Videos by OutKick
Do you have some super-rare packs of Pokemon cards packed away in your basement, former New York Giants linebacker Blake Martinez would like to stop by to go shopping.
The NFL veteran who spent six years in the league before deciding to retire to run his Pokemon card empire, tells CNBC’s “Make It” that his life changed in 2021 when he had time on his hands due to a torn ACL injury and he began to focus on his Pokemon card side hustle he picked up in 2020 after watching social media influencers like Logan Paul making bank reselling cards.
In just seven months of working full-time as a Pokemon card dealer, Martinez’s business has amassed over $5 million in revenue.
Martinez, 29, says he was a Pokemon collector at six years old like many kids, but he eventually grew out of the card stage and his mother gave away his binders loaded with what were likely highly valuable cards.
Fast-forward to 2020 and Martinez watches Paul make a bunch of money. The linebacker who’d made millions playing football jumped into the business by buying boxes of cards for $30,000. He says it was him “paying a premium to buy vintage packs to try to get my collection back.”
One of the smartest moves Martinez made was opening the packs on a live video stream and auctioning off the cards. In July 2022, Blake’s Breaks became Martinez’s official side hustle business that handles shipping cards, hosting streams and running his social media channels.
Now he has the cards, the content, the business model and a full-fledged operation that can now be scaled. It’s officially every retired NFL guy’s dream and Martinez just has to keep selling Pokemon cards.
“Every single day when I wake up, my shoulder doesn’t hurt and my back doesn’t hurt anymore,” Martinez told CNBC. “When all that hurts are my fingers from opening, like, 1,000 packs of cards per day, I think, ‘I’m going to keep doing this.’”
And he’s still married!
The guy has millions in the bank from his NFL career. He’s making big revenues from the Pokemon business. He’s just 29. He has two kids. A doodle running around the house. And his wife hasn’t left him!
Needless to say, it’s a good time to be Blake Martinez.
Yeah, but this trend will die out and Martinez will be left with a bunch of worthless cards.
Uh, good luck with that train of thought. Pokemon is the highest-grossing media franchise in media franchise history with $77.1 billion in revenue since making its debut in 1996. To put that in perspective, Star Wars has made $65 billion via its movie sales, video games, merchandise, etc.
Pokemon has made an astounding $69.2 billion in merchandise sales since 1996.
Barbie has made $19.4 billion in all-time sales since 1987. The Batman franchise has made $28.5 billion. Harry Potter checks in with $33 billion.
Guys, Mickey Mouse and Friends has ELEVEN BILLION less in sales than Pokemon and that’s in nearly 100 years of sales for Mickey Mouse.
It’s looking like Martinez will be just fine with the NFL.