According to a 2009 study from Sports Illustrated, “By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce.”
Despite this study being from 13 years ago, it still rings true throughout sports, with the likes of Warren Sapp, Vince Young, and Clinton Portis all hitting rock bottom in recent years. As a result of this trend, Seattle Seahawks legend Marshawn Lynch decided to shed some light on the issue in 2020.
“Look, I’ll say like this though, right? This is a vulnerable time for a lot of these young dudes, you feel me? They don’t be taking care of they chicken right, you feel me? So, if they was me, or if I had the opportunity to let these young sahobs know something, I say take care of y’all money, African, because that (expletive) don’t last forever.”
Lynch, who is one of, if not the most beloved Seattle sports figure ever is also one of the city's most financially responsible athletes ever. He has dipped his toes into multiple business ventures since he decided to hang up his cleats for good following the brief emergency comeback he had with the Seahawks at the end of the 2019 season.
His most high-profile investment to this point is becoming a minority owner in the National Hockey League’s newest franchise, the Seattle Kraken. There are no details as to how much Lynch invested nor what percentage of the team he purchased, although it is speculated that he owns around one percent of the team.
With the team being valued at $875 million per Forbes Magazine, an investment of one percent would be worth $8.75 million. According to OverTheCap.com, Lynch brought in a little north of $58 million in on the field earnings over the course of his NFL career, meaning an investment of this size is about 15 percent of his NFL earnings. Of course, it’s been said that Lynch spent his money made off of endorsements rather than his salary, although Lynch did deny the rumors that he’d saved all of his NFL game check cash.
In addition to being a minority owner in the Kraken, Lynch invested in the United Soccer League Championship’s Oakland Roots, who play in his hometown of Oakland, Calif. Lynch is also a co-owner of the Beasts, who play in the Fan-Controlled Football League. He owns the team alongside professional wrestling star Miro, two-time WNBA champion Renee Montgomery, and NFL players Todd Gurley and Marcus Peters. Additionally, Lynch is also an investor in MMA’s Professional Fighters League, along with the likes of Kevin Hart and Wiz Khalifa.
Aside from being an investor in multiple sports teams, Lynch is also the owner of his own apparel company, “Beast Mode.” The company, which is partnered with Fanatics, sells almost every type of apparel ranging from beach towels to fingerless gloves to sandals. Lynch was wearing one of his Beast Mode hats during his famous “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” interview, which did cause a bit of a stir on its own. There were rumors that Lynch was going to get fined for wearing his own apparel during the interview, but nothing ever came from it. According to Darren Rovell, even if the two time All-Pro did get fined, it would have been well worth it.
Total equivalent ad value for Marshawn Lynch's BeastMode brand last week (3 media days + SNL)? More than $3 million, says @FRAnalytics— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 4, 2015
Arguably Lynch’s most exciting investment to this point is in Portl, a hologram display device that is seven feet tall and five feet across whilst costing $60,000. It is intended to be used for everything from sports games to education. According to Portl’s founder and CEO David Nussbaum “CEOs, brands, universities, as well as crypto artists are all using Portl to connect and communicate in entirely new ways. Portl is going to change the way we work, learn and play forever.”
Lynch’s portfolio continues to develop, and it is safe to assume that over time we are going to hear about more and more successful projects that the 2013 Super Bowl champion intends to invest in.