In 2009, Sports Illustrated published an article that revealed that 78% of NFL athletes go bankrupt or are under financial stress two years after retirement. For NBA players, it was 60% that end up bankrupt within five years of retirement. None of those statistics are flattering, considering those players made hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars throughout their careers. Thankfully, in recent years, many athletes have become more financially literate thanks to various league efforts, and those numbers are declining. Some go on to make a tremendous amount of capital after their playing days are over thanks to savvy investments and general business decisions. Here are the athletes who have continued to make a fortune after retirement.
Steve Nash Stays Involved With Sports
The former two-time back-to-back MVP Steve Nash put together an immaculate NBA career. The only thing he didn't accomplish was winning a championship ring, but he has the title of best Canadian player. After earning millions thanks to his ability to assist and score so well, he became an entrepreneur.
The Santa Clara University graduate works closely with Nike, producing, and writing videos for the brand. Nash also invested in soccer clubs RCD Mallorca and the Vancouver Whitecaps. He also has his Steve Nash Sports Club which helps his $95 million net worth.
Tony Hawk Is Always Grinding
Tony Hawk has been in the framework of popular culture for decades. The legendary skater blessed skate fans everywhere with his Tony Hawk's Pro Skater video game, which released in 1999.
Hawk also has his skateboard manufacturing company called Birdhouse Skateboards. Not only does he sell skateboards, but Hawk has a respectable apparel brand that his fans adore. Also, if you're ever in San Diego, you can visit the restaurant he invested in, Markey Restaurant + Bar. Hawk's net worth is a staggering $140 million.
The Sly Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter was sensational on the diamond. The World Series-winning Yankee played shortstop and was a crucial part of New York's success for years. He took his game seriously, and he does the same with his ventures post-retirement.
Since retiring, Jeter has become the CEO and part-owner of the Miami Marlins. He also is the co-founder of The Players' Tribune, founder of Turn 2 Foundation, and the Brand development officer at Luvo food brand. No wonder his net worth is $185 million.
Shaq Is The Franchise King
We know Shaquille O'Neal, the Hall of Fame center that dominated the NBA. What about the investment guru who has gained an enormous amount of capital since retiring? After he hung up his jersey, he picked up a suit and got to work!
There was a period when Shaq owned 155 Five Guys restaurants. He's sold his stake in Five Guys but said that the franchise was "very good" to him. The big guy must have a sweet tooth too since he owns 17 Auntie Anne's. Shaq was also an early investor in Google and still holds stock with the company today. His net worth is $400 million.
Phelps Transcends Swimming
Only Usain Bolt can come anywhere close to the Olympic dominance that Michael Phelps showed throughout his career. The most decorated Olympian of all-time made a splash in the pools and now makes waves in business.
Leaving the water behind, Phelps used his brand to start the Michael Phelps Foundation successfully. It aims at promoting healthy lifestyles. Phelps also is an endorser for Beats by Dre, and he's joined the board of Medibio, a company that diagnoses mental health disorders. The swimmer's net worth is $60 million.
No More Defense, Only Offense For Strahan
Michael Strahan was an NFL Hall of Fame football player who played defensive end. After putting his cleats up for good, Strahan put on his nicest suit and began working just as hard.
The Houston native has co-hosted Fox NFL Sunday for starters, but that's not his only TV venture. Strahan also has Live! With Kelly and Michael, and Good Morning America under his hosting belt. The Super Bowl champ is also an author and has Collection by Michael Strahan at J.C. Penny. His net worth is $65 million.
The Rock Says...
What can't Dwayne Johnson do? That's a trick question because it seems like he can do anything. After dominating in the WWE, The Rock took his talents to new heights in the entertainment world.
With a net worth of $220 million, one can imagine how much work Johnson puts in. You can bet on The Rock starring in at least one blockbuster film every year. He earns most of his revenue through the box office, and he has an ongoing partnership with Under Armour.
Elway Does It His Way
John Elway won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos before he ended his career as a quarterback. The Stanford product remains one of the best to throw a spiral, and he's doing a stellar job outside of his pads too.
These days, Elway is the Executive Vice President of Football Operations and the GM of the Denver Broncos. While he's taking care of his team he also has his Elway's restaurants bringing in revenue too. The former quarterback has an estimated net worth of $145 million.
Peyton Is On To Better Things
Peyton Manning was possibly the biggest weakness to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots but those days are over and now Manning's focus is off the field where he's hurting the competition just like he did with New England's defense.
The Super Bowl champion and MVP winner dabbles in a lot of fields. How else would he earn a $200 million net worth? After the recent Papa John's debacle, Manning sold his stake in 31 Papa John's franchises. He is still a Nationwide endorser for the company along with gigs at Gatorade and DirecTV.
Merriman Makes His Money By Diversifying His Portfolio
Shawne Merriman was a fearsome Pro Bowl NFL linebacker. With his large stature, he would lay anyone out that came his way. The former San Diego Charger navigates through business the same way he did on the field; with conviction.
Merriman is the CEO and founder of his Lights Out brand, a clothing line, and a NASCAR team member. He's made appearances on various TV shows like The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros and Entourage. His net worth is $13 million.
The Naval Academy Taught Staubach Well
Roger Staubach is a former NFL Super Bowl-winning quarterback who played for the Dallas Cowboys. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy before entering the league, where he would learn many values.
After leaving the NFL, Staubach created a real estate company. In 2008, he sold it for a reported $640 million to Jones Lang LaSalle. He's also the executive chairman of JLL Americas. All of this puts his net worth at $600 million.
Undefeated Out Of And In The Ring
Floyd Mayweather Jr. said, "When you're fighting at this level, there's no loser. I've never known a man to make hundreds of millions that's losing." While his way of thinking isn't for everyone, he has the bank account to back up pretty much all of his remarks.
The undefeated champion is the president of Mayweather Promotions where he makes the final decisions on how much he gets paid. For his final bout with Conor McGregor, he brought in a minimum of $100 million to fight someone outside of his sport. Investopedia has his net worth somewhere between $750 million and $1 billion.
Keeping Up With Usain Bolt
It's been years since he last competed on a track, and Usain Bolt still gathers more attention than any current track star. The world's fastest man broke many records during his prime, and he's looking to stay busy now that he's not sprinting his life away.
The Jamaican recently started a restaurant chain called Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records. Outside of that, he's still one of Gatorade's most prominent endorsers. "I work with my sponsors," Bolt added. "So that's my focus right now. I'm trying to do different businesses." His net worth is $90 million.
Fighting Wasn't The End Of Her Career
The former UFC fighter, Ronda Rousey built a reputation for ending fights quickly. She won a battle in only 14 seconds one time! Not only was Rousey a talented fighter, but she had a distinct personality that's helped her enjoy a sustainable career outside of fighting.
Rousey has been on the big screen a few times since retiring from fighting. You've seen her in Furious 7 and The Expendables 3 as well. Rousey also authored a book called My Fight/Your Fight. Her net worth is currently estimated at $13 million.
It's Not Magic, That's Just His Name
On the court, Magic Johnson was a force to be reckoned with, and it was no secret. He helped the Los Angeles Lakers win multiple titles, and was a centerpiece in securing the gold for the USA in 1992. Now, Johnson is on to bigger things.
The former point guard is the chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sparks, and LAFC. If it has to deal with Los Angeles, Johnson more than likely has a hand in it. Johnson's net worth is currently $600 million.
Kobe Bryant Wasted No Time
After spending 20 years in the NBA and earning a spot as one of the best to do it, Kobe Bryant wasted no time getting into other business ventures. The five-time champion and former MVP kept a laser focus on absolutely everything that he touched; basketball wasn't exclusive to that trait.
Bryant prided himself as a storyteller and a venture capitalist. His animated short Dear Basketball won him an Oscar, and he says that was better than winning a championship. He also had a massive partnership with the sports drink brand BodyArmor. The Oscar-winner built his net worth to an estimated $500 million. Tragically, Bryant died before he was able to show the world what he was truly capable of off the court. His death in January 2020 at just 41 years old meant that the next chapter of his life remained unwritten.
Dale Earnhardt Still Earns
One of the most popular NASCAR drivers of all time, Dale Earnhardt Jr. recently called it quits from racing. Earnhardt now has to go from blazing the track, to trailblazing in the real world. He seems to be making a seamless transition.
Earnhardt has numerous campaigns that have helped contribute to his estimated $400 million net worth. He's the founder of Hammerhead Entertainment and Whisky River. He's also launched the Dirty Mo Radio podcast network as well. Earnhardt knows his way around money.
His Airness Is A Business Building Billionaire
Still the greatest to play in the NBA, Michael Jordan might be the most successful off the court as well. The six-time champion took competing to new heights during his day and left a path for many to follow.
Since retiring, he's become the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets. The Hall of Famer also has his Jordan brand, which is his cash cow. He's been out of the league for decades and still has the most valuable sneaker deal. Jordan's net worth is estimated at a staggering $1.65 billion.
Foreman Keeps Grilling It
Invented by Michael Boehm, but marketed with great success by George Foreman, the George Foreman grill is a staple in many households. The former heavyweight champion of the world used to make a living knocking out his opponent's lights, and now he's getting paid in very different ways.
As we said, you probably know him from the famous grills. Foreman signed a nine-figure deal in 1999 with Salton Inc. for the naming rights of the grill. His net worth is $300 million.
Mia Hamm Keeps The Cash Flowing
One can argue that Mia Hamm is the greatest women's soccer player to step on the pitch, but that's a topic for another day. Hamm has taken her influence off the field and found ways to monetize what she's passionate about doing.
One of her most notable works is the Mia Hamm Foundation that helps raises funds and promotes awareness for those in need of bone marrow or cord blood transplants. That's not something you hear every day! Her current net worth is $10 million.
Venus Williams Has Her Own Clothing Line
As if winning seven Grand Slams and being loved by adoring tennis fans world wide wasn't enough, Venus Williams is also an incredibly successful entrepreneur. Since becoming a living legend on the court, she has started several businesses off it, the most prominent being her clothing line.
Venus calls her brand EleVen and is always wearing her own apparel during matches. Along with he incredible clothing line, Williams also runs V Starr Interiors, an interior design studio located in Florida.
Brad Pyatt Got Into Supplements
As a wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts, Brad Pyatt always found himself injured. After a four year career of pain became too much to handle, he retired. In his retirement Pyatt decided to make a difference and help create better supplements for athletes.
Along with Cory Gregory, Pyatt founded MusclePharm. With an incredibly savvy team behind the pair, the turned the brand into one of the most trusted on the sports and supplement market.
Jay Williams Kept Pushing
Jay Williams was supposed to be one of the best to ever play in the NBA. Drafted by the Bulls, the hype around the young star was real. Sadly, before his career even began, Williams got into a motorcycle accident. The Bulls cut him and his career was over.
Since overcoming the tragic loss of his career, Williams has become a spokesman. He is currently the facet of Visions Federal Credit Union. He also works on the side for ESPN as a college basketball analyst. He has a net worth of $4 million.
Walton Stayed Close To Sports
Bill Walton started his basketball career playing for the UCLA Bruins in the 70s winning two national titles during that time. After school, he was drafted into the NBA where he played for the Portland Trailblazers winning MVP and two NBA Championships.
After retiring in 1987, he overcame a stuttering problem and became a successful NBA commentator for CBS, NBC, the Los Angeles Clippers, ABC/ESPN. After taking a break from broadcasting he came back to sports broadcasting full time. His net worth is $20 million.
Hakeem Olajuwon Brings In The Cash
Hakeem Olajuwon played for both the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors between 1984 and 2002 with back-to-back-championships in 1994 and 1995. He is also known for mentoring some other incredibly skilled players of today such as Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwight Howard, among others.
While Olajuwon made some sound investments both during and after his NBA career, he knew that he could keep using his money wisely. So, today, he is a real estate dealer which keeps the money coming in. His net worth is $200 million.
Listen To Chambers Speak
Tom Chambers is the only player to have scored 20,000 points over the course of his career and to be eligible for the Hall of Fame but isn't. He was the NBA All-Star four times and had a 16-year career with six different teams.
Today, Chambers works as a broadcaster for Fox Sports Arizona where he covers the Phoenix Suns. He also breeds horses in Utah although he describes that aspect of his life more like a hobby than an actual job. He has a net worth of $84 million.
Griffey Loves His Sports
Ken Griffey Jr. retired at one of MLB's greatest homerun hitters of all-time. These days, he’s transitioned into one of the best sports photographers around. Like Randy Johnson, Griffey Jr. has found new life photographing sports. One of his biggest assignments to date has been Monday Night Football.
Unlike Johnson, Griffey Jr. didn’t have a background in photography before he started. He had a different advantage: "I have the privilege to know some of the best photographers in the business … because of my background. I can call upon these guys and ask them questions. Being around them, I see what they do and what they see." His net worth is $85 million.
Bar Owner Jerry Remy
One of the Boston Red Sox' most legendary players, Jerry Remy was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2010. Now living as an everyday person, Remy works as a bar owner and children’s book author.
His bar and grill, Jerry Remy’s Bar and Grill, is located in Fall River, Massachusetts. His two children’s books are Hello Wally and Wally The Green Monster. In 2008, Remy announced he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Ten years later he proudly told the world he was cancer-free. His net worth is $15 million.
Strawberry Is A Minister
As a player, Darryl Strawberry won four World Series championships; one with the Mets and three with the Yankees. Since then he as become an ordained minister and founded his own Strawberry Ministries. For the former all-star, he says his new life was always his true calling.
Speaking with USA Today, Strawberry said, "I was always more driven. I knew there had to be more than just putting on a uniform and hitting grand slams and making millions of dollars. I always believed there was a greater purpose to life." His current net worth is $1.5 million.
Cal Ripken Jr. – Minor League Team Owner
The Iron Man of Major League Baseball, Cal Ripken Jr. had a stellar 21-year career with over 3,000 hits and 400 home runs. Since retiring, Ripken has written books, started his own company, and bought several minor league baseball teams.
His most prominent minor league team is the Aberdeen Iron Birds. In 2002, he bought the Utica Blue Sox of the New York-Penn league and moved them to Aberdeen. In his spare time, Ripken works as a postseason analyst for TBS. His net worth is $75 million.
Mark McGwire Is A Hitting Coach Now
Mark McGwire didn't have an easy path back to a normal life after retiring from MLB. Despite being one of the sport’s all-time home run leaders, his entire career was disgraced when he admitted to using steroids to boost his production.
Big Mac spent years rebuilding his broken reputation, eventually finding his way back into the league as a coach with the St. Louis Cardinals. Since then, he has bounced around several clubs as a hitting coach, most recently with the San Diego Padres. His net worth is $60 million.
Brett Farve Is Still Going
After throwing for 71,838 yards and 508 touchdowns, Brett Favre could've hung up the work ethic and chilled by the beach for the rest of his life. Instead, he decided to open a restaurant in Green Bay called Brett Favre’s Steakhouse.
In 2017, they decided to change the name of the restaurant to the Hall of Fame Chophouse. The interior is still littered with Brett Favre gear and apparently, the food is stellar. He has a net worth of $100 million.
The Manning Elite
Archie is the father to Peyton and Eli Manning, but he also played 15 years in the NFL. He was selected to be one of the 13 inaugural members of The College Football Playoff Postseason Selection Committee but had to step down due to health concerns.
He now spends most of his days running Manning's in New Orleans. One of the most popular items on the menu is the Archie Burger. Manning's net worth is $10 million.
Dan Marino Loves Pizza
When you're a Hall of Fame quarterback, you usually don’t have to work a 9-5. But, Dan Marino couldn’t fathom loafing around after he retired from the NFL.
He currently owns Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. There are 62 locations in the Northeast and Florida. He spends a lot of his time working on the pizza chain trying to dip his fingers in every aspect of the business. He says he doesn’t really have a day off and has a net worth of $35 million.
Don't Let Him Spear You
It seems like a natural transition from being a football player to trying to get into the WWE. For example, The Rock was a football standout in high school and played college ball at the University of Miami before trying his luck with wrestling.
But, Goldberg represents the first true case of an NFL alum forging a bona fide career in the world of wrestling. He played for the Atlanta Falcons, and didn't have to go too far to start his pro-wrestling career with the Atlanta-based WCW. Golberg's net worth is $14 million.
The Vice President Of Sales
Dermontti Dawson is one of the most prolific centers in the game. He’s a Hall of Famer and took a trip to seven Pro Bowls. When he got injured in 2000, he knew that his playing career would probably be over. But, he couldn’t just sit around and let time pass by, he needed to find a hobby.
He became a real estate developer and acquired $69 million in assets before he filed for bankruptcy. Then, he shifted to the sales world where he currently works as the vice president of sales at a promotional product company called Prime Time Plus. His net worth is somewhere between $1 and $5 million.
FBI Man Charles Tillman
The former Chicago Bears cornerback has become an FBI agent. In September 2018, it was reported that Tillman had enrolled at the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia, to pursue a full-time career at the agency.
His interest in joining the FBI after football goes back to his playing days, where he occasionally observed and worked alongside law enforcement officials during offseason months. The two-time Pro Bowler earned a criminal justice degree from Louisiana-Lafayette. His father, Donald Tillman Jr., was a sergeant in the army. He now has a net worth of $10 million.
The four-time Pro Bowl running back has stayed in the spotlight since he retired from the NFL. No, he's not a football analyst on TV or anything, but he is on stage. He put his years of acting classes to good use by taking many roles in theatre.
In fact, he’s done many local productions of Shakespeare and he’s even been seen on Broadway in the iconic role of Billy Flynn in Chicago. He has a net worth of $2 million.
T-Mac Is Still At It
Tracy McGrady is now in the Hall of Fame, an accomplishment that is very humbling for him. The former All-Star had an injury riddled career that kept him from reaching his full potential, but he still managed to be one of the top-15 players while active in the league.
Now, he's retired and still into basketball. The only difference is, he isn't on the court, but you can find him on the sideline's calling games. The sports caster also works for ESPN on several shows as a co-host from time to time. His net worth is $70 million.
It's not all that weird for an NFL player to be living a double life. But, it’s very weird in the case of Bill Lenkaitis. During the offseason, he earned his dental degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis.
He ended up graduating in 1973 after six offseasons of schooling. He spent all of his days off from his dental practice working out on the football field for many years to come. His current net worth isn't in the millions, but it's still more than others at $500,000.