5 Athletes You Never Knew Owned Businesses

Athletes across the nation are expanding their horizons and accolades to surpass just being a current or retired athlete. Many have found and started their own business ventures to gain multiple sources of income to support themselves, their families, and to create the generational wealth that they may have not had or want to pass on. Here are five athletes that you may not have known own businesses today.

Shaquille O’Neal

Photo Credit: Black Enterprise

Former NBA legend, Shaquille O’Neal, has bought about nine Papa John’s locations in the Atlanta area. One of his most popular and trademarked locations is the pizzeria location on State Street. This location has his signature located on the outside along with the phone number “470-444-SHAQ”. You will find his size 22 footprint inside of the store. O’Neal has made it quite easy for drivers and visitors to easily spot out his store locations. Along with being an owner, O’Neal has also served as a board member for Papa John’s. Recently, he has replaced the former CEO as its brand ambassador and face of the company.

Venus Williams

Photo Credit: CNBC.com

Venus Williams, for a lot of women of color, was our first glance at seeing a black woman excel in sports. While being a millionaire, mother, and wife, Williams has also added entrepreneur to her list of accomplishments. Venus Williams is the owner of her own clothing line “EleVen”. Williams aims for her company to be fashion-forward in activewear and to “celebrate self-expression and living without limits“. Williams is also the CEO of V Starr Interiors, a design company.

Brandon Merriweather

Photo Credit: Complex

Brandon Merriweather is a former NFL player of the Patriots and decided to take on a new path after retiring from the league. He is the owner of “Takeout Waiter”, which focuses on restaurant food delivered to residences quickly. He owns two franchises in Apopka, his hometown, as well as another location in North Orlando. However, Merriweather did not stop there as he also owns a part of a restaurant in Apopka, an Orlando suburb. He wants to help his friends and family become entrepreneurs of their own, so his loved ones play major roles in the operation of his businesses.

Tywanna Smith

Photo Credit: YouTube

Tywanna Smith is a former starter for the Ole Miss women’s basketball team, who took her talents to Europe for a 2-year professional career in Holland and in Spain (medium.com). During school, she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Marketing and Business Administration. With her knowledge and passion for sports and management, she is the founder and current president of The Athlete’s NeXus. Her organization is a Sports Marketing & Business Management solution for today’s professional athlete. She currently manages players in the NBA, NFL, and even athletes that play overseas. What makes their company unique is its focus on post-career partnerships and various streams of income aside from being an athlete.

Alex Rodriguez

Photo Credit: CNBC.com

Alex Rodriguez is a three-time MLB American League MVP and a 14-time all-star in the World Series Champion. He can be seen now as a commentator for Fox Sports as well as being involved in several businesses. He started his own real estate investment and development firm while maintaining a career as a professional baseball player. This firm became to be known as A-Rod Corp as it broadened its mission to sports and wellness, media and entertainment. He is now the owner of UFC GYM that aims to be a family-friendly facility where everyone can come and promote healthy lifestyles.