Anthony Tolliver scores in Big Blankets, Fishing Rods – Sportico.com

Anthony Tolliver has not officially announced his retirement, but he has accepted that this is the end of his journey in the NBA.

Don’t feel sorry for the 14-year-old veteran, who played for 11 NBA teams and was with the Philadelphia 76ers last year. The 37-year-old big man, who is based out of Dallas, has lived his wildest dreams of playing with and against some of the game’s all-time greats. And over the course of his career, Tolliver has set himself up not to one day need to Basketball: Invest more than $35 million in estimated career earnings in a portfolio of real estate, venture capital, and retail investments.

A former member of the Executive Committee of the NBA Players Association (NBPA), Tolliver believes in identifying voids in markets and filling them–often with little fanfare. The founder of 356 Ventures is more concerned with taking less risks and preserving his wealth, and has avoided the startup path.

Tolliver’s two most important projects are Big Blanket Co. , a comprehensive supplier, and Anything Possible Brands, fishing gear supplier. The combined business has exceeded more than 60 million dollars in annual sales. It also makes Tolliver a far cry from the Silicon Valley era. His conservative approach to cashing in on the unfashionable retail business is also outdated amid the athlete’s standard array of digital projects and cryptocurrencies.

“It’s all about consistency for me,” Tolliver said in the video interview. “Sexy is great if it’s consistent and makes money for everyone involved. But if it doesn’t, I’d rather stick to the boring stuff.”

Former NBPA Vice President Mo Evans believes Tolliver is in a fortunate position as someone who has made millions from being a fixture rather than a high-profile writer. He took advantage of the gift of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement to make aggressive outside investments in a dull but profitable business that provides solutions to a variety of consumers.

“Then you don’t have to take as much risk,” Evans said in a phone interview. He can’t just look [company] Forecasts but look at actual historical data to invest in growth potential based on how it performs… [He’s] Don’t be a ram but be strategic.”

As a Creighton junior in 2007, Tolliver didn’t know anything was foolproof. Uncertainty encouraged him to develop his business acumen earlier rather than later.

“I was preparing for the end from the very beginning,” said Tolliver, a husband and father of four.

It wasn’t until he started playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2012 that he first decided to partner with a close friend to create an invention company focused on fishing for kids after discovering that the industry had little to offer immature anglers.

That company, Kids Casters, would later become Anything Possible Brands, which today distributes a range of fishing-related products across the country. Anything Possible’s inventory for adult anglers makes up more than half of the company’s sales, yet the mission remains the same – encouraging people to fish and providing durable products for anglers of all skill levels.

Over the past decade, Tolliver has increased his initial investment from $150,000 to nearly $1 million, including equity and debt. His equity partner, former Sacramento Kings star Brad Miller, came in to help expand the business, and Promus Equity completed a 75% purchase of the company in 2020. Tolliver still owns 5% of the company, which pays licensing fees for trademarks, including That’s Nickelodeon and the Discovery Channel, which appeal to larger audiences.

“It was a great role model for us,” Tolliver said of the company, which generates about $35 million in sales annually. We are allowed to enter through that door [then] It allows us to develop our own brand products… [Once] We get our own [branded products] in [stores] Then we will have much higher margins.”

Tolliver is eyeing another exit over the next three to five years as revenue continues to mount.

Justin McCurdy, CEO of Manhattan West Asset Management, serves as a financial advisor to current and former NBA players. Tolliver’s story is seen as an example of how athletes can succeed using alternative investments, especially in tough economic times.

“If you look at years like this year where the stock market and the bond market went down simultaneously, investors from all walks of life, not just athletes, are looking for safe, risk-adjusted investments that will provide a return when the market isn’t performing the way they like it,” he said. He said.

Tolliver found another hole in the market in 2018 when he decided to become an anchor investor in Big Blanket Co. At 6-foot-8, Tolliver realized that 10-foot-10 blankets could provide the comfort needed by plus-sized people like himself. . It later became apparent that normal-sized people and their families also enjoy having a little more luxury around their homes, too.

“You get into a niche and sometimes you realize it’s bigger than you thought,” he said. “For this [Big Blanket] Such an exponential growth so quickly.”

The company had nearly $3 million in sales during the first year before jumping to $21 million in 2019. With people at home at the start of the pandemic, sales jumped to an all-time high of about $32 million in 2020. While Things have calmed down over the past year, the company is poised to continue growing. Tolliver retains a 10% stake in Big Blanket after Dallas-based Altacrest Capital bought 55% of the company in a deal with Atlanta-based Source Capital last summer.

Tolliver also plays in venture capital. Invest in Airbnb, Lyft, Lime and Hims and Hers Health, Inc. before being offered for public subscription. Those proceeds helped fund his other ventures, including a Christian clothing line (Active Faith) and a new player-focused sports entertainment company (PlayersTV).

It’s all under the umbrella of 356 Ventures, which is looking to consolidate now that the commitments in the ballpark have been cleared. Cozy blankets and affordable fishing gear are now more than just cozy retirement accessories.

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