Former NFL player makes $5m selling Pokemon cards

Blake Martinez spent seven seasons in the NFL  (Getty Images)
Blake Martinez spent seven seasons in the NFL (Getty Images)

A former NFL player has revealed he has made $5m in seven months after switching to a surprisingly lucrative second career - selling Pokemon cards.

Blake Martinez announced a sudden retirement from the sport in November after seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants and Las Vegas Raiders.

He has since turned his hand to a hobby first picked up during the pandemic that is now paying dividends.

The former linebacker launched Blake’s Breaks in July 2022, committing full-time after retirement and reportedly earning more than £4m in just seven months, according to CNBC.

Martinez now has 15 contract employees helping with his booming collectables business.

“I think there’s more to my success than [my name],” Martinez told CNBC Make It. “I used to be like the quarterback of the defense, I was calling plays. When I started this business, it felt like running a team again.

“Every single day when I wake up, my shoulder doesn’t hurt and my back doesn’t hurt anymore.

“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.’”

Martinez had collected the cards as a child, and reignited his interest in the Japanese media franchise in March 2020.

He now hopes to expand his business to other areas of the collectible industry, including comic books.

Pokemon cards can be high-ticket items: in July of last year, social media personality Logan Paul paid $4 million for a rare “Pikachu Illustrator” card.