Russell Wilson Is Playing the Long Game

The star QB has a hand in everything

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Russell Wilson, the star quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, has already amassed impressive achievements on the field. Super Bowl champion, four-time Pro Bowler and 2012 Pepsi Max Rookie of the Year are just a few of the highlights on Wilson’s résumé. What you might not know about Wilson is that football isn't the only thing he has shown to have a knack for. He’s also a pretty savvy investor and entrepreneur as well.

Wilson was drafted by the Seahawks in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft and was signed to a four-year, $3 million contract. He won the competition for the Seahawks’ starting quarterback job in August of that year and the rest, as they say, is history.

Seeing that he was successful on the field and becoming increasingly popular off of it, many brands jumped at the chance to work with him. Levi’s, Pepsi and Nike are just a few of the well-known companies that featured Wilson in their advertisements.

Since then, Wilson has taken full advantage of the spotlight and taken his earnings from the field and his sponsorships and reinvested them in a multitude of ways.

The most notable venture that Wilson has gotten involved with is his startup, Tally, formerly TraceMe. Wilson invested $9 million in the company and he joins the likes of Jeff Bezos and YouTube founder Chad Hurley as investors in Tally. The company started as a way for superfans to connect with their favorite athletes and celebrities but has more shifted its focus towards allowing fans to make predictions about games, in order to win prizes.

Aside from that, Wilson is also involved with Eat the Ball, Luvo and Juice Press, among others. He also might play football, but Wilson is also aiming to get basketball and hockey franchises back to Seattle, by working with a local investment group who is trying to get a new arena built in the city for just that purpose. His efforts may already be working, as the NHL just announced that a new franchise would be opening in Seattle and will begin to play in 2021.

Apart from strictly money-making ventures, Wilson is also extremely dedicated to his non-profit, the Why Not You foundation. According to its website, Why Not You is “dedicated to creating real and lasting change in the world by motivating, empowering and preparing today’s youth to be tomorrow’s leaders.”

The foundation was founded by Wilson in 2014 and works with other non-profits, many of them being in the Seattle area, to inspire change and make an impact. Wilson works closely with Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Why Not You foundation even donated over $1 million in 2016 to the hospital’s Strong Against Cancer initiative.

He hopes to use his successes as an inspiration to today’s youth and help them prepare themselves for the future.

This piece is part of our monthlong series featuring the 30 Most Entrepreneurial Athletes. For other entries in the series, head to our 30MEA page.

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