Seven-figure contracts sometimes fail to satisfy those competitive enough to thrive in professional sports. With so many endorsements, investments, and opportunities at their disposal, great athletes almost invariably go from wearing uniforms to wearing suits. But not all of them succeed. (Just ask Phillies great Lenny Dykstra about serving time for bankruptcy fraud.) The ones that prosper are intensely protective of their personal brands and willing to trade on their fame. They also tend to be the ones who don't mind taking a bit of coaching from research analysts and accountants.
Here are the legendary athletes who've equalled their sports success with success in the board room. It is an elite club within an elite club.
The former Lakers point guard has made his name in not one but two professional sports, having become part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012. Though Johnson made just $18 million while playing in the NBA, his net worth is currently estimated to be about $500 million. He managed that feat by investing extremely wisely. In 1994, he paid $10 million for 4.5 percent of the Los Angeles Lakers. He sold that share in 2010 for almost $60 million. That year, he also sold 105 Starbucks franchises for $75 million. Magic Johnson Enterprises, his business, is currently valued at a billion dollars thanks to its diverse holdings and über-charismatic CEO.
In his 1992 memoir 'My Life,' Johnson credits his father with inspiring his entrepreneurial spirit. "Dad didn't believe in handouts," Johnson writes. "So as a kid, the only way I could get my hands on any spending money was to go out and earn it."
Estimated Net Worth: $500 million
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