Morris Esformes: What Companies Are Professional Athletes Investing In?

What Companies Are Professional Athletes Investing In?

When it comes to investing, we typically think of this being a job for traditional businessmen and women; however, athletes have garnered a major presence within the investing space.

Utilizing their large fortune, gained through successful professional sports careers, athletes have a major advantage when making business investments, and are able to leverage their expertise in the business world. Here we delve into a few athletes who have increased their net worth through a variety of business endeavors.

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Morris Esformes video on athlete investors

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan, known for his successful career in the NBA, playing for both the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards, can credit a large portion of his net worth to his investment of the Charlotte Hornets. Though he made his first investment back in 2006, it was in 2010 that Jordan made his major investment of $175 million, giving him 90 percent ownership of the Hornets. Currently, the Hornets has a net worth of more than $1 billion, putting Michael Jordan at a net-worth estimate of $1.9 billion.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams, one half of the famous Williams sister duo and incredibly successful player known for her 23 Grand Slam titles, has made her mark both on the court and in the investment space. Williams currently invests in Daily Harvest, a superfood startup that delivers pre-packaged frozen superfoods to your door, making eating healthy easy and accessible for everyone. Williams is a firm believer in Daily Harvest’s mission of providing frozen farm-to-table ingredients to consumers, a belief that motivated her decision to financially back the company. Williams also holds shares in Mobli and Mayvenn. Right now her net worth is estimated to be $180 million.

Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson, a retired professional basketball player, has made his mark in the investment space by establishing Magic Johnson Enterprises, a company that initially invested in a chain of movie theatres. Over time, Johnson’s company invested in Starbucks franchises, establishing 125 outlets in urban areas of Detroit, Washington, Los Angeles, and Harlem. Johnson eventually ended his Starbucks partnership after 12 years, selling it off at a pretty nice profit. Currently, Magic Johnson Enterprises has investments in EquiTrust, ASPiRE, and SodexoMagic. In addition, Johnson also co-owns the Los Angeles Sparks, Galaxy, and Dodgers. His estimated net worth is set at $500 million.

Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal, also known as ‘Shaq,’ made quite the impact on the NBA and later retired to become a sports analyst. He appears on the television program “Inside the NBA,” which airs on TNT. Aside from his sports analysis and commentary on a variety of programs, Shaq’s investment forays are equally praiseworthy. Shaq had stakes in Alphabet (Google’s parent company) before it became publicly traded. In addition, he also invested in stakes of ventures including Vitamin Water, Muscle Milk, 40 24-hour fitness centers, 155 Five Guys Restaurant, 17 Auntie Anne’s pretzel shops, 40 car washes, and a number of Vegas nightclubs. All told, Shaq’s net-worth is estimated at nearly $400 million.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant has not only enjoyed a successful career on the court, but he has also been a successful investor. Bryant founded Kobe Inc., whose initial investment was $6 million in Body Armor Super Drink for a 10 percent stake. However, in 2018, The Coca-Cola Company bought a small stake in the brand-name sports drink, which increased Bryant’s stake to $200 million. With his partner Jeff Stibel, he established the Bryant Stible firm that has $100 million self-funding for various businesses including technology, gaming, data, media, and more. Currently, Bryant’s net worth is estimated at $500 million.