By Luke Stenis

Professional athletes seem to have it all: Fame, fortune and glory. Sometimes the fame and glory catch up to the fortune, and the money disappears, just like these 20 Star Athletes Who Went From Million to Bankruptcy Court.

There are some athletes, however, that don't squander their fortune. Instead, they take their hard-earned pay and transform it into profitable investments. In fact, most of these star athletes make more money from their investments than they do from their sports careers.

Venture capital firms, mega-development deals and sports franchises are just a few ways these star athletes turned their more-than-modest paychecks into mega-investments.

5 Star Athletes Making A Second Fortune With Savvy Investments Slideshow


George Foreman

Entrepreneur, Endorser of the George Foreman Grill. A two-time former world heavyweight boxing champion, Olympic gold medalist, ordained Baptist minister, author and successful entrepreneur, George Foreman has done it all. Over 200 million "George Foreman Lean, Mean, Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine" units have been sold worldwide. In fact, as the official endorser of the grill, it is estimated that Foreman has made over $200 million -- a sum nearly three times larger than what he earned as a boxer.


LeBron James

Minority Owner, Liverpool Football Club. The man who took his talents to Miami has now taken his checkbook to England -- Liverpool, England to be exact. Miami Heat superstar LeBron James recently bought a minority stake in the legendary Liverpool Football Club (FC) from its club owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG). Liverpool FC is one of the most popular and powerful sports franchises in the world, with 18 championships at the top level of English football and five European Cup trophies. The deal between LeBron James' sports-marketing firm, LRMR Branding & Marketing, and FSG signifies the first time a professional athlete at the top of his game has gained ownership stake in a professional team of this international magnitude -- the size, reach and power of Liverpool FC is matched by only a select few. LeBron James has always aspired to be a global icon, much like Michael Jordan, and this investment in Liverpool FC is considered by most savvy investors as an intelligent business move.


Roger Federer

Endorser and Brand Owner, Nike. Roger Federer is widely considered to be the greatest tennis player of all time. On the court, the Swiss star held the ATP No. 1 position for a record 237 consecutive weeks, captured a record 16 Grand Slam titles, and is one of only seven players to complete the career Grand Slam (winning Wimbledon, French Open, Australian Open and U.S. Open titles). His total career earnings from tennis top $62 million. Off the court, Federer spends a great deal of time promoting social efforts. His Roger Federer Foundation supports disadvantaged youth in South Africa, he often donates autographed items to charity auctions, and he has organized several player-sponsored fundraisers for disaster relief. His long list of endorsement deals includes Wilson, Nike, Gillette, Lindt chocolates, Jura, Rolex, NetJets and Mercedes-Benz. In 2009 alone, Federer earned an estimated $61 million from prize money, endorsements and appearance fees. Federer also owns his own brand in conjunction with Nike, adding to the already lucrative business of being Roger Federer.


Tiger Woods

Founder & Developer, Tiger Woods Design. Whether you like Tiger Woods or not, you cannot deny that he knows the game of golf. So much so that, in 2006, he began designing and developing golf courses around the world. His first course was developed in the United Arab Emirates. Tiger Woods Dubai features a par-72 course, a 60,000 square-foot clubhouse, a golf academy, 320 exclusive villas and a boutique hotel. As of print time, this course has yet to be completed. Woods has also announced plans for courses in the U.S. and Mexico. His U.S. course, The Cliffs in North Carolina, is planned to be built in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. The golf course in Mexico, named Punta Brava, will be located on oceanfront property near Ensenada, Baja California.


Michael Jordan

Iconic Jordan Brand, Restaurant Owner, Majority Owner, Charlotte Bobcats. Jordan is the most iconic name and marketed sports figure on the planet, attached securely to a legendary career and personal life that are well documented. Much of Jordan's success can be attributed to a tenacious work ethic and unmatched competitive nature. So, after retiring for a third time in 2003, no one expected Michael "Air" Jordan to just sit idly by. Once his playing days were over, Jordan continued to do what he does best ... win. By the time of his retirement, he already had a well-established Jordan Brand clothing line, including Nike's "Air Jordans," and the Michael Jordan Steakhouse in Grand Central Terminal in New York City -- a fine-dining experience that focuses on Jordan as a businessman, not a player. Jordan also invested his money back into the world of sports. In 2004, Jordan launched Michael Jordan Motorsports, a professional closed-course motorcycle road racing team. In 2010, he became majority owner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats, making him the first former NBA player ever to become the majority owner of a league franchise.

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