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5 Successful Athletes — Off the Court

These athletes went on to have impressive business careers

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George Foreman

You don’t hear much from the former boxer and nemesis of both Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali these days. It seems he’s enjoying getting older. In an interesting interview in The Wall Street Journal in June, the former boxing great talked about his love of German shepherds and horseback riding.

One of the fiercest competitors in the ring, George Foreman made a business deal in 1999 that ranks right up there as one of the best ever. At the time, Foreman was promoting the George Foreman Grill and other products for Salton Inc., and in return they paid him a royalty of 60% of the profits from the sale of his products. Foreman was getting as much as $4.5 million a month in royalty payments. Because George Foreman’s products accounted for 55% of its $506 million in annual revenue, Salton offered to buy the rights to use his name in perpetuity for $127.5 million in cash and $10 million in stock. Shortly thereafter, the bottom fell out on revenues and Salton never fully recovered. The grill is now owned by Spectrum Brands (NYSE:SPB).

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