Tom Brady could face a rocky retirement financially, as the NFL legend struggles to untangle his budding business empire from troubled crypto ventures, including the doomed FTX exchange.
Brady, 45, gave no immediate hint about his plans to retire, while confirming his “retirement forever” in a 53-second video announcement posted to his social media accounts on Wednesday.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion has been embroiled in legal battles after serving as a key early backer and brand ambassador for FTX, whose founder Sam Bankmanfried was accused of defrauding clients out of billions of dollars.
Brady and his ex-wife, Gisele Bundchen, are among FTX spokespersons named in a class-action lawsuit last November. The suit alleges that FTX used Brady and other prominent backers to lure unsuspecting investors into what was effectively a Ponzi scheme.
Brady also co-founded NFT marketplace Autograph — a platform that once counted Bankman-Fried on its board and attracted steady interest from investors before the tech industry crash upended various crypto-focused startups.
Autograph failed to avoid an industry-wide downturn. In December, the Brady-backed startup cited “market challenges” after laying off “dozens” of employees, Insider reported. Bankman-Fried’s name has also quietly disappeared from Autograph’s website, although the exact timeline for his resignation from the board is unclear.
Brady is front and center of FTX’s marketing efforts – appearing in a 4th of July video in which he uses a flamethrower to melt a block of ice containing cryptocurrency tokens. When FTX filed for bankruptcy, Brady quietly deleted all his company-related tweets.
Last month, court documents revealed that Brady owned more than 1.1 million common shares at the time of FTX’s bankruptcy, while Bundchen owned more than 686,000 common shares. Forbes estimates that Brady’s stake was worth $45 million before FTX’s collapse rendered it worthless.
In December, Michael Livieratos, a devoted New England Patriots fan, sued Brady, alleging that the NFL legend’s ties to FTX led him to pour almost his life savings into the bankrupt platform.
The troubled crypto venture is just one consideration for Brady, who has turned his on-field success into one of the most profitable brands in American sports history. He is the NFL’s all-time revenue leader, with over $500 million in total on and off the field, according to Forbes calculations.
During his 23-year NFL career with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady earned more than $332 million in salary and bonuses, according to Spotrac.
Brady has signed a 10-year, $375 million contract with Fox Sports, which gives him a lucrative TV show. The deal signed last year will take effect when Brady hangs up his cleats and makes him the highest-paid sports commentator of all time.
Brady expressed excitement about the potential future of broadcasting on a recent episode of “Let’s Go!” podcast.
“I have the opportunity to have a job in the future where I can travel around and learn from all the other people and different organizations and different people that I respect and admire,” Brady said. It’s exciting. I feel like whenever that time comes, I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to do that.”
Elsewhere, Brady has his own fitness and lifestyle brand TB12. Brady’s product portfolio includes numerous endorsements from such well-known brands as Subway, Hertz and Under Armour.
The NFL legend has also ventured into Hollywood. He will join renowned actresses Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Sally Field in the upcoming comedy Brady’s 80, due out later this year . The film was produced by 199 Productions, the company Brady founded.