Ripken Baseball, Inc. The company manages various baseball affiliate teams, including minor league teams like Charlotte Stone Crabs and San Francisco Giants. Ripken is also a spokesperson for companies like Chevrolet, Holiday Inn, Energizer, and State Farm.

#10 – David Beckham

david beckham

Net Worth: $350 million

Davis Beckham’s successful soccer career is just one part of who he is. Beckham is also known for his fashion modeling abilities though that was mostly before he was a big soccer star. The retired player is now involved in several projects including a bid for a soccer field in Miami to house his newly acquired soccer team. He also launched his own fragrance line called David Beckham. The star’s endorsement deals include Xbox, Samsung, Adidas, Pepsi, and Gameboy.

#11 – Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Net Worth: $365 Million

It’s no surprise that Kobe Bryant made the list of athletes who managed their money well. Bryant is not only an excellent basketball player, he is also an expert businessman. Kobe spends his downtime creating Nike ads for his line of shoes and following through on endorsement deals with Coca-Cola, Sprite, Mercedez-Benz, and Turkish Air. Kobe’s sneaker line has been successfully received in the international market.

#12 – Tony Hawk

Tony Hawk

Net Worth: $120 million

90s kids know of this skateboarder for his line of video games, called Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Tony Hawk turned his love for skateboarding into a career after retirement. Hawk is a best-selling author and owner of skateboard company Birdhouse. The company sells everything related to skating gears, decks, and clothing. He also boasts endorsement deals with Kohl’s Adio Sirius, and Six Flags.

#13 – John Elway

john elway

Net Worth: $145 million

John Elway was once known for his quarterback skills with the Denver Broncos, but now he’s known for his investing skills. Elway is the VP of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos and the co-owner of the Colorado Crush football team. Elway was also a car dealership owner, but he sold his five dealerships in 2008 for $82.5 million. Elway also owns two steakhouses and founded a nonprofit organization to help child abuse victims.

Written by Peter Mondrose

Peter Mondrose

Peter Mondrose is the Editor-In-Chief at BusinessPundit. He received his degree in Economics in 1998 and a second degree in Journalism in 2004. He has served as a financial adviser, market trader, and freelance journalist for the last 11 years. When he's not investigating market conditions and reporting on workplace news, he can be found traveling with his wife, dog, and laptop. He can be reached at OnlineDegree.com.