The industry thought leader is behind recent trailblazing ventures, and he’s nearly ready to launch something he predicts will be huge
A version of this article was first published on the EINPRESSNEWSWIRE.COM
Having an agile, strategic mindset served Brad Pyatt well as an NFL athlete. These attributes continue to power his career as a successful health and wellness entrepreneur. Once named among the Top 50 Successful Athlete Entrepreneurs of All Time and among the Top 100 Influential Leaders in the Food Industry, Pyatt has a reputation for upending traditional thinking to create multi-million dollar brands.
Cracking the difficult codes
“My strength is being able to peek around the corner and find the trends before they become trends,” comments Pyatt, whose track record off the field has been filled with big wins. He and wife Stephanie amassed numerous celebrity endorsements when they formed Tru Brands, Inc. and launched TruWomen, 100 percent plant-based protein bars with fun, playful names targeting the women’s nutrition market.
An easy route might have been just capitalizing on the plant-based trend. But that’s not how Pyatt does business. “We’re dedicated to cracking the difficult codes. It took us two years, and hundreds of renovations, before we were ready to debut TruWomen to the market in 2018,” Brad Pyatt recalls.
“Our challenges were texture and taste. We were not satisfied with just coming out with a plant-based bar. We focused on disrupting the category with the best-tasting plant-based product and the best-tasting protein bar. We solved the challenge with a coated bar, which hides a lot of the protein within the coating.”
Marketed as indulgent nutrition, TruWomen is a taste-based candy bar alternative. The product line won Vegan Protein Bar of the Year in 2020, and the UK’s Nourish Award for plant-based ingredient products. Its fans include Halle Berry and Megan Fox. Brad Pyatt negotiated for TruWomen to be distributed by Target, Whole Foods and Costco Canada, among other locations.
“My success with TruWomen caused me to dig deeper into ingredient technologies and how these products are produced,” he reflects. Pyatt sold Tru Brands in 2019 to focus on his next creative venture.
Pyatt next helped introduce the world to citrus-based CBD
Ever the disruptor, Pyatt founded Tasty Idea, LLC in 2018 to use his imaginative ideas to accelerate growth for food and beverage companies. To date, Pyatt and his team have launched more than 500 products and won 20 industry awards.
But the idea that turns the most heads lately is Peels, the only company in America selling citrus-based CBD. Brad Pyatt is one of the founding shareholders. “I like to bring solutions to categories with new ingredient technology. We didn’t want to be part of the hemp dialogue,” he explains. “With Peels, we can make CBD even more accessible and worry-free because it’s not from hemp, is 100 percent THC-free and it is not governed by the same legal restrictions.”
Peels CBD is made from orange peels and marketed as citrus-derived wellness. It is molecularly identical to the CBD produced from cannabis plants and offers the same holistic effects. “It alleviates most of the consumer concerns about CBD products: There are no toxic impurities. It is FDA Standards and GRAS certified. And there are no concerns about positive drug tests.”
What’s next for this driven athlete-turned-entrepreneur?
Brad Pyatt gives a small glimpse into where he’ll next apply his energies. “I am intrigued by sports nutrition innovation. There are ingredients that have been around for decades, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something new to bring to market with some smart technological re-imagining. My ‘what’s next’ will be what I call a cool, T-shirt worthy lifestyle brand: a name and logo consumers will want to wear.
“Stay tuned because I’m about to usher in a new era of sports nutrition.”
TRUWOMEN has been the result of a collaboration between ex-NFL athlete, Brad Pyatt, and his wife, Stephanie.
Denver, CO – October 15, 2020 – Award-winning industry veterans Brad Pyatt and wife Stephanie Pyatt create award-winning healthy indulgence vegan protein bar winning the 2020 Mindful Award for The Best Vegan Bar Of The Year. The brand of vegan protein bars developed by TRUWOMEN(R) has been the result of a collaboration between ex-NFL athlete, Brad Pyatt, and his wife, Stephanie.
“Before founding TRUWOMEN(R) with my husband in 2015, Brad, I would often eat a chalky protein bar, only to have my stomach in knots from the conglomeration of low-quality ingredients like whey and sugar alcohols,” said Stephanie Pyatt. “Inspired by how underserved women are in the protein space, I wanted to create a snack that women feel proud to eat and share.”
Mindful Awards, an independent recognition platform highlighting conscious companies and products that mindfully make waves in the ever-expanding world of consumer-packaged goods, today announced the winners of the organization’s second annual awards program.
All nominations were evaluated by an independent panel of experts within the consumer-packaged goods industry, with the winning products and companies selected based on a variety of criteria, ranging from brand principles, environmental impact, health, taste, and transparency.
Pyatt and his wife have been working since 2015 to create nutritious snack and meal bars that also feature great taste. The nutritional bars that have been nominated are under the TRUWOMEN brand, part of the TRU Brands, Inc. portfolio. Only 200 calories, the bars are made with plant proteins encompassing brown rice, cassava and roasted almonds and taste like a favorite dessert.
Business Insider’s Insider Picks editor praises TruWomen and rates the brand’s plant-based protein bars among the best out there.
A leading financial and business news website’s team recently picked up a range of TruWomen’s much-talked-about plant-based protein bars for review, and the verdict is in: Business Insider’s Insider Picks praised the offering and rated the brand’s dessert-inspired bars among the best on the market.
“As far as we’re concerned, these are some of the best protein bars out there in terms of taste and texture,” revealed Insider Picks in its recent TruWomen review.
“They’re chewy, sweet but not overly so, and they feel indulgent despite being vegan and packed with protein, so if that’s what matters to you, shop away,” said Insider Picks’ editor, Megan, of the plant-based protein bar range, which includes seven unique flavors such as Saltylicious Almond Love and Oh Oh Cookie Dough.
Business Insider is an American financial and business news website founded in 2009. Business Insider’s Insider Picks team is focused on the latest products and services that it believes readers will find interesting, such as TruWomen’s plant-based protein bars, according to the website.
Insider Picks reported that TruWomen bars—all under 200 calories, and providing approximately 12 grams of protein each—were not just all-natural and immensely tasty, with just the right amount of sweetness, but also beautifully packaged and creatively named. “The colorful packaging is enough to make you want to take a bite,” they said in their recent TruWomen review. “Plant-based protein bars are nothing new, but ones that taste good are hard to come by,” they went on to add.
Business Insider’s Insider Picks team tried a variety of TruWomen bars, including glazed donut, key lime pie, and peanut butter flavors, known as Daydreaming About Donuts, Whipped for Key Lime, and Smother Fudger Peanut Butter respectively, praising, in particular, each bar’s chewy texture and the fun recipe profiles on offer.
The protein bar industry has grown consistently in recent years. Rating TruWomen‘s bars among the best out there, Insider Picks editor Megan suggested that this is likely as a result of a demand for on-the-go snacks that fit the needs of busy, health-conscious individuals. “I jumped on the trend a while ago,” she says, “but rarely do I find a new company that causes me to rearrange my hierarchy of nutrition bars, and TruWomen has done just that.”
Megan and the Insider Picks team also collectively praised TruWomen bars for not including dairy, soy, or artificial flavors, and for being gluten-free certified, vegan certified, and certified kosher, too.
The TruWomen brand was established by Stephanie Pyatt. Her venture has earned a considerable following online, now with tens of thousands of loyal Instagram followers, each keen to snap up exclusive offers and gain insider access to private TruWomen events. The brand has also developed something of a celebrity following with A-listers including Halle Berry and Megan Fox, both of whom are reported to be fans of TruWomen‘s dessert-inspired protein bars, according to a recent piece by New York City-based celebrity and entertainment magazine, Us Weekly.https://icrowdnewswire.com/2020/08/12/truwomen-protein-bars-rated-among-best-out-there-by-insider-picks-editor/
Indulgent Nutrition brought to you by TRUWOMEN these amazing protein bars bring the first indulgent vegan protein bar with desert inspired flavors
The protein bar industry is worth more than $800 million. The little prepackaged treats are the ultimate convenience and often claim to be a healthy alternative to a real meal while on the go. I, luckily enough, have tried just about every bar on shelves and am constantly claiming I found “the one” that provides all the things: as few ingredients as possible, high protein, low carb content, and good taste. It sounds near impossible, but the all-female company TruWomen set out to perfect this intricate formula.
TruWomen prides itself on providing plant-based bars and protein powders that are equally dedicated to both health and flavor. That means its products are soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free, as well as free of GMOs and sugar alcohols. Best of all, the flavors of the product line are inspired by dessert, and they all clock in around the magic 200-calorie mark with 12 grams of protein. In fact, the company’s founders, Rafferty Jackson and Karyn Gayle, consider their bars “indulgent nutrition.”
The bars — Oh Oh Cookie Dough, Daydreaming About Donuts, Smother Fudger Peanut Butter, and Zamn Good Zesty Lemon — taste like no other bar I’ve ever tried. The usually chalky texture and taste of most protein bars was nonexistent. In fact, each tasted more like a real treat because of the sweetness and brownie-like texture. As a serious peanut butter enthusiast, the Smother Fudger was my absolute favorite, but if you’re one to go for something fruitier, the Zesty Lemon is a very refreshing option for a post-workout snack.
I incorporated the bars into my usual fitness regimen or just when in dire need of an on-the-go snack. The best part? I didn’t have a bloated feeling or a pang of hunger I can get after eating an unsatisfying bar. These bars are sweet and delicious but made without artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes.
For me, protein and sugar aren’t the only important factors when it comes to finding a bar. Ingredients, too, are so crucial for keeping healthy while steering away from anything overly processed. These bars aren’t quite as simple as RXBars, which boast only five ingredients, but they don’t go overboard either. The Donuts bar, for instance, contains the following: cassava flour, brown rice protein concentrate, roasted almond butter, cane sugar, palm oil, natural flavors, sea salt, sunflower oil, and sunflower lecithin. Not too shabby considering how tasty the bar is.
With convenient snacks, I do worry that by noshing on a chocolate-flavored bar, I’m actually masking my desire for a real sweet treat, like a brownie, rather than a less-delicious version in a package that’s fortified with protein. “Something I see pretty often is clients eating so many ‘light’ versions of something, that when you look at it calorie-for-calorie, they may as well have just had the original thing they were craving,” explained New York registered dietitian Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN. TruWomen, however, is fully aware of its bars being a “substitute” for unhealthy, high-calorie treats, which may or may not be the solution for a lot of consumers. The founders explained, “Women are fully formed functioning people who make their own decisions all day long. We just wanted to go into the marketplace to add to their lives, and this is something that’s convenient and delicious and also good for you.”
The company also makes it a point to be a brand by women, for women. So TruWomen is, according to its founders, “not just marketing to women, but this is who we are. We have women at the table and we prioritize women when we’re making business decisions.” That’s something I feel good about sinking my teeth into.
Indulgent Nutrition brought to you by TRUWOMEN these amazing protein bars bring the first indulgent vegan protein bar with desert inspired flavors
The protein bar industry has been growing consistently over the last few years thanks to a demand for on-the-go snacks that fit the needs of busy, health-conscious people.
I jumped on the trend a while ago, but rarely do I find a new company that causes me to rearrange my hierarchy of nutrition bars — and TruWomen has done just that.
The company’s line of plant-based protein bars come in seven flavors, using natural ingredients like brown-rice protein, cassava flour and almond butter as protein sources. The colorful packaging is enough to make you want to take a bite, and fun names like “Whipped for Key Lime,” “Smother Fudger Peanut Butter,” and “Zamn Good Zesty Lemon” sound tempting from the start.
All that being said, I’ve encountered plenty of nutrition bars with fun flavors and cute packaging that still don’t meet the mark in the flavor department. I’m happy to say that’s not the case for TruWomen bars. Rather than those disappointingly dry, crumbly vegan protein bars, these bars are thin, chewy, and coated in an icing-like layer that adds just the right amount of natural sweetness.
When the company was in its first stages of creation, they asked female consumers what they wanted in a healthy snack bar. They received an overwhelming amount of responses that highlighted three characteristics: great taste, adequate protein, and real ingredients. In addition to working within these parameters, TruWomen ensures that their bars are gluten-free certified, vegan certified, certified kosher, and don’t include dairy, soy, or artificial flavors.
All of the flavors have an average of about nine ingredients, and they all clock in at 190 to 200 calories per bar. One of their more popular options, the “Smother Fudger Peanut Butter,” has 12 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, and 10 grams of sugar. Most of the bars reflect a similar nutrition label. The sugar content is a little high since they are sweetened with natural cane sugar and not sugar alcohols like maltitol, xylitol, or sorbitol — but this also means less digestive issues on your end.
Protein sources include cassava flour, brown-rice protein concentrate, and roasted almond butter. You’ll find other ingredients like cane sugar, sunflower oil, lecithin, and natural flavors in most bars.
Flavors: Smother Fudger Peanut Butter, Zamn Good Zesty Lemon, and I Scream for Orange Cream
Review: I love these bars so much I’ve bought more since first testing them. After I ate one, I was convinced they’d be filled with dairy and processed ingredients (because how could a plant-based, natural protein bar taste so good?), but it turns out they’re vegan and full of ingredients I recognize. Cassava flour, brown rice protein, and pea protein are just some of the base ingredients I’m happy to be eating every time I open a bar.
I’ve tried the chocolate peanut butter, lemon, and orange creamsicle ones so far, and they were all delicious. The texture isn’t gritty the way a lot of vegan protein bars are — instead they’re chewy and thin, kind of like a flatter Larabar with a thin layer of icing.
Flavors: Saltylicious Almond Love, Red Velvet Ready, and Smother Fudger Peanut Butter
Review: I really enjoyed these bars. The chocolate-based ones were especially good! The ingredients are natural and minimal, while the taste is more like a sweet treat. They didn’t keep me as full as a heavy-duty protein bar, but would be a good addition to your diet if you’re looking for a healthy sugar fix with a little protein and clean ingredients. – Grace High, Insider Picks Commerce Analyst
Flavors: Oh Oh Cookie Dough, Daydreaming About Donuts, and I Scream for Orange Cream
Review: When I find a bar I enjoy, I like to stick with it. It’s only once in a blue moon that I add a new one to my repertoire, but the TruWomen bars just scooted their way onto my list. Since I don’t personally prioritize natural ingredients or low sugar alcohols, I tend to veer toward the artificially sweetened bars. Thankfully, all three of the bars I tried from TruWomen were on the sweet side, but I was surprised to see that the company didn’t have to use any fake processed ingredients to achieve the great taste.
They are small enough to fit in my bag or pocket, but substantial enough to keep me full for a few hours. I’ve already told upwards of ten people about these bars and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. – Megan Foster, Insider Picks Editorial Intern
As far as we’re concerned, these are some of the best protein bars out there in terms of taste and texture. They’re chewy, sweet but not overly so, and they feel indulgent despite being vegan and packed with protein. If that’s what matters to you, shop away.
Industry Veteran Brad Pyatt shares his tips on building successful businesses and the proper balance to stay motivated each day
Brad Pyatt is a business owner who played for many professional Football teams in the National Football League (NFL). After going to college, he joined the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent in 2003. After playing for a few other teams in the league, he eventually switched to arena football and joined the Colorado Crush.
A decade later, Brad Pyatt wanted to start his business, steering away from his prior football career. Over the years, he started his own ventures and became a successful entrepreneur. In fact, one of his companies grew to $180 million in sales. He is also a part-time football coach and a creator of many new brands that are dominating the market.
Today, Brad Pyatt resides in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. He enjoys exercising to stay in shape, reading the news to stay informed, and spending time with his family.
Longevity is definitely a major consideration. You have to create a plan that will guide your business and future development. Usually, people start by envisioning a one-year idea. Then, they focus on the long-term operation and create a five or ten-year scheme of progress. I tend to focus on the upcoming 12 months as those will determine if the business even survives in the distant future.
Then, you have to spend time and money building relationships with your customers. Whether you sell goods or services is not your primary concern. The key to developing a brand is to have repeat buyers and a high customer retention rate. If you neglect your interactions with potential or previous buyers, however, you will ruin valuable relationships.
Then comes marketing. Unlike the other two, marketing is something that can take years to fully finesse. You simply start by trying new things and committing to the process of trial and error. Once you find a venue that advertises your business successfully, scale immediately.
I have a lot of different strategies that work well and optimize successfully. I target certain people with hard-copy ads like the ones you might see in the mail. Then again, I also have enormous interest groups that I connect with via digital media. Not to forget one of the biggest helpers of start-up ventures, social media. If you are not using social media platforms to promote your business, you are instantaneously losing potential revenue streams.
Do you manage all aspects of your business or tend to delegate duties?
I like to be involved in nearly every part of the business. Such approach enables me to learn every sector and know exactly how things operate. Once the company is scaled to a certain point, however, I delegate some low-level tasks. After all, the most valuable thing business owners tend to have is their time. Hence why I cannot afford to waste it doing something that I can teach another person.
Did your time in the NFL help you learn how to coach or was that a self-taught skill?
It was a combination of both. My career in NFL certainly helped though. Although I never received one-on-one mentoring, per se, I did play football professionally for years. In turn, my experience taught me about proper ways to run practices and develop players. Nowadays, I use all of that knowledge to help my own players achieve their highest levels of performance. To be honest, however, I always attribute any and all success to the hard work of those I coach. I am simply there to point them in the right direction as needed, but they are the ones who handle the workload.
I think it is changing just as much as entrepreneurship is. Nowadays, all sports seem to be intertwined with politics. Although I am not a fan of it, it is understandable given how large the sporting industry became. Additionally, technical developments are making it possible for people to watch games from almost every device known to man. To parallel this with a business example, just consider how data discoveries made it easy to target the right audience.
What do you do for fun?
I spend time with my family and friends. Since I tend to be busy during the week, I use weekends to relax. Sometimes, we all get together and grill while watching whatever sport is in season. If there is a holiday that prolongs our time off, we organize quick trips in the area.
In all honesty, what we do does not really matter. Over the years, I learned to use my weekends to completely decompress and get ready for the upcoming challenges. So, whether I spend time watching movies or playing flag football with my family is irrelevant. The bottom line is to get some much-needed mental rest which improves performance.
Brad Pyatt featured as one of the most successful athletes turned entrepreneurs and has built multiple award winning brands
1. Venus Williams
Sports around the globe inspire people to come together regardless of race, religious beliefs and gender. The greatest athletes use their perseverance, work ethic, and pristine focus to enamor the world on the field. However, as athletes retire, they often drop out of the mind of sports fans and become a distant memory. Luckily for athletes, the lessons learned in sports can be used as a foundation throughout life. Here are ten famous athletes that used the lessons they learned in sports to become successful entrepreneurs.
2. Magic Johnson
While it’s hard to keep tabs on Magic Johnson’s business life, it’s clear that this business savvy superstar is making a killing in business. Magic Johnson is currently known as the Lakers’ Presidents of Basketball Operations, but he is part-owner in other franchises. He currently partly owns the Los Angeles Sparks and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s also an investor in the LACF and Xiomatic Esports.
Magic also currently owns Magic Johnson Enterprises. It’s a company that’s valued at one billion dollars. The company has owned Starbucks stores, movie theaters, and 24 Hour Fitness facilities. The company also has a hold direct investments and marketing for renowned companies. It’s safe to say that Magic Johnson is just as gifted in business as he was in basketball.
3. George Foreman
George Foreman became a household name during the 1968 Olympics. He secured a gold medal by knocking out Soviet Union’s Jonas Čepulis.
Luckily for George, his legacy didn’t end there. The boxing champion went on to launch a wide range of products. He had a successful clothing line, and he even created cleaning products that were focused on going green. However, his most famous business came during the launch of the Lean Mean Grilling Machine and the follow-up of Foreman grills ever since. Currently, George is worth an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars. He’s also a boxing commentator who owns a German Shepard breeding business.
4. Brad Pyatt
Brad Pyatt was a wide receiver in the NFL for four years. While playing, he spent time on the Colts, Dolphins, Steelers, and the Rams before his career was cut short. He suffered devastating injuries that forced him off the field, but Pyatt used resilience to make the most of his situation.
Brad reflected on his career and believed that his injuries were likely a result of the supplements he had been taking. As a result, he set out to change the face of the industry. With some savviness and confidence, Brad teamed up with Cory Gregory to found MusclePharm. After some hard work, the company became one of the most trusted names in the sports and supplement world.
5. Michael Jordan
While Michael Jordan earned ninety million dollars in salaries playing basketball, this business savvy athlete has amassed a fortune that’s worth more than a billion dollars. While Jordan isn’t known for being an independent business owner, he is a brilliant marketer. He has generated his fortune through using his marketability to secure endorsements from the most famous powerful sports businesses in the world.
MJ also currently owns most of the Charlotte Hornets franchise. The team’s value has risen almost six hundred million dollars since Jordan bought the majority stake in the team.
As a result of his marketing charm and his savviness, Jordan is now considered a champion both on and off the court.
6. Roger Staubach
While most people know Roger for his incredible career as the quarterback of the Dall Cowboy’s, he’s also an incredibly gifted real estate man. After he hung up his cleats, he secured a position as a real estate agent for the infamous Henry Miller Jr. real estate company. After working hard for six years, Roger left the giant to form The Staubach Company.
While the company was started out as a small business with five employees, the business expanded incredibly quickly due to Staubach’s vision and leadership. In 2008, Staubach sold the firm for the astounding amount of six hundred million dollars. It’s safe to say that Staubach is another professional athlete that has used his skills to dominate business.
7. John Elway
John Elway is renowned for leading the Broncos to multiple Superbowls, but he’s a beloved business owner in Colorado. Since retirement, John Elway has purchased an arena football team, successfully launched five auto dealerships, and even owns his own steakhouses.
It’s an amazing feat for a man who is still known as one of the faces of the Broncos franchise. As the general manager of the team, he has once again used his business skills to lead his team to the Superbowl by securing an incredible defense and another Hall of Fame quarterback.
It’s amazing John still has time to run his businesses in the process, but his businesses remain successful while he focuses on winning in football.
8. Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning is known for his endorsement deals and commercials across the country, but very few people know that the future hall of famer has a knack for business.
Firstly, Peyton Manning owns two Anheuser-Busch distributors in Louisiana. And while everyone enjoys watching him in pizza commercials, he has a vested interest in the Papa John’s franchise. Peyton Manning inked a deal to own dozens of Papa John’s franchises across Denver, Colorado, and his pizza joints have seen a pleasant boom in business since he joined the Broncos before retirement.
All in all, Peyton Manning’s total net worth is valued close to two hundred million. That’s a pretty nice value for a man who’s just starting in a new life after football.
9. Tom Brady
Tom Brady has been making splashes in the headlines recently due to his insane diet. Brady is an avid fan of healthy nutrition, and he maintains a strict diet to ensure that he stays healthy in the most dangerous sport.
After dedicating over a decade to optimal performance, Brady has officially published what many athletes consider as an athlete’s bible to staying healthy. It features an incredibly strict diet, but his knack for business doesn’t stop there.
Tom Brady also sells a variety of gear on his website TB12. It includes resistance bands and even features mental training software for people to take advantage of.
While it’s too early to tell how profitable this business will become over the next couple of decades, it seems like Tom Brady is prepared to put his reputation on the line when it comes to staying healthy.
If Tom Brady adds another couple of rings to his resume, his business may become a staple in the sports world.
10. David Beckham
David Beckham has been a global icon for what seems like an eternity. The gentleman is a fashion image, and he’s married to icon in Victoria Beckham.
Even though he retired from sports long ago, David has built a net worth valued well above four hundred million dollars. He’s successfully embarked on an astounding number of business ventures. David Beckham is an ambassador for L’Oreal, and he has own line of signature fragrances. He licensed his name to Trinity International for a clothing line, and he often teams up with H&M to launch a line of clothing. He’s even dabbled in the alcohol business by aiding in the launch of Haig Club.
This group of entrepreneurs is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to athletes that have successfully transitioned into business. It’s clear that being an icon is beneficial when acquiring assets, but taking advantage of opportunities is a common trait among athletes.
Athletes can be used a perfect example that leadership, vision, confidence, perseverance, and hard work are crucial ingredients for success in any industry. What many athletes have that others lack is funding – they have access to their own capital, as well as the ability to seek out large investors with ease. Their fame provides a platform for receiving capital, while other small business owners may need to get a working capital loan to grow beyond where they are currently at. You shouldn’t see this as an obstacle, but instead as another challenge you will need to overcome as an entrepreneur.
Ex-NFL athlete Brad Pyatt ranked as one of the top athletes turned entrepreneurs and has developed several award winning brands
In recent years, much has been made of professional athletes going broke either during or shortly after the end of their careers. Poor business investments, frivolous personal spending habits, an up-and-down real estate market, and, in some cases, supporting an entourage have traditionally driven athletes to bankruptcy.
Many athletes take the franchising route for their post-playing careers, and several have done so with massive amounts of success. What’s more uncommon is professional athletes starting their own business from the ground up. Here is a look at five successful business ventures (outside of franchising) of former professional athletes.
Rick Mirer was the second overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft following a highly successful college career at Notre Dame. After over a decade in the league, Mirer retired in 2004. In 2008, he partnered with winemaker Rob Lawson to launch Mirror Wine Company in Napa Valley, Calif. A portion of all sales of Mirror wines goes to the Mirer Family Foundation and Mirror Wine Company has successfully sold out every vintage of every wine they have released.
Brad Pyatt is a former NFL wide receiver and kick returner who had stints with the Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, and Pittsburgh Steelers in his four-year NFL career. After suffering football-related injuries that he felt were directly caused by the supplements he was taking, Pyatt teamed with Cory Gregory to found MusclePharm in 2008. The mission of MusclePharm is, “To develop and bring to market the most scientifically advanced, safest nutritional and sports supplementation products possible.”Pyatt has built MusclePharm into one of the biggest and most trusted names in the sports nutritional supplement world. They are now a publically traded company with sales in 2015 reaching over $180m million and has over 250 employees.
Eddie George and a team of experienced industry professionals founded EDGE, “a collaborative team of planners, landscape architects and development consultants” in 2003 in Columbus, Ohio. EDGE has since opened offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Toledo, Ohio. The mission of EDGE states, “…we look for every opportunity to create economically, socially and environmentally impactful solutions while implementing thoughtful planning and purposeful design.” EDGE now has around 20 employees and is considered a market expert across the Midwest and the South.
Venus Williams founded V Starr Interiors, an interior design company based in Jupiter, Fla. The tennis star is CEO of the company and leads a team of five employees. V Starr offers a wide range of service for both residential and commercial clients and aims to uniquely meet the needs of every client. Some of the more notable clients of V Starr include NFL player Bryant McKinnie and talk show host Tavis Smiley.
Maria Sharapova invested $500,000 to start up Sugarpova, “a premium candy line that reflects the fun, fashionable, sweet side of international tennis sensation Maria Sharapova”. Sugarpova offers unique interpretations of classic candies at affordable prices. The candies first appeared in the United States in August 2013 and have been a hot commodity ever since. In her first year of business, the Russian tennis star made a more than 120% return on her initial investment.
Brad Pyatt has proved to be one of the most successful athletes turned entrepreneurs and has developed several award winning brands
There have reportedly been many professional athletes who have been broke during their careers or shortly after their career ends and their spending habits are no longer supported by a seven figure salaries.
There have reportedly been many professional athletes who have been broke during their careers or shortly after their career ends and their spending habits are no longer supported by a seven figure salary. This might have been due to bad investments, spending frivolously and supporting their friends/followers in an attempt to remain loyal. Most of the time, athletes will get carried away by the enormous amount of money coming from basketball contracts. They don’t know how to manage the money and thus, end up being broke. Of course, facing bankruptcy is never easy for anyone, let alone an athlete who has seen many good financial times throughout their careers. Many professional athletes experience success by pursuing business ventures. Some will choose a business franchise while others are more innovative and will start a business from scratch. While not a lot of athletes have been successful in business due to not knowing how to handle their money, there are others who have done an excellent job. In fact, some have grown their business into huge brands while still playing basketball. These players are usually the ones who experience success even after their careers have ended.
Players like Allen Iverson lived the fast life, squandered his money and ended up flat broke, even though, he was such a talented player. No one wants to experience such dilemma. It is great to see players who use their money wisely, getting into business so that when the basketball contract ends, they can still maintain a wealthy lifestyle that they have gotten accustomed to. Many athletes are indirectly involved in their business. They will start the business, but have other people run it. This is quite normal for any business owner. For example, Tony Hawk, the skateboarder made an investment in a restaurant that is operated by James Beard Foundation. Vince Young is more hands-on. He has a steakhouse located in Austin, Texas. He even provides his brand of smoked meat to local grocery stores. There are other successful athletes who have turned into business moguls while playing or after playing professionally. Let’s take a look.
Rick Mirer had a successful career while in college at Notre Dame. He was also the number 2 pick in the 1993 NFL Draft. He spent more than 10 years in the NFL and retired in 2004. Four years later, he joined with Rob Lawson, a winemaker to launch a wine company in California’s Napa Valley. The company is called Mirror Wine Company. Some of the sales proceeds go to the Mirer Family Foundation. The company has done so well as to sell out all vintage wines that they released.
Sugarpova and Maria Sharapova are one and the same brand. In 2013, Sharapova, a superstar tennis player decided to invest half a million dollars to start her company called Sugarpova. The brand is a candy line, reflecting the sweet side of the tennis star. The candy line is a unique version of prototypical candies sold at a reasonable price. In the first year of doing business, the tennis sensation made in excess of 120% on her investment.
In 2005, Vince Young led his college football team, the University of Texas to the NCAA national championship. He had some successful years in the NFL, but ultimately his career didn’t quite work out and as a matter of fact, he declared bankrupty a couple of years ago.One thing he does have going for him is his steakhouse in downtown Austin, Texas. His menu boasts prime beef, which is sourced locally. Patrons flock to his eatery to taste the delicious short rib chili and other house specials.
Brad Pyatt as a NFL player, bouncing around from Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers. While he was around the NFL block for four years of his career, he suffered quite a few injuries, which led him out of the game.
However, in 2008, he joined with Cory Gregory to start a nutritional supplement business called MusclePharm Corp. The goal of these two entrepreneurs was to develop and market nutritional products that were scientifically advanced and make it accessible to athletes. They succeeded. The company is now publicly traded. In the first quarter of 2014, sales went through the roof at $96.9 million to 180 million by 2015.
The legendary running back for the Tennessee Titans, Eddie George received the Heisman Trophy in 1995 with Ohio State. However, his business achievements are just as commendable. In 2003, with a team of qualified industry professionals, George started the business, EDGE. The business acts as collaboration for landscape architecture, planning and development. The business began in Columbus, OH, near his alma mater, but has since opened two more offices in Toledo, Ohio and Nashville, Tennessee with more than 20 employees on staff.
Greg Norman is known for his prowess in golf. He is also a pro when it comes to doing business. The professional golfer opened up an Australian grille in South Carolina. Imagine that – a southern state and Australian cuisine is not a given! The grille is located near the Intracoastal Waterway in Myrtle Beach. The grille carries an open kitchen, serving the best in Australian cuisine, which includes prime rib, fettucine, vinaigrette, roasted duckling and signature meals. The golfer’s cabernets have received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.
Tennis star, Venus Williams has won many tennis championships, but she has also done well in business. Her company, V Starr Interiors is located in Jupiter, Florida. It is an interior designing company led by five employees, in addition to the CEO, none other than Venus Williams. The company provides remodeling services to commercial and residential clients. Some of Venus’s clients include Travis Smiley, radio host and Bryant McKinnie, NFL player.
In the 80s and 90s, Cal Ripken Jr. was one of the best baseball players in the MLB. He is a household name and so is his business brand. Ripken and some members of his family manage various baseball affiliate teams. Ripken is the CEO of his company, Ripken Baseball, Inc. Also being managed are a few baseball subsidiaries. This involves affiliates of minor league teams such as Charlotte Stone Crabs and San Francisco Giants. Ripken is also a spokesperson for Energizer, State Farm, Holiday Inn and Chevrolet. He is a busy man.
David Beckham is one of the best soccer players of all time. He is also known for his fashion modeling abilities, but that may have been before he hit the big time. David Beckham, a household name is involved in a wide range of projects including the recent bid for a soccer field in Miami, Florida to house his newly acquired soccer team. However, the superstar has also launched his own line of fragrance appropriately called David Beckham. He does charity work for UNICEF, Malaria No More and Goodwill, just to name a few. He has endorsement deals with Gameboy, Xbox, Samsung, Adidas and Pepsi.
Kobe Bryant has been in the NBA for a while now. He doesn’t cease to amaze his fans with this basketball skill, but many people aren’t aware of his expertise as a businessman. Kobe doesn’t just chill at home with wife and kids. He is out creating Nike ad campaigns for his line of sneakers. His sneaker line brand has also been successfully received in the international market including China. He also has endorsement deals with Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz, Sprite and Turkish Air.
LeBron James is one of the wealthiest NBA players, but not all of his income is basketball related. LeBron has a great business mind that has earned him millions. His net worth has a value of $110 million and he is only in his late 20s. LeBron has a Nike contract worth $90 million. He has a partnership share in a Liverpool football team. He also has a marketing agency, LRMR, which he launched in most recently. His company handles marketing for big corporations like Upper Deck and Sprite. His post-basketball career is definitely looking bright.
In addition to his love for professional skateboarding, Tony Hawk is a published and best-selling author and owns a skateboard company. He has a huge skating brand created by his company called Birdhouse. He has been successful as an entrepreneur as much as being a skater. Many 90s kids will also know that he had his own line of skateboarding video games, called Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. His company, Birdhouse sells everything related to skating gears, decks and clothing. He also has endorsement deals with Six Flags, Kohl’s and Adio Sirius.
Prior to Peyton Manning, there was a certain quarterback called John Elway who played for the Denver Broncos, retiring in 1998. Now, Elway is known for his investing skills. He is the VP of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos franchise and he is co-owner of the Colorado Crush football team. He has also been an owner of five car dealerships, but in 2008, he sold all of them for $82.5 million in total. Additionally, Elway owns two steakhouses and is a founder of a non-profit organization to assist child abuse victims.
Michael Jordan has never been forgotten by those who grew up watching him, and it certainly helps when you still see his name everywhere. However, Jordan knows how to play big in the board room. As owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Jordan makes his presence known in meetings and near the court. He owns a thriving shoe company that his son inherited. He has tons of endorsement deals, even while he has been in retirement. Some say that Jordan’s brand is worth more than half a billion dollars. That is certainly believable.
We all know what a special player Magic Johnson was, but credit should also be given for the same accolades as an entrepreneur. Magic Johnson is a busy man. He is always coming up with new business ideas. He currently boasts part ownership for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He owns Magic Johnson Enterprises, which has an estimated worth of more than $700 million with involvement in franchises such as Burger King, Starbucks, T.G.I. Friday’s and 24 Hour Fitness, just to name a few. He is also a part of the Detroit Venture Partners that help fund potential business ventures for people.
Brad Pyatt awarded Top 100 influential Leaders in the Food Industry by the Global Summit on Everything Food (GSEF).
Aug 20, 2020 — Denver, CO – Aug 20, 2020 – Ex-NFL star turned businessman, Brad Pyatt, has been awarded the Global Summit on Everything Food (GSEF) Award as one of the Top 100 Influential Leaders in the Food Industry. Winners will be announced at the three-day GSEF international conference, to be held Dec. 15 through 17, 2020 at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.
The conference celebrates creativity and innovation within the Food Industry. It provides a platform for food professionals, startups, technologists, agriculturists, and entrepreneurs to meet, network, and discuss topics ranging from the importance of modern food retail and advances in agriculture and nutrition to disruptions within the Food Industry. The GSEF will feature more than thirty exhibition booths and over fifty world-renowned speakers.
Pyatt is one of the Food and Beverage Industry’s global thought leaders. Over the course of fifteen years, he has founded numerous award-winning brands that have totaled over $1 billion in sales. He’s been nominated for industry awards more than twenty times.
Following his retirement from an NFL football career, Pyatt’s entered the food and nutrition space in 2008 when he founded the nutritional supplement company, MusclePharm Corporation. He grew revenues to 200 million in just 6 years. The company became the official nutrition company of elite athletic organizations including the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball team, and the Europa League’s soccer team Manchester City. He also helped develop the award-winning TRUWOMEN brand with his wife Stephanie Pyatt. Pyatt currently is running a consulting agency called Tasty Idea that creates disruptive brands and products.
From his days in the NFL, Pyatt was aware of the need for clean food and supplements to help foster health and wellness. The topic ignited his passion and he has been working to create awareness for many years. His business acumen off the football field and in the boardroom has been proven many times over, as evidenced by a string of award-winning brands and cutting-edge concepts that continue to generate a loyal customer base.