Born on Nov. 29, 1988, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Russell Carrington Wilson grew up in a family of sportspersons, with his father and siblings all playing sports. In May 2010, Wilson graduated from NC State in three years with a BA in communication and took graduate-level business courses in the fall semester during the 2010 football season.
Wilson played college football and baseball at NC State from 2008 to 2010 before he transferred to Wisconsin in 2011. Wilson was selected by the Seahawks in the third round (75th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. He tied with Peyton Manning’s then-record for most passing touchdowns by a rookie and got named as Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year. Wilson has played in nine Pro Bowls and helped lead the Seahawks to two consecutive Super Bowls, and they won the Super Bowl XLVIII.
Business Ventures: A Man of Enterprise
Along with his successful career in sports, Wilson has been involved in several business ventures. Wilson is the founder of the brand management firm West2East Empire, which has spawned two production companies and expanded Wilson’s business portfolio. The company however is estimated to make only $5 million in revenue according to Zoom Info.
Along with the brand management firm, Wilson has made a lot of significant investments in sports, showcasing his commitment to the growth and development of the sports industry. He was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2010 and is an investor in the Portland Diamond Project, whose goal is to bring a Major League Baseball (MLB) team to Oregon. The Portland Diamond Project has so far raised a total of $500K in funding and has an estimated revenue of $3.1 million.
Wilson is part owner of the Major League Soccer (MLS) team, which is valued at $310 million and was ranked by Forbes in 2018 to be the third-most valuable franchise. The team’s annual revenues are estimated at around $10-$50 million.
Wilson is also involved in fashion with Good Man Brand, a high-end clothing retailer, further reflecting his business versatility. Although the revenue figures of Good Man Brand are not made public, the global men’s swimwear market is expected to grow to $21 billion by 2025, showing the large market share the brand can capture.
He also launched Limitless Minds, a startup that sells training and consulting services to companies. Limitless Minds has an estimated annual revenue of $5.9 million. Wilson is also the founder and chair of Tally, a sports-prediction app, with popular investors like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley.
When it comes to brand endorsements, Wilson has more than enough. He endorses numerous high-end brands, including Wheaties cereal, Levi’s, American Family Insurance, Pepsi, Nike, Alaska Airlines, Microsoft, Duracell, Bose, Braun, United Way, and the Larson Automotive Group. These endorsements increase his income and elevate his public image.
Net Worth and Earnings
As of 2023, Wilson is estimated to be worth $165 million according to Celebrity Networth. He is one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in terms of per-season earnings, with his NFL average salary of $48.5 million. Between June 2018 and June 2019, Wilson earned $90 million from his various investments. His career NFL earnings top $238.3 million in salary alone.
In April 2019, Wilson signed a four-year, $140-million contract extension with the Seahawks, which made him the highest-paid player in the NFL at the time. In March 2022 he was traded to the Denver Broncos and signed a five-year, $245 million extension, including $165 million guaranteed according to Forbes.
Giving Back Wholeheartedly
Wilson is well-known for his philanthropy. He founded the Why Not You Foundation in 2014, a nonprofit dedicated to education, children’s health, and fighting poverty. The foundation aims to empower change in the world through children and youths.
Wilson is married to Ciara, a Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter and have both used their considerable celebrity status and fortune to battle food insecurity, expand educational opportunities, and promote social justice and racial equality. Wilson and Ciara made regular visits to Seattle Children’s Hospital and raised $2.6 million through the Wilson Celebrity Invitational. His dedication to philanthropy earned him recognition by the Soul Train Awards as one of the world’s top 20 most charitable athletes in 2021.
From football enthusiast to successful NFL player and multimillionaire businessman, Wilson’s journey is truly inspiring. He is indeed a role model for aspiring athletes and entrepreneurs alike.