Nearly six months after Bobby Wagner negotiated a three-year, $54 million contract extension to make him the highest paid at his position, the Seattle Seahawks linebacker is making waves again.
Wagner was recently named to Forbes’ prestigious 30 Under 30 Sports list, which features athletes, inventive entrepreneurs and professionals in the field of media, law and development.
His accomplishments on the football field are impressive, but it’s Wagner's off-the-field accolades that caught the eye of Forbes.
“We should take the time to learn and understand how to make the money work for us, versus working for the money,” Wagner told Forbes.
Wagner made a five-figure investment in startup Denali Therapeutics in 2014 that has since gone public with shares close to $18. The 29-year-old also recently joined Andressen Horowitz’s $500,000 minimum investment cultural fund, which features companies like Hipcamp and Lime scooters, and included investors such as Diddy and Shondra Rhimes.
This isn’t the first time Wagner has been recognized for his entrepreneurial pursuits. In 2017, he was part of a group of current and former NFL players who invested in 12-year-old Mikaela Ulmer’s lemonade business “Me & the Bees.”
Wagner has stressed the importance of athletes not only learning business, but understanding it. He has also talked about his desire to pursue something in the business field post-football.
“I love business and I love to get into different investments and things of that nature,” Wagner said last summer. “I envision myself negotiating deals down the line and, so, I told myself (if) I wasn’t willing to risk challenging myself with my own money and my own cash then I’ll never take that risk down the line. That’s why I was focused on it.”
At 29, Wagner has seemingly done it all on the football field. He’s been to five Pro Bowls, earned four first-team All-Pro nods and helped lead Seattle to its first ever Super Bowl.
But with the Seahawks at 10-2 and on top of the NFC West, he could soon add another Super Bowl title to his collection.
“We still have room to improve on, which is the scary thing because we can still get better.”