Money Smart Athlete Blog

The Best Athlete Investors

By Theocharis Georgiades, APC Sports

Despite being well paid, many professional athletes are looking for alternative sources of income to grow their wealth. To this end, they often use their sports earnings to invest in various ventures and projects. Most investments are usually made after retirement; however, we have a number of cases where athletes begin investing way before they retire.  The rationale behind athletes’ investments is the creation of alternative sources of revenue which can potentially lead to the creation and accumulation of wealth.  We list below a few athletes who have gone through this route to create wealth and who are considered successful investors.

1. Lebron James: The famous and incredible American professional basketball player has managed to build a very strong reputation in entrepreneurship. One of his most famous investments is Blaze Pizza. He has turned his initial investment of one million dollars into one that’s worth $25 million. He has also co-founded a production company (“SpringHill Entertainment”), which has been very successful, the value of which is estimated at $750 million. It should also be noted that he holds 2% of the shares of Liverpool F.C.


2. Michael Jordan: One of the most successful and marketed figures in history, who has become a billionaire. The deal he struck with Nike in 1984 has paid out to him over $1.3 billion. In 2010, he took the majority control of the NBA team “Hornets”. In addition, he owns a car dealership, multiple restaurants, and he is a partner in the Cornerstone Restaurant Group. He has become a part-owner of the Miami Marlins, owning less than 1%, and he has invested in DraftKings, an American daily fantasy sports contest and sports betting operator. His assets right now are worth $1.6 billion.


3. Conor McGregor: In 2018, he launched an Irish Whiskey (“Proper No. 12”), which generated over one billion dollars in its first year. In 2021 he sold his majority stake in this business for about $600 million. Due to his great love for clothes, he has created the brand «August McGregor» in collaboration with David Heil. In addition, he included in his business portfolio the media brand “The MacLife”. Conor McGregor’s net worth in 2021 stands at $720 million.


4. Kobe Bryant: Bryant was notable for being one of the most successful athlete investors. An investment made by him in the company “Bryant Stibel” returned 33.33% of its money. His investment in BodyArmor was extremely profitable since in less than five years it has yielded a total return of 40%. He has also founded a multimedia original content company and had a partnership with Alibaba Group. In addition to the above, he had endorsed more than 25 brands during his career as a basketball player. At the time of his death, his net worth was estimated at $680 million.

Account taken of the above it is concluded that the route to wealth creation for professional athletes is through sound investments.  As a result, we consider it an absolute must that athletes take the time to become properly educated in financial and investment concepts to avoid making wrong and reckless investment choices; making sound investment choices will contribute to creating wealth thus safeguarding their financial future.

For more information on the subject of athlete investors you may contact us at [email protected].