How Grant Hill Builds His Post-NBA Business Empire!


Former NBA superstar and Duke Blue Devils icon Grant Hill has earned over $100 million in career earnings. He has invested in several major real estate projects, including a $5 billion development in Atlanta. He owns a stake in an NBA team and has a new partnership with multinational conglomerate Philips.

Now, her net worth is estimated at $250 million.

But the Detroit Pistons’ first-round pick in 1994 is still paranoid about money – a mentality that has been around since their days on the NBA courts.

“I was always thinking about the endgame,” Hill said of his budget during his gaming days, while keeping an eye on life after retirement. “And I think that has served me well.”

Hill, 49, spoke with CNBC on Tuesday to discuss his new promotional deal with Philips Shaver Products for the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, which begins March 17. He also works as a basketball analyst for Turner Sports’ NBA and NCAA games.

The interview was supposed to last just 15 minutes, but it took more than 45 minutes as Hill discussed his investments, continued involvement in the NBA, and his unending curiosity about business in general.

This is how Hill managed his finances and built a promising portfolio of off-site business.

Think like a CEO

After drafting, one of Hill’s most notable decisions was not to hire a sports manager to broker deals. Hill said he doesn’t believe in paying an agent a percentage of their contract to speak for him. Basketball agents can charge players up to 4% to sign contracts and earn more if they lure customers with brand deals.

Hill, who has played for four teams in 19 NBA seasons, recalled that his first contract was an eight-year, $45 million deal in 1994. Phoenix. President of Suns basketball operations.

“We are actually the CEOs of our own companies,” Hill said, referring to professional athletes. “And CEOs often don’t hire agents and don’t pay them a percentage. They work with lawyers and they have lawyers who help them negotiate and verify deals for you. And to protect your interests in contracts. So I went that route with representation.”

Paying Hill an hourly wage, Babby helped market a $93 million deal with the Orlando Magic in 2000 and set up a marketing division that has deals with brands like McDonald’s and Cola’s Sprite. Sportswear company FILA signed a lifetime contract with Hill in 2018.

Grant Hill 33 of the Detroit Pistons will take a free kick against the Washington Bullets in a 1994 NBA basketball game at the US Airways Arena in Landover, Maryland. Hill played for the Pistons from 1994 to 2000.

Focus on sports | Getty Images Sports | Getty Pictures

Hill, who took control of her company early in her career, said she learned “by sitting with the management team, reviewing their marketing campaigns – visiting ad agencies to develop a strategy.” He also studied the newspaper’s business section to learn about money and “kept it simple” when it came to spending.

“I didn’t change my lifestyle,” Hill said. “I didn’t go shopping. I didn’t buy a car. I had a relationship with General Motors and they gave me a few cars.”

Playing until the age of 40, Hill was elected to the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018 and serves on the organization’s board of directors. He is also a member of the NBA Board of Retired Players Association. In January 2021, Hill was named the new general manager of the United States Men’s National Basketball Team.

Inside Hill’s Wallet

Hill said he became “paranoid about money and about losing money” after watching athletes struggle with money after their careers ended. Hill’s father – the former Dallas Cowboys who outlasted Calvin Hill – played in the NFL from 1969 to 1981, so he saw some players face financial problems.

When asked if he was paranoid about similar financial results, Hill replied, “There’s constant paranoia. I think I’m wired that way. »

I did not change my lifestyle. I didn’t go shopping.

Grant Hill

retired NBA star and businessman

This thinking is reflected in his involvement in real estate investment.

“I believe in durable assets, real assets,” Hill said.

Hill praised her parents for their interest in the industry. He remembers traveling to space in 2000 during his time with Magic. Hill has invested in multi-family units and office properties in central Florida, which he described as “premium to growth and has seen tremendous growth since.”

Through his marketing and management firm Hill Ventures, the former NBA All-Star has invested and developed more than $200 million in projects from Florida to North Carolina.

Hill joined commercial real estate investment firm CIM Group in its latest venture to invest in Centennial Yards, a $5 billion mixed-use development in Atlanta. Hill said the city center project will take seven to ten years. He compared it to LA Live, an entertainment and residential development outside the Arena in Los Angeles.

Tetra Pictures | Mark X Pictures | Getty Pictures

Hill is one of many athletes who have made a profit from real estate investment after his career.

Basketball Hall of Famer and Pistons legend Isiah Thomas owns a real estate company within his company, ISIAH International. Former National Football League veteran LeSean McCoy is building his portfolio through Vice Capital.

A few top athletes are getting into crypto investment, but Hill is skeptical about the sustainability of the asset class. Again, for Hill, it comes down to hard assets.

“There have been great fortunes developed through real estate, and that’s part of the asset allocation,” he added. “I think it’s a safe bet but also a profitable bet compared to some of these new digital currencies in the market.”

The Ballboys wear gloves while holding their warm-up basketball as a precaution before an NBA game between the Charlotte Hornets and Atlanta Hawks to be played on March 9, 2020, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.

Todd Kirkland | Getty Pictures

Investing in sports teams and black arts

Hill also has sports properties in its portfolio. He is a $1 billion investor in the NBA’s African business and a minority shareholder in the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.

Hill bought an equity stake and served as vice president when he joined businessman Tony Ressler, who bought the team for more than $800 million in 2015. The Hawks are currently worth $1.6 billion, according to Forbes.

Hill did not fully disclose his ownership of the NBA franchise. “It’s an investment, and Tony Ressler may treat me like an investor, but he treats me like a partner,” he said. “This is something I really enjoy and appreciate.”

Previously, Hill and other investors offered $1.2 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014 and failed to get the offer of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who paid $2 billion for the team.

Another asset in Hill’s portfolio: black art.

Hill began collecting black artwork in the 1990s. Hill told CNBC that he owns art by Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett; painters Norman Lewis and Hank Willis Thomas. And with greater acceptance by the mainstream art community, the value of black artwork has increased.

“I think you can make a lot of money if you buy a good piece of art, if you have a good eye and know what you’re doing,” Hill said.

Hill still uses the NBA brand

Celebrity Net Worth, a website that tracks athletes and celebrities, estimates that Hill earned about $120 million from endorsements. Hill also gains experience in the consumer packaged goods industry as a board member of New Jersey-based Campbell Soup.

Hill is also helping Philips pull off new shavers with the Norelco OneBlade line. The terms of Hill’s endorsement to Philips were not disclosed. Philips is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has a market capitalization of $28 billion.

“You’re looking for reliable companies,” Hill said of how he approaches endorsement deals with brands. “Companies with a history of success; ultimately embody the quality and characteristics you represent.

“They (Philips) have a product that I think defines and serves young college basketball fans,” Hill added. “I’m aware of this because I was a young college basketball fan. »

Hill played for legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. The iconic coach is retiring from the program after 42 seasons and five NCAA Division I titles. Two of these title suits, 1991 and 1992, brought Hill forward.

The retired superstar attended Krzyzewski’s last home game at school last weekend and described the moment as “bittersweet”.

“Celebrating him, celebrating his legacy – seeing actors from decades ago was special,” Hill said.

And he thinks the Blue Devils will be gone by the end of this year. Duke won his last NCAA title in 2015.

“We were waiting for us,” Hill said. “Hopefully we can fire Coach K with another championship.”