Professional athletes often have trouble managing the large sums of money they come upon at such a young age, but these four athletes have managed to figure it out.
1. Kevin Durant
More and more athletes seem to be moving towards venture capital investments, and Kevin Durant has certainly led the charge amongst NBA players. Durant and his agent Rich Kleiman established Thirty-Five Ventures, a firm that has invested in roughly 40 separate ventures. These investments include brands that have seen major growth over recent years including the trading app Robinhood, the microlender Acorns, and his most profitable investment, the meal delivery service Postmates. Durant’s $1 million Postmates investment has ballooned into a $15 million stake over the past few years as the company has evolved into a major national corporation. Not only has Durant invested in start-ups, but he is also now a part-owner of the Philadelphia Union, an MLS franchise. To top it off, Durant created his own media company which helps to promote and leverage his investments and personal brand, a step all athletes could learn from. Durant's prowess on the court has easily transferred into the investing world.
2. Serena Williams
Serena Williams has won so many grand slam titles that with her prize money alone she is incredibly wealthy, let alone sponsorship deals and investments. But Serena herself claims that she is not one who likes to spend money but prefers saving and investing it. Serena Williams told CNBC that when she made her first million dollars she took it straight to the bank. “I’m the most boring spender ever,” she said. Similar to Kevin Durant, Serena Williams has also established a venture capital firm in recent years, called Serena Ventures. The firm has invested in numerous up-and-coming companies including private jet firm Wheels Up and Masterclass, a company that produces online courses taught by experts. Aside from her firm, she has created her own fashion line that maximizes her personal brand.
3. Kobe Bryant
Aside from the late great basketball players forays into the film world, Bryant proved to be a worthy investor as well. Bryant was one of the founding investors in BodyArmor, a sports drink brand established in 2011. In 2014 Bryant purchased a $6 million stake in the brand which had made only $10 million in sales that same year. As the third-largest investor in the company, Bryant was added to the advisory board for the brand and helped lead the company to skyrocket in value. His $6 million position has grown into roughly a $200 million position in the years since his initial investment, and numerous superstar athletes have been signed by the brand, including Megan Rapinoe, Trae Young, Donovan Mitchell, and Sabrina Ionescu. Kobe Bryant not only brought his mamba mentality to the court but also to the boardroom with BodyArmor.
4. Martin Braithwaite
Unlike the other athletes on this list, Danish soccer player Martin Braithwaite has never been recognized as a top-tier player, or ever gained massive contracts like some of his FC Barcelona teammates. Despite this, Braithwaite, the joint 14th place earner on his team, is worth more than all but one of his teammates due to his savvy real estate investments. In 2017 Braithwaite, alongside his uncle, invested $850k into the real estate firm NYCE Companies. Now his stake is worth more than $250 million, and Braithwaite isn’t done yet. He recently invested in The TEMPLE a reimagination of student living, beginning at Temple University. This new high-tech student dorm will include many features such as facial recognition keys, virtual reality leasing meetings, and AI-powered concierge services for the students. Braithwaite has also invested in other, similar real estate projects in different states across the US. It’s safe to say that Braithwaite will be involved in business far beyond his soccer career.