Martellus Bennett: Creating His Second Career
Professional athletes are some of the busiest individuals in the world. Off-seasons are spent preparing both their minds and bodies for the long-haul that is the upcoming year. During the season, they are practicing and training for games with the ultimate goal of winning a championship. Outside of any endorsement deals/appearances, league-mandated community service activities and spending time with their families (athletes are people too), there is not much time to focus on anything else, much less a life after the game.
Don’t tell that to Martellus Bennett.
Bennett is now in his 10th NFL season, surpassing the average NFL player’s career length (3.3 years according to the NFLPA) nearly three times over. While he is the exception to the rule when it comes to the average NFL career, he also stands out in terms of his off-the-field activities and second career preparation.
Not only is Bennett busy helping the Green Bay Packers try to capture the NFC North crown for the second season in a row, but he also is actively involved in preparing for a life outside of football. Following his passion for storytelling and creativity, he started a multimedia production company, The Imagination Agency, in 2014 for which he serves as the “Visionary Architect,” according to his LinkedIn.
The company has published many children’s books, apps and games that were inspired by Bennett’s daughter, A.J., and released its first short film, Zoovie. He recently made headlines within the digital media industry for his latest project, which was a partnership with Giphy, an online database and search engine that allows users to search for and share GIFs (graphics interchange formats). In this collaboration, he created and directed a series of GIFs in a “Text Back Pack” that features hundreds of gestures from his Packers teammates.
Listed as one of the top 11 celebrities and influencers of Adweek’s Creative 100, Bennett uses his platform as a professional athlete to showcase his interests outside of football. His Twitter following of 335,000 gets to experience his creativity first-hand. Not only does Bennett share what he’s working on, but he uses Twitter to interact with his fans about almost any topic.
Currently on a three-year contract with the Packers, Bennett has a lot more football in him. However, by actively pursuing his passion off-the-field, he is a great example of how athletes can prepare for life after the game while still playing. He told NESN, “I feel like the things that we create live on forever. Football, there’s going to be another Martellus Bennett (who will) come around and break the records…I don’t want my daughter to grow up saying that my dad had a great stiff arm. I want her to know that he created, made things. These are the stories that are going to be here forever for her, and whenever she needs me I’ll always be there through story.”
Just like Kobe Bryant and Nnamdi Asomugha followed their passions for a career after sports, Martellus Bennett has begun pursuing his creative passion during his playing career. While primarily known for his prowess on the football field, he is now creating a name for himself as the “NFL’s Most Creative Man.”