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Rugby stars that are also professional businessmen

Sailun Tires

The rugby world is filled with an abundance of remarkable athletes who excel in their roles on the pitch.

But a career in the sport does not last forever, and many players have set themselves up to sustain a lucrative income beyond retirement. 

Aside from their endeavors on the field for club and country, many stars have invested in different industries and even begun their own businesses from the ground up.

George and Joe Ford

Brothers George and Joe Ford own a coffee shop in Saddleworth – an investment that was well-thought-out as their business has a niche that should make them stand out on the high street. The shop sells ethically sourced coffee, and locally sourced produce from meat and bread to fruit and vegetables.

The sporting brothers have not only made a strong investment into their own present and future, as the opening of their shop has allowed them to employ five people.

The shop opened in 2023, a matter of months before George Ford jetted off to France to play in the World Cup with England. He is with a chance of securing success with England, with the Three Lions offered at +900 in the rugby union odds to win the competition.

George has certainly made a success of the year off the pitch due to his entry into the business world. Perhaps he could even become a world champion to provide the icing on the cake.

The lucrative earnings that professional sport brings, open many doors for stars to invest in assets that could rake in income beyond a playing career. However, not all sporting superstars have the initiative to take a risk in order to secure a comfortable long-term future. 

Damian Cooper

Damian Cooper is a former Welsh rugby player who failed to reach his full potential due to injuries throughout his playing days. He suffered anterior cruciate ligament injuries among others, which hampered the levels that he could reach on the pitch.

However, since retirement, in the world of business, Cooper has been remarkably successful. He started a sportswear business known as Unify Brand Partnerships which helps to promote and grow fashion brands. They help to elevate the client’s brands they work with from altering sales strategies to improving public relations.

The company was turning over sums of around $15 million as of 2021 and had 38 contracted employees. Some of the leading brands Coopers company has helped develop include Under Armour and Teva. An incredibly talented rugby player has gone on to provide a catalyst for the development of what are now some of the biggest brands across Europe. 

Forging a career in a hugely competitive sport like rugby is a huge achievement alone. But having the business mindset to invest high earnings into an industry that could pay dividends long beyond retirement, is even more impressive.

Several rugby stars have acknowledged in recent times, that rugby careers do not last forever and can be cut short at any time. It is vital to build a future outside of the sport, and these stars have managed to do just that, which has ensured that their comfortable lifestyles of driving sports cars and owning large residences can be sustained beyond their sporting careers. 


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