Tom Brady Birmingham City

THERE’S A GENERAL assumption that celebrities are only good at their chosen craft, whether it be acting, sports, music, and so on. When they’re not partaking in said craft—and earning millions to do so—they’re likely off somewhere remote enjoying their “pile” of yolo money.

While this may be the reality for some celebs out there, there is, in fact, a range of persons of notoriety with some serious business acumen, seemingly flying under the radar as they work their way to ridiculous pay days. Case in point: this week, retired NFL GOAT Tom Brady announced that he is switching sporting codes, becoming a minority owner of Birmingham City Football Club, as well as its chairman of the advisory board at the club. While the seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback admits to not knowing much about English football, according to the club’s statement, Brady will “apply his extensive leadership experience and expertise across several components of the club, including working alongside the sports science department to advise on health, nutrition, wellness, and recovery systems and programs.”

The celebrity-backed sporting investment seems to be a common theme this year, with rapper Stormyz last month announcing he was teaming up with Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha to buy ninth-tier English soccer side Croydon Athletic—a move that looks remarkably similar to Ryan Reynolds and Rob Mcelhenney of Wrexham AFC fame. It also follows Jay-Z’s interest in purchasing Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League.

And on the topic of Reynolds and Mcelhenney, the Hollywood duo also added to their sporting portfolio this year with the investment in the Alpine Formula One team.

It begs the question: how many celebrities are out there that run/or ran lucrative businesses? Esquire does some digging to find out.




Croydon Athletic

Rapper, major Swiftie (Taylor Swift fan name by the way) and all-round top block Stormzy just sealed the deal on the football purchase of Croydon Athletic. Teaming up with Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha to buy the ninth-tier English soccer side Croydon Athletic, both blokes hail from the south London borough. They also joined forces with former Palace head of player care Danny Young to buy the club. Unsurprisingly, club members and fans are elated by the celeb-signed—yet keep it local—ownership. “Everyone’s been excited; some people literally can’t believe it,” George Pickering, a supporter of AFC Croydon Athletic, told The Guardian. “They’re saying: ‘It can’t be real – is this actually happening? Is it April the 1st?’”

Aside from his swish new soccer club, Stormzy also dabbles in the publishing world—having partnered with Penguin Random House in 2018 for his own imprint #Merky Books. “We will be using this as a platform for young writers to become published authors,” he announced to Instagram at the time.

George Clooney sold his brand Casamigos Tequila for US$1 billion. Photo: @casamigos/Instagram




While Clooney’s film choices may be questionable (especially, in recent times), his business decisions, on the other hand, are quite remarkable. Take his former tequila brand, Casamigos, for example. Back in 2013, the movie star founded Casamigos along with entrepreneur Rande Gerber (father of Kaia Gerber) and real estate mogul Mike Meldman. In 2018, the trio sold their tequila company to Diageo for US$1 billion, earning Clooney a pre-tax pay cheque of US$239 million, as per Forbes. This made him Forbes‘ highest-paid actor in 2018, despite not having made a film from 2017 – 2018.

Ryan Reynolds Mint Mobile



Aviation Gin / Mint Mobile

Hollywood movie star Ryan Reynolds made one of his first baller business moves back in 2018 when he became a part owner in Canadian gin brand, Aviation Gin. He later sold his share in 2020 for a ground-breaking USD$610 million. But Reynolds’ run of savvy business deals doesn’t end there. Last year, Reynolds sold his 25 per cent stake in telecommunications behemoth Mint Mobile in a record USD$1.3 Billion deal that earned the Deadpool star well over USD$300 million in the process. Wild.

Rihanna Fenty Beauty



Fenty Beauty

Rihanna launched the wildly popular beauty line, Fenty Beauty, back in 2017. Today, Forbes estimates that the company is worth close to around USD$2.8 billion. With a 50 per cent ownership in the beauty brand, Rihanna’s share would net her close to USD$1.4 billion…

The Rock drinking Teremana




We know that The Rock is a busy guy. Conquering the realms of the WWE as a professional wrestler to then shifting over to Hollywood to become one of its biggest—and most profitable—action movie stars, The Rock certainly isn’t strapped for cash, nor is he at all dull in celebrity speak. But it’s his recent venture in Teremana Tequila that piqued our interest. Proving he’s a savvy entrepreneur, Johnson founded premium tequila brand Teremana back in 2019. As per sources, the Teremana brand today is worth close to USD$3.5 billion, selling over 600,000 bottles a year. Johnson has a 30 per cent stake in the brand, making his earnings far greater than any of his movie contracts. Away from Tequila, Johnson also has a hand in Seven Bucks Productions, Project Rock and ZOA Energy Drink.

Michael Jordan Charlotte Hornets



The Charlotte Hornets

In recent news, it was announced that NBA great Michael Jordan was to sell his majority stake in the the Charlotte Hornets. While this might seem like just another typical day in the life of a rich veteran athlete, it was the sheer scale of Jordan’s buyout that made headlines worldwide. In 2010, Jordan bought a majority stake in the Hornets for a reported US$275 million. Today, he is to sell his complete stake to entrepreneurs Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall for an approximate USD$3 billion valuation.

Drake & Michael B. Jordan investment



Brooklyn Aces Pickleball

Friends Drake and Michael B. Jordan announced their investment in the pickle ball team, the Brooklyn Aces. The new round of investors will also include tech, finance, business, sports and entertainment insiders in a move set to help grow Pickleball and the team’s presence in America.

“We’re thrilled to have this incredible group of investors join the Brooklyn Aces as we continue to grow the team and raise the profile of Major League Pickleball as a whole,” said Rich Kleiman, who serves as Boardroom CEO of the Aces. “In addition to the marketing and creative acumen that Michael B. Jordan, Drake and Steve Stoute bring to the table, our investor group includes some of the savviest entrepreneurs in the business. We’re looking forward to what our second season brings.” 

Jay-Z Tottenham Sale



Tottenham Hotspur

Arsenal supporter Jay-Z made recent headlines with his interest in buying English Premier League football club, Tottenham Hotspur. While the club still belongs to billionaire businessman Joe Lewis, it’s reported that Lewis may potentially have to relinquish control of his club due to recent legal issues that includes being reportedly indicted on 16 counts of securities fraud and three counts of conspiracy. The high-profile sale is currently being mocked as Jay-Z is an avid Arsenal supporter, the main rivals of the Tottenham Hotspur. But the rap star is no stranger to the footballing world—Jay-Z owns RocNation and subsequent Roc Nation Sports, a talent management organisation which currently consults with Italy’s Serie A football division, but also represents many leading European soccer players like Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne.

Tom Brady



Birmingham City F.C.

NFL great Tom Brady took to his Instagram to announce that he’s “officially coming on board at Birmingham Football Club”. Switching sporting codes—much to the backlash of soccer fans worldwide—Brady is officially a minority owner of Birmingham City, who currently reside in the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football. The retired quarterback great will also serve as chairman to the advisory board of the club. But it begs the question: what does Brady actually know about English football?

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