Celebrities in the entertainment world have associated themselves with alcoholic beverages pretty much since the advent of mass media. Athletes also, mainly as pitchers (or women) for beer. With the growing popularity of spirits and the enduring appeal of wine, however, athletes who consider themselves a brand in their own right are aligning themselves with premium products in these areas to project an air of sophistication.
To assemble a list of sports stars with their own brands of wine or spirits (and sometimes both), 24/7 Tempo consulted sites including wine researcher, wine spectator, clubhouseand Golfer winesas well as many individual wine sites.
The levels of involvement in these enterprises vary. Some athletes actually own wineries or distilleries and are sometimes actively involved in production. Some invest in a brand. Others essentially enter into an agreement with an existing facility to bottle a line of products under their name. (Here are 24 celebrities with their own wine brands.)
Click here to see 32 sports stars with their own brands of wine or liquor
South African golfers Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and David Frost have all become involved in their home country’s highly respected wine industry. While Els and Goosen created wine brands, Frost’s family has been involved in the wine business for generations. Wine is also the favorite business drink of American golf greats Greg Norman and the late Arnold Palmer, as well as LPGA star Cristie Kerr.
Jeff Gordon, Danica Patrick and Mario Andretti are among the car racers who have made big business in the grapes on the vine. NBA superstars LeBron James and Michael Jordan see big money potential in tequila. And speaking of all-time greats, other iconic names who have successfully made the transition to making and selling power drinks include National Hockey League’s Wayne Gretzky, National Hockey League’s John Elway and Terry Bradshaw. football, and the late Tom Seaver of Major League Baseball. (Here are the 100 highest paid athletes in America.)