One of the most successful and marketable athletes in the world for the past two decades, Jeter has established himself as a smart and risk-taking businessman. He has co-founded The Players Tribune and, in 2017, became the CEO of the Miami Marlins. He has also appeared in national ad campaigns and several TV shows and movies, including Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live and The Other Guys.
O'Neal earned over $200 million in his playing career, so it's not like he's hurting for extra cash. However, the Big Aristotle has proven that he has a variety of interests off the court, whether that includes co-hosting TNT's Inside the NBA, working as a deputy sheriff or developing projects in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey.
One of the best football players ever, Manning might be an even better endorser. The former Colt and Bronco has worked with major brands like Nike, Buick, DirecTV, Gatorade, Nationwide and Papa John's. In 2012, Manning took his partnership with Papa John's to the next level by investing in 21 franchises in the Denver area; he currently owns more than 30.
You probably know that Johnson was a WWE star who went by The Rock, but you might not also know that Johnson won a national championship in football while at the University of Miami. Since those days, Johnson has become one of the biggest movie stars in the world, acting and producing in film and on TV, while also writing a No. 1 New York Times bestseller.
Magic Johnson made major news in the 1980s when, in addition to winning NBA championships, he signed a 25-year, $25 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now, NBA players routinely sign for that in a single season, yet Johnson's business ventures -- most notably Magic Johnson Enterprises -- have made him wealthier and more influential than those who made 10 times as much during their playing careers.
He's probably best known for the George Foreman Grill -- and rightly so, considering that he signed a nine-figure contract in 1999 with Salton Inc. (now Spectrum Brands) for the naming rights of the grill -- but Foreman is also an ordained minister and the author of 10 books.
The UFC star was known for keeping fights short -- she once won a bout in just 14 seconds. However, her distinctive style and personality have allowed her to enjoy sustained, long-lasting success outside the ring, with her appearances in films such as The Expendables 3 and Furious 7.
Despite many controversies throughout his career, there may have been no more bankable star in the world than Floyd Mayweather, whose undefeated record made each fight a must-watch. In his final fight with Conor McGregor, Mayweather earned $100 million . . . minimum. Some experts estimated he might have made four times that.
The man's name has become such a powerful brand that it can get people to camp outside sporting goods stores just to buy a pair of sneakers. In addition to the Jordan brand and numerous endorsements, Jordan is the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets and a minority owner of the Miami Marlins.
Phelps has transcended swimming and dived into the mainstream of American athletics. He's used his brand and success to form the Michael Phelps Foundation, which promotes healthy lifestyles, and he's also joined the board of Medibio, a company that works to diagnose mental health disorders.
Bryant wasted no time in diving into his business ventures after retiring. In fact, his retirement announcement has been turned into a short film (narrated by Bryant) that received an Academy Award nomination. He also has a major partnership with BodyArmor, a sports drink company, and he's a founder in the Bryant Stibel tech company, too ... and that's before we even start talking about endorsements.
Rodriguez's 22-year career had many highs (World Series champion, 3-time MVP) and many lows, stemming from the use of performance enhancing drugs. While his career as a player has been divisive among fans, he has found redemption in the booth, as a universally well-regarded announcer for Fox. Rodriguez founded ARod Corp in 2003 "out of fear" that a career-ending injurt could greet him every time he took the field. Like many entrepreneurs, he always keeps an eye out for what comes next.
From starting his own skateboard manufacturing company to an apparel brand, a popular video game franchise and experience lobbying skateboarding into the 2020 Olympics, Hawk has done a ton to grow his name and the popularity of skateboarding for the better part of three decades.
Since announcing his retirement in 2001, Moon has worked on business and philanthropic ventures. He is co-founder and president of Sports 1 Marketing, while his foundation, The Crescent Moon Foundation, provides support for children's educational pursuits. He also sits on non-profit boards that include the Rose Bowl Foundation and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
In addition to becoming the founder and CEO of his own Lights Out clothing brand, Merriman has made appearances in television shows like Entourage and The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros. He is also part of NASCAR driver Jesse Iwuji's racing team.
The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl champion made a great transition from the field to television. Strahan has co-hosted Fox NFL Sunday, $100,000 Pyramid, Live! With Kelly and Michael and Good Morning America. Strahan has also launched a men's clothing line through J.C. Penney and written a book, Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life.
Palmer has worn several hats over the past 10 years ranging from NFL quarterback, to tech startup co-founder and digital agency partner, to quarterback coach. In 2007, Jordan co-founded Rock Software, which built mobile apps for athletes and celebrities. The company later became Shots Studios, a YouTube channel that creates content for social media influencers. Palmer now runs an online marketing agency called Common Thread Collective whose clients include The North Face and TheraGun. He has established himself as the preeminent quarterback trainer for players getting ready for the NFL draft. Palmer says his purpose in life is to “share his experiences on and off the field to help entrepreneurs maximize their opportunities on and off the field.”
With a career in the ring spanning 27 years, Wladimir Klitschko knows something about the hard work it takes to win -- and the harder work it takes to pick yourself up after a loss (not that he had many of those). When he announced his retirement, he made it clear that he had no intention of just sitting around. “Finally, instead of saying thanks and goodbye, I want you to continue joining me in this new and exciting journey. When we're together, we're more creative, more efficient, more productive and simply stronger in every way. Together, we're the driving force."
The best Canadian basketball player ever, Nash's interests expand well beyond the hardwood. The two-time MVP has written and produced videos for Nike, invested in soccer clubs like the Vancouver Whitecaps and RCD Mallorca and owns a $5-million fitness facility. In 2010, he also became the first NBA player to ever participate in lighting an Olympic cauldron.
Elway won two Super Bowls as the quarterback of the Denver Broncos before retiring. Since then, he's added another Super Bowl ring as the team's general manager. It only makes sense that much of Elway's off-field career would revolve around the city of Denver, where he has multiple restaurants and car dealerships, and where he hosts his weekly radio show.
Even though the Hall of Fame running back never loved football, he understood that the sport could be a launching pad for future things. That's why Martin donated 12 percent (at least) of every paycheck to charity, which he used in part to found the Curtis Martin Job Foundation. So, in addition to his investments, Martin has helped single mothers, children's education causes and countless others.
Weatherford has spent time as a broadcaster on a variety of formats, from WFAN radio to SportsNation, and some of these roles even came around the end of his playing career. Since retiring, Weatherford has focused primarily on philanthropic causes, including Rush the Punter and Kicks for Kids. In 2016, Weatherford also started his "ARMageddon" workout program, part of Weatherford Fit.
Davis has started two companies so far. The first is 5 Balloons Interactive, which makes mobile games, and the second is the Black Santa Company, which sells clothing and Christmas ornaments. However, Davis has also appeared in a ton of notable movies and T.V. shows, from the commentary track on Step Brothers to Mozart in the Jungle.
The only person on this list to play in the Super Bowl and World Series, Sanders has spent his post-playing career working as an NFL analyst for the NFL Network. He has also recorded a rap album that reached No. 70 on the U.S. hip-hop charts and written an autobiography.
Arguably the greatest women's soccer player of all time, Hamm has extended her influence off the field, too. Most notably, the Mia Hamm Foundation helps raise funds and promotes awareness for families who need bone marrow or cord blood transplants.Te foundation also helps to increase opportunities for young women in sports.
One of six NBA players ever to average 20 points per game in his final season (and 19.1 points per game for his career), Mashburn has been just as successful since leaving the court. As of 2015, he had 38 Outback Steakhouse, 54 Papa John's and five Dunkin' Donuts franchises in addition to his other business ventures.
Dyrdek is probably best known for his T.V. shows, which include Rob & Big and Wild Grinders, but he also has a variety of investments, which include Stance, UFC and Beatbox Beverages.
Growing up in small-town Texas, John Randle has said that as a kid, he dreamed of becoming a garbage man. The work was hard, but it was always there for you if you were up for the challenge. That work ethic took Randle much further than he could have imagined as a kid: The Vikings Ring of Honor member recorded 137.5 career sacks during his time in the NFL. A restaurant in downtown Minneapolis bears his name.
Dubbed Captain America, Staubach is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who served our nation for four years. He moved on to play quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, where he led the team to five Super Bowl appearances and two victories, earning his spot as the number Cowboy of all-time, as voted by the readers of the Dallas Morning Star.
Earnhardt, Jr. was named the most popular driver in Nascar for 14 years in a row by racecar fans. He has also made appearances in movies like Talladega Nights and Cars (as a voice actor), along with various music videos featuring Jay Z and Sheryl Crow. His numerous ad campaigns have contributed to his great financial success.