When you think of successful Black athletes who are also killing it as entrepreneurs, names like Michael Jordan and Serena Williams probably come to mind. But did you know there's a whole new generation of enterprising athletes? Whether it’s on or off the court, it takes brains, brawn, and beauty (we can help you when it comes to grooming, by the way!) to take something from a side hustle to an enterprise.
Here are twenty Black athletes who come from a variety of sports (basketball, football, F1 racing, soccer, and more), all showcasing their top-notch business acumen, inspiring others along the way.
1. LeBron James
Let’s get the ball rolling with the biggest name out there. As an entrepreneur who owns several businesses and is constantly expanding, the NBA powerhouse has even attracted the admiration of the likes of Warren Buffet for his business instinct. From Springhill, his production company, to his investments in liquor brands and restaurants, his empire also gives back to his community. He remains dedicated to the LeBron James Family Foundation, which invests time, resources, and attention in the kids of his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
2. Bobby Wagner
As if being linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks wasn't enough, Wagner is also a shrewd investor, claiming stake in successful start-ups around the country. He serves as an inspiration to athletes to use their money wisely and always be on the lookout for promising new opportunities.
3. Ben Simmons
When he's not playing for the Brooklyn Nets, you can find Simmons fusing his love of video games with wise investments. With the esports company FaZe Clan in his investment portfolio, he's a vocal supporter of the growing esports industry.
4. Devin Booker
Booker, a three-time NBA All-Star, may be young, but he's wise when it comes to business. An investor in promising startups, he's a part of businesses like Buzzer, GoPuff, and Overtime, and he even runs a coconut-water brand called COCO5.
5. Brandon Copeland
As the linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons, Copeland knows the importance of teamwork. This mindset has propelled him to help others through his financial literacy courses at his alma mater. Even more, he operates two real estate companies and a non-profit that empowers local youth. Talk about a powerhouse!
6. DeAndre Hopkins
Financial savviness is a defining trait to the Arizona Cardinals wide receiver. Not only does he own his own real estate company, but he is also an endorser and investor of a variety of start-ups, including the wildly successful Beyond Meat.
7. Dak Prescott
Prescott may have a multi-million contract with the Dallas Cowboys, but that doesn't stop his hustle. The quarterback also boasts an impressive endorsement portfolio and owns a stake in four restaurants in Texas.
8. Amobi Okugo
This midfielder and defender for the Austin Bold Football Club works his magic on and off the field. The founder of Frugal Athlete, he helps athletes understand financial literacy, and he also runs the Ok U Go Foundation, a resource for underprivileged children.
9. Kelvin Beachum
The offensive tackle for the Arizona Cardinals is just as impressive when it comes to his investment portfolio. Beachum has stakes in over 20 companies and even serves on the advisory board of an accelerator that connects companies to their athletes and IP.
10. Julio Jones
The wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans is a principal investor in a multi-million real estate development in Atlanta, putting his business sense to good use as it rapidly expands to be a bustling center of commerce.
11. Andre Iguodala
The small forward for the Golden State Warriors has also made a name for himself as an intuitive tech investor, having claimed a stake in over 20 start-ups, ranging from footwear companies to personal finance apps.
12. Spencer Dinwiddie
You may not know it but Dinwiddie, point guard for the Dallas Mavericks, is known in the blockchain community as somewhat of a pioneer. As the co-founder of Eonxi, he aims to transform the way athletes and influencers market themselves.
13. Paul Pogba
Though he may not be as known in the US, Pogba is one of the most prominent soccer players in the world, and he recently decided to enter the NFT market through a new platform called Autograph, which sells NFT sports memorabilia.
14. Russell Okung
Offensive tackle NFL player Okung is a self-proclaimed tech nerd, having invested in several start-ups. He's also the co-founder of a foundation that works with young people from underrepresented communities to teach them marketable skills for the tech workforce.
15. Charles Woodson
Woodson discovered a love of wine while he was training in Napa Valley for the Oakland Raiders, Since then, he's launched his own wine label, TwentyFour, which has become known for its exceptional merlots and cabernets.
16. Lewis Hamilton
The British racing driver is going beyond the race track with his own series of apparel, partnering with Tommy Hilfiger, making join the ranks of many athletes with a passion for fashion.
17. Draymond Green
The three-time NBA champion and power forward for the Golden State Warriors knows a good investment when it catches his attention, having invested in successful brands like Smile Direct Club and Rumble Boxing.
18. Harrison Barnes
Quick thinking is needed both on and off the court. Barnes, the power forward for the Sacramento Kings, exemplifies this, having backed wildly successful company Beyond Meat and the sneaker marketplace, Goat.
19. Kyle Lowry
The point guard for the Miami Heat made a point to school himself on financial literacy as he racked up championship wins. Since then, he's invested in the healthcare, cryptocurrencies, and renewable energy industries -- not bad at all!
20. Mohamed Coulibaly
This enterprising soccer player is taking advantage of the country's growing enthusiasm for his sport, through his own multi-million dollar shoe firm, which is gaining momentum thanks to the player's willingness to take risks.