While professional athletes are at the top of their careers, they jet around the world making millions for playing a game that many of us with lesser skills would play for free.
But athletic careers, even those that don’t get derailed by injuries, are short. Though tennis players might play for more than a decade, Major League baseball players and football stars usually retire in half that time. That’s why it’s essential that even the most talented athletes have a backup plan.
Some partner with their sponsors — like Nike and Michael Jordan — to continue marketing the collections that made them so famous during their careers. The first Air Jordan was made in 1984, and new versions are released annually. The most charismatic athletes, however, are able to translate their on-court personae into brands that appeal, in particular, in the world of fashion. We look at athletes – both retired and still playing – who have cemented themselves in the industry.