Blake Martinez has turned his childhood passion into something quite lucrative.
The former NFL linebacker is going viral this week after The Athletic’s Zak Keefer detailed how Martinez turned his childhood passion of collecting Pokémon cards into a professional pursuit by starting his own company, Blake’s Breaks, last July.
Martinez told TheAthletic.com that his retirement came when he realized he could do very well financially in the Pokemon business and did not have to risk any injury like he did while playing in the league.
“I just asked myself, do I want to keep starting over from ground zero with football, and keep destroying my body, or do I want to start over from ground zero here, and do something I can actually sustain for a long time? I loved football. But what I found out was I loved building and running my own team even more,” Martinez said.
Martinez said his business, Blake’s Breaks, has brought in $11.5 million in revenue so far. Martinez employs almost 20 full-time employees.
The article further states one Pikachu Illustrator card alone netted $672,000 at auction for Martinez, and another went for $570,000.
Martinez originally went in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft to the Green Bay Packers after his highly productive career at Stanford. The 29-year-old spent his first four seasons with Green Bay before suiting up for the New York Giants and Las Vegas Raiders.
Martinez made $28.9 million in career earnings in the NFL, but it seems his business venture might surpass that in due time and he doesn’t have to worry about being hurt or getting cut from a team.
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