About Boardroom

Boardroom is a media network that covers the business of sports, entertainment. From the ways that athletes, executives, musicians and creators are moving the business world forward to new technologies, emerging leagues, and industry trends, Boardroom brings you all the news and insights you need to know...

At the forefront of industry change, Boardroom is committed to unique perspectives on and access to the news, trending topics and key players you need to know.

All Rights Reserved. 2022.

Top Athletes in the Boardroom in 2023, From Giannis to LeBron to Osaka

Boardroom is breaking down the boardroom, looking at 10 sports superstars who have invested, become executives, and/or produced projects this last year.

So many current and former pro athletes moved into the literal boardroom in 2023 in major and substantial ways. Whether taking on senior roles at different companies and corporations, purchasing equity stakes in pro sports teams, or getting involved in TV and film production, a slew of big names put themselves behind ventures and projects this year.

With some honorable mentions mixed in at the end, here are 10 such athletes — in alphabetical order — who made massive Boardroom moves.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get on our list for weekly sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Day job: Milwaukee Bucks forward
Venture: Nashville SC minority owner

Giannis and his brothers bought a minority stake in the MLS club in March, fulfilling a lifelong dream of owning a soccer team that began with his late father, Charles. Reese Witherspoon and Tennessee Titans All-Pro running back Derrick Henry already own stakes in Nashville SC.

Other athletes already invested in MLS include Kevin Durant with the Philadelphia UnionPatrick Mahomes with Sporting Kansas City, James Harden with the Houston Dynamo, and Russell Wilson with the Seattle Sounders.

Tom Brady

Day job: Retired NFL champion, serial entrepreneur
Ventures: Numerous sports franchises

Brady isn’t just partnering with companies like Fanatics, Meta, and Delta but is investing in teams from several different sports.

TB12 is all in on Las Vegas, purchasing a minority stake in both the Raiders and two-time defending WNBA champion Aces in addition to his previous ownership stake in Major League Pickleball‘s Night Owls. He also joined the ownership group for English Championship club Birmingham City and an E1 electric boat racing team. He also plans to join Fox Sports as their lead NFL analyst next year.

Myles Garrett

Day job: Cleveland Browns defensive end
Ventures: Team owner, equity partner

Garrett’s had a monster season on the field but is also setting himself up really well for whenever he decides to hang up his cleats. The 27-year-old purchased a minority stake in the Cleveland Cavaliers in October and bought into Mark Wahlberg‘s active lifestyle brand MUNICIPAL.

Andre Iguodala

Day job: Acting executive director, NBPA
Ventures: Basketball executive, VC investor, sports team owner

Upon retiring from his outstanding NBA career in October, Iguodala took the helm of Mosaic, a $200 million venture capital fund he had just raised with longtime business partner Rudy Cline-Thomas. He also bought a stake in NWSL expansion club Bay FC and a stake in English Championship club Leeds United. If that wasn’t enough, Iguodala was named the acting executive director of the National Basketball Players Association in November, putting the 39-year-old in one of the most powerful positions in sports.

LeBron James

Day job: Los Angeles Lakers forward
Venture: Prospective TV executive

In addition to a museum dedicated to him in Akron and being a face of Pharrell‘s spring-summer 2024 Louis Vuitton collection, James’ SpringHill Company, Peyton Manning‘s Omaha Productions, and the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions are deep in talks with Netflix for an NBA series modeled after Manning’s hit “Quarterback” show. The potential for that show is off the charts, and it’s only fitting that James would be leading the charge in a potential seismic collab.

Patrick Mahomes

Day job: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback
Ventures: Sports team owner

Mahomes and his wife Brittany added to their portfolio of Kansas City sports teams, which includes a piece in the Kansas City Royals, by purchasing a stake in the NWSL’s Kansas City Current. Then, in October, Mahomes joined a $211 million funding round into the Alpine F1 team along with Chiefs teammate Travis Kelce, Rory McIlroy, Anthony Joshua, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Alexander Zverev. Investment management firm APEX joined the broader fundraising effort.

Lionel Messi

Day job: Inter Miami forward
Ventures: MLS revolutionary, esports owner, IPO executive

If winning his record eighth Ballon d’Or while being named Time‘s 2023 Athlete of the Year wasn’t enough, Messi’s groundbreaking move to MLS’ Inter Miami also included shares in new MLS Season Pass subscriptions for Apple TV and a share of Adidas’ MLS-related merchandise sales. He also joined former Argentina teammate Sergio Agüero‘s esports company KRÜ Esports as a co-owner, and his MCO Global lifestyle brand launched a NASDAQ IPO in January.

Naomi Osaka

Day job: Tennis superstar, mom, entrepreneur
Venture: VC queen

In April, Osaka and business partner Stuart Duguid’s production company, Hana Puma, announced a $5 million raise that allowed it to spin off from James’ SpringHill umbrella. SpringHill invested with Fortnite maker Epic GamesFenway Sports Group, The Kinoshita Group, and Disruptive.

Candace Parker

Day job: WNBA legend
Venture: Volleyball investor

Just weeks before winning yet another WNBA title, this time with the Aces, Parker was announced as one of the new investors in League One Volleyball along with her daughter Lailaa Williams. The mother and daughter duo joined the $35 million Series B funding round with Lindsey Vonn, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s Boardroom Sports Holdings, Left Lane Capital, Ares Management Funds, and actress Amy Schumer.

JJ Watt

Day job: Retired NFL legend, dad
Ventures: NFL analyst, Premier League owner

Watt’s NWSL star wife, Kealia, introduced him to the world of soccer, and this year, the duo became minority investors in Premier League club Burnley. The pair spoke with our Bernadette Doykos about the next chapter in their lives following Watt’s Hall of Fame NFL career, including a part-time job as a studio analyst for the NFL on CBS.

Honorable Mention: Shane Battier, Haley and Hanna Cavinder, Maxx Crosby, Elena Delle Donne, Ons Jabeur, Travis Kelce, Peyton Manning, Jayson Tatum, Dwyane Wade.

Read More: