Terrell Owens is the latest athlete on the wine scene, launching his own label: Eighty-One.
The NFL Hall of Famer has teamed up with Lasorda Family Wines, legendary MLB manager Tommy Lasorda’s winery. Eighty-One’s first release is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes — signed bottles are available.
Owens receives a portion of sales from the brand, but there’s potential equity in line if the release goes well.
Wine is a hot business for athletes:
- Dwyane Wade launched his own wine company, D Wade Cellars, after a 2014 vineyard visit
- Former NBA player Channing Frye launched the Chosen Family wine brand earlier this year
- Former NFL player Will Blackmon launched a wine concierge service called “The Wine MVP”
- 12-time Olympic medalist swimmer Natalie Coughlin started the Gaderian Wines label
The wine craze is not a recent development. Athletes have been getting into the wine business for years. Standout investors include: NFL quarterbacks Dan Marino and Drew Bledsoe; NHL players Wayne Gretzky and Valeri Bure; golfers Ernie Els and Greg Norman; and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.
While many athletes hope wine will be a lucrative endeavor, the love of the product stems far beyond money. NBA players made headlines with their indulgence during the Orlando bubble this summer, and LeBron James alone has become somewhat of a wine influencer.