While in the midst of a prolific playing career in the NFL, Marshawn Lynch generated headlines in 2016 by claiming he hadn’t spent any of his lifetime football salary—around $50M—instead, he lived off of endorsement income from deals with Skittles, Nike, Progressive and others. As one of the most visible personalities in the NFL, that income amounted to about $5M annually, according to Business Insider.
This sensibility made Lynch unique are as a pro athlete: Because he wasn’t depending on his salary, he had more options as his 30s approached—he didn’t have to keep playing the game for the wrong reasons. (Lynch retired at 29, only to return for a couple seasons with his hometown Oakland Raiders). Lynch’s financial approach, by itself, would merit inclusion on our 30 Most Entrepreneurial Athletes list. But of all active athletes, Lynch has set himself up to have one of the most interesting post-careers in the modern investing landscape.