Tom Brady will now have a lot more time on his hands to promote his Brady Brand.
On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, who is 44, officially confirmed what has been feverishly reported as fact for the past two days — that he’s hanging up his cleats after a storied 22-year career in the National Football League.
The news comes a little more than a week after Brady and the Bucs failed to advance in the NFL playoffs, keeping him from vying for an eighth Super Bowl win. Enterprising off the field, Brady has a bevy of business pursuits beyond his signature brand including TB12, a health and wellness brand, as well as Religion of Sports, the sports media venture he started with former NFL rival Michael Strahan in 2020.
Brady’s wife Gisele Bündchen is a powerhouse rainmaker in her own right. While Brady’s net worth is reportedly in the range of $250 million, Bündchen’s is said to be worth $400 million. In 1998, she made her London Fashion Week debut courtesy of Alexander McQueen in his “rain show.” The designer anointed her “The Body” and her bookings rocketed. In 2000, she landed a multimillion-dollar contract with Victoria’s Secret. The Brazilian model, who exited IMG Models last year after 21 years, has appeared on more than 1,200 magazine covers.
Brady broke the news of his retirement on his social media accounts Tuesday morning, writing a long post that he has “always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition — if a 100 percent competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t be a success….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.”
Brady went on to say that he’s “done a lot of reflecting the past week,” and said his teammates, coaches, fellow competitors and fans deserve 100 percent of him, “but right now, it’s best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.”
He thanked his Buccaneers teammates, the fans, the city of Tampa, the team’s owners and coaches, his agent and others in the long, emotional post. He ended by giving his wife and his three children, Jack, Benny and Vivi, credit for their “selflessness” in supporting his career and allowing him to “reach new heights professionally.”
And while he said he will miss playing, he believes his future is bright. He singled out the businesses he has cofounded: Brady Brand and Autograph, an NFT platform, along with TB12, and said he’s “excited to continue to help build and grow” these businesses. “I am going to take it day by day,” he concluded. “I know for sure I want to spend a lot of time giving to others and trying to enrich other people’s lives, just as so many have done for me.”
Brady won’t be searching for things to keep him busy, that’s for sure. In addition to his other ventures, Brady last month launched his apparel brand, simply called Brady. It is a joint venture with Jens Grede of Skims fame that is designed by Public School cofounder Dao-Yi Chow, who serves as creative director.
In addition, he is an ambassador for Under Armour, IWC Watches and other high-profile brands. On Tuesday, an Under Armour spokesperson said: “Tom Brady is undeniably one of the greatest athletes of all time. He’s had an incredible 22-season career and has taught so many the meaning of competitiveness, grit and perseverance, exemplifying The Only Way Is Through. We’ve been honored to have him as an Under Armour athlete and to have partnered with him throughout his exceptional career. He’ll be missed by all who play and watch the sport and we wish him our utmost congratulations on his career and his retirement.” The company did not comment further on whether the partnership will continue now that he’s no longer playing. He has been an ambassador with the brand for 11 years.
Jens Grede, co-founder of the Brady brand, said: “Tom has changed the face of football over the course of his 22 years with the NFL and we’re looking to do just that with Brady. I’m excited to work alongside Tom and the rest of the team to develop this brand into a global household name. The launch exceeded and continues to exceed expectations. It’s incredible to see the excitement from consumers. We’ve had several pieces from the collection sell out immediately and we are excited for what’s to come.”
John Burns, chief executive officer of TB12, also weighed in: “Tom’s longevity is a testament to the TB12 Method, a way of life, a book and a brand he co-founded with Alex Guerrero centered around performance and recovery. He has defied the odds for 22 years and has inspired millions, showcasing that you can do anything no matter your age. His passion, dedication and business acumen are true in everything he does, including his work in developing the TB12 brand. It has been an honor to work together as we forge the future growth of the business.”
He said since rumors of Brady’s retirement began circulating over the weekend, sales have increased. “We have seen an uptick in traffic, conversion and sales on our e-commerce sites since Saturday as well as an increase in social engagement as consumers are inspired by Tom’s work and his ability to push the limits. Tom has been instrumental since the start with all TB12 product development. Upcoming, we have new and improved TB12 proteins and launches in the nutrition and hydration category.”
Dillon Rosenblatt, CEO of Autograph, said: “It has been an honor to work with Tom Brady as he enters the next phase of his legacy. He will continue to lead the Autograph brand and community into a force that helps aid the growth and development of the Web3 world. We just announced our Series B raise with luminaries in the crypto industry, and as Tom said, the future is bright.”
Brady has partnered with a lot of brands over the years, some of whom were not all that obvious. Brady’s endorsement of Ugg footwear raised a few eyebrows with the NFL crowd but more stylish shoppers were at ease with that comfort-driven choice. Brady ended his Ugg spokesperson role in 2016. A company spokesperson said Tuesday, “Despite us parting ways with the NFL legend, Tom will always be part of the Ugg family.”
IWC Schaffhausen also came out in support of the athlete. “Tom Brady is not only an incredible athlete but a gentleman and a true watch connoisseur. We congratulate him for his remarkable football career, and we will continue supporting him — on and off the field — in his future endeavors.”
A representative from Religion of Sports acknowledged requests for comment about Brady potentially changing roles, but did not offer any further details.
Brady is considered by many to be the greatest quarterback to ever play the game of football. He spent 20 years with the New England Patriots — bringing the franchise six Super Bowl rings — before signing with Tampa Bay in 2020. On Tuesday, Robert Kraft, owner and CEO of the Patriots, tweeted that “a generation of football fans have grown up knowing only an NFL in which Tom Brady dominates. He retires with nearly every NFL career passing record, yet the only one that ever mattered to him was the team’s win-loss record.” He added that in a team sport like football, “it is rare to see an individual have such a dominant impact. You didn’t have to be a Patriots fan to respect and appreciate his competitiveness, determination and will to win. As a fan of football, it was a privilege to watch. As a Patriots fan, it was a dream come true.”
Brady responded on Twitter that he was “beyond grateful” for the tribute, adding, “Love you all.”