“What comes next? What is my next passion?”
Those are the two questions retired NBA star and Academy Award winner Kobe Bryant claims athletes have to ask themselves.
The answer — for Bryant, 40, and many other retired sports stars — is investing.
In mid-August, the news that Bryant’s 2014 investment of $6 million in sports drink BodyArmor had morphed into $200 million after Cola-Cola purchased the company garnered lots of attention. In 2016, the five-time NBA champion partnered with Jeff Stibel, former CEO of Web.com, to form the venture capital fund Bryant Stibel. Other investments under Bryant Stibel include online education platform VIPKid and restaurant booking company Reserve.
Bryant’s return on investment is a boon to the ideology of athletes’ soaring interests in technology investments and beyond. But he’s not the only player who has taken the savvy approach to declaring his or her next passion.
More than 30 years ago, NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson, now the president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, started Magic Johnson Enterprises and invested in technology staffing company Jopwell. For decades he has maintained ownership in movie theaters, Burger King, TGI Fridays and other franchises, teams and startups.
Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter invested in the video conference service Blue Jeans Network and the anti-bullying app StopIt. He also founded sports website The Players’ Tribune. NBA big man and Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal sat down with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in June to discuss investing in Google. O’Neal has also invested in burger chain Five Guys, 24 Hour Fitness and Apple.
Here are nine superjocks who use their brainpower, access and finances to make their money work for them.
The new mother and tennis champion took interest in the meal delivery service Daily Harvest. During a 2017 episode of talk series Kneading Dough, she also expressed to Maverick Carter some interest in investment properties.
“I have the weirdest one, it’s property,” Serena Williams said. “For me, investments are really important in terms of who are the other investors: What does their portfolio look like? Have they been successful? If they’re a new company, are they a good product? Is it something you believe in? I never do something if I don’t really believe in the product.”
Venus Williams is an investor in Ellevest, a financial app that empowers women and provides tips on saving.
When the Golden State Warriors All-Star found himself leaving Oklahoma City for Silicon Valley, he’d already developed a portfolio that included stakes in delivery service Postmates; Acorns, an investment app geared to millennials; drone company Skydio; and scooter brand LimeBike. Kevin Durant usually prefers to make his investments at the early stages.
“I think from early on in my career, I wanted to be someone who promotes health and wellness and nutrition,” Moore told WCCO4 CBS Minnesota. “These two companies definitely fit all those things.”
Continue onto The Undefeated to read about the complete list of athletes.