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What Tom Brady’s post-NFL career is likely to focus on

Tom Brady blows a kiss to fans wearing his Buccaneers jersey
Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports
FILE PHOTO: Oct 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) blows a kiss to fans after a game against the…
  • Sarah Todd
By Sarah Todd

Senior reporter, Quartz and Quartz at Work

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Tom Brady is retiring after 22 seasons with the National Football League. The seven-time Super Bowl champion announced in an Instagram post Tuesday that he plans to hang up his helmet. Brady joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as quarterback in 2020 after spending the bulk of his career with the New England Patriots.

“I have always believed that the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition—if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game,” he wrote on Instagram. He continued:

There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.
This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”

So just what are those “other things” that require Brady’s attention? He’s launched a number of business ventures in recent years that tend toward the tech-focused and futuristic, including cryptocurrency, wearable technology, and the business of longevity. A look at his interests may offer clues as to what he does next.

Brady’s TB12 brand

The 44-year-old Brady, known for his career longevity, has long found ways to monetize his approach to health and wellness. Brady co-founded sports performance and nutrition company TB12 with his trainer and “body coach” Alex Guerrero back in 2013, and penned a book called The TB12 Method a few years later. Both the company and the book are centered on the concept of helping people develop “pliability,” previously described by Brady as “targeted, deep-force muscle work” and by kinesiology professor Stuart Phillips as “balderdash.”

The TB12 shop peddles wares like resistance bands and protein powders, as well as $200 consultations with body coaches and online courses for athletes and coaches at the TB12 Academy. But much of the attention attracted by TB12 has focused on the fairly restrictive diet that Brady himself follows and credits for allowing him to stay in peak shape. The plan disallows alcohol, gluten, dairy, nightshades (like tomatoes and eggplants), white sugar, and coffee, among other items.

Some of the health claims made by Brady and Guerrero have been debunked as pseudoscience—for example, the idea that it’s necessary to drink half your body weight in water for optimal health. But having already carved out a presence in the health and wellness space, it’s certainly possible that Brady could dig in further with more time on his hands.

Brady’s laser focus on cryptocurrency

Like many celebrities, Brady is a personal fan of cryptocurrency, signaling his interest via everything from changing his Twitter profile to the bitcoin “laser eyes” meme to expressing his support for NFL players requesting to be paid a portion of their salaries in digital currencies. “I’m a big believer in it,” he said of cryptocurrency in an interview last year, adding he had faith in the system despite volatility.

Brady’s interest in cryptocurrency extends to his business doings. He and his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, took an equity stake in crypto exchange FTX last year and have appeared in commercials for the company.

Meanwhile, Autograph, the NFT startup cofounded by Brady in 2021, recently closed on a $170 million Series B round of financing led by Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins. Autograph helps celebrities create and sell NFTs, and has thus far partnered with athletes including Simone Biles, Tiger Woods, Naomi Osaka, and, of course, Brady himself.

Performance gear and athleisure

Also in 2021, Brady launched his first clothing line, the menswear brand Brady. Current offerings include a mixture of athleisure (cotton hoodies emblazoned with a simple “Brady”) to performance wear (“zero weight” training jackets and moisture-wicking, “thermoregulating” tee shirts).

Brady has previously explored the intersection between athletic apparel and wearable technology via a partnership with Under Armour to create “recovery” pajamas, featuring infrared technology that claim to help wearers get a better night’s sleep.

This post has been updated.

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