Sometimes lost in the negative stats are the post-game success stories. Best known are broadcasters, actors and pitchmen like Shaq, retired Pittsburgh Steeler Terry Bradshaw and former Miami Hurricane-turned-WWE star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Increasingly, former pros are making their names in business as well.
Long before he swung his last bat for the Yankees last month, and before the steroid scandal that led to his one-year suspension, slugger Alex Rodriguez began planning for life after baseball. After his hand-to-mouth Miami childhood, Rodriguez wasn’t about to end up strapped for cash.
Though his lifetime baseball earnings have hit $375 million, more than a decade ago Rodriguez formed A-Rod Corp., a holding company for his various ventures. Those include Miami real estate construction firm Newport Property, in partnership with two childhood friends, fitness centers in Mexico and auto dealerships. Monument Real Estate Services, which manages more than 12,000 units across country, has grown so much locally that it recently hired a South Florida regional manager.
Former Heat player Jamal Mashburn said that as kid growing up, he always wanted to be the guy with the briefcase. After retiring in 2006, Mashburn put his $53 million NBA fortune into entrepreneurial ventures. He reportedly now owns more than 80 franchises and businesses that include 40 Papa John’s pizzerias, 38 Outback Steakhouses, four Dunkin’ Donuts spots and several car dealerships.
Over the course of his legendary 21-year career, former Marlins catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez amassed countless awards and honors. After his 2012 retirement, Rodriguez went into business. Last May, he joined z9 Capital, a Boca Raton-based venture capital fund, as a partner and vice president of business development. The $25 million fund focuses on making seed investments in early-stage, founder-led companies.
Other pros, like former Dolphin John Offerdahl, have put their money where their mouths are.
While still playing, Offerdahl opened a bagel store, Offerdahl’s Bagel Gourmet, which later merged with three other bagel retailers to form Einstein Bros. Bagels. Another restaurant bearing his name, Offerdahl’s Cafe Grill, has six locations in South Florida.
Retired Dolphins “perfect season” coach Don Shula’s name graces a group of steakhouses and other restaurants. Its brand ambassador is son Dave Shula, himself a former NFL player and coach.
Former Miami Heat star Ray Allen also went into the restaurant business with his popular Pinecrest restaurant Grown, an organic, fast-food, drive-through restaurant right here in Miami.
And just last month, retired L.A. Laker Kobe Bryant announced the creation of a $100 million investment fund with entrepreneur Jeff Stibel that will be focused on tech, media and data ventures.
Jane Wooldridge, Jack Herrick