Falcons' Matt Ryan (2) is chased by Ndamukong Suh (93) of the Bucs during the regular season game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on January 3, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Cliff Welch | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images
National Football League lineman Ndamukong Suh tries to speak to Warren Buffett quarterly for investment advice and advice.
The two have been close since 2009 when Suh attended the University of Nebraska. The last time he spoke to the "Oracle of Omaha" was on vacation. Suh, who now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said Buffett has been talking about options and will be in position if they arrive.
"As you can see, he was super cash-heavy," Suh told CNBC on Friday. "It is being prepared to take steps and see where there are opportunities in the market."
Although Suh is busy preparing for Sunday's New Orleans Saints, in a showdown between legendary NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady on the Bucs and Drew Brees on the Saints, he said he was aware of the market turmoil and activity over CNBC – Cell phone notifications remain aware.
While waiting for investment opportunities, he is also preparing for life after football.
"I aspire to be more successful off the field than on the field," said Suh. "I think I'm in a pretty good place, but I know I have a lot of hard work to do to make that happen."
Suh, 34, was particularly interested in hospitality and restaurant opportunities and says he is "bullish" in the sectors.
"I've seen a lot of good growth in these areas that many people wouldn't expect," said Suh. (He is an investor in a hospitality SPAC but declined to name it.)
"There will be more demand as the vaccine comes out and people are more open to being in public," Suh said. "Deliveries and the ability to grab and go; I've seen a lot of success in these areas."
Suh didn't add a publicly traded food company to his portfolio in 2020, but privately he has "projects in the pipeline" this year near Portland, Oregon, where he grew up.
"We have signed leases and are waiting for things to get going again when things come back," said Suh.
Other investments include Silofit, a fitness company that specializes in privatized workouts. The Canadian company went through a $ 2.5 million fundraising round last November, according to Crunchbase. According to Suh, the company is expanding.
He has used his NFL fame to forge connections with Gary Shiffman, chairman of real estate company Sun Communities Inc, and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. He has interests in both companies and is also considering investing in technology companies.
“I'd say I'm a practical investor,” said Suh. "I like getting my hands dirty. I like adding value, which is why I enjoy being a corporate advisor when I'm not a board member or venture partner."
Defensive crackdown on Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions
A meeting with Phil Knight
While serving with the Detroit Lions in 2011, Suh made headlines when he was suspended for two games after trampling a Green Bay Packers player. He returned to Portland and met with Nike founder Phil Knight, who helped him turn a negative into an opportunity.
Suh said Knight told him, "We're going to be able to use this from a branding perspective." And Nike is one of the smartest groups in storytelling, so they were able to use me in a variety of ways. "
Since then, Suh's Foundation has focused on creating opportunities for others, one of which he called the Young Black Professional Housing Project. Suh's mission is to provide housing for young entrepreneurs so they can focus on building their business, not renting.
As Covid-19 affects the nation, rental rates in the city have fallen, but the monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment still tops $ 1,100, according to The Oregonian, which used data from apartment websites.
"Renting is not easy," Suh said, adding that he has a 40- and 56-unit project in the architectural phase before moving on to city approval.
"I think they will find that it is a good project and that it will be online soon," he said. "It's a quality life and the ability to help young professionals get their feet wet in their business areas of activity, but also not have to worry about their life situation at the same time."
Tom Brady # 12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws a pass during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on November 8, 2020 in Tampa, Florida.
Mike Ehrmann | Getty Images
Brady owes Suh
Suh described the NFL's Covid-19 season as "challenging," especially with protocols changing as the league got serious after a Baltimore Ravens outbreak.
“I'm happy to be an older man,” he said. "I anticipated what I had to do and knew everything I had to do when it came to football.
Suh added that he was impressed with how young players at the Bucs have handled the season, especially newbies.
"I know their head only turned with football, let alone the pandemic they were struggling with," Suh said. "Definitely a challenging year, but something we all believed we could do. As professional athletes we are constantly adapting and adapting. I think finding ways to make things are in our blood to do."
Suh believes Brady will lead the team past the Saints to continue the chase for a Super Bowl. It would be his first title and Brady's seventh.
Suh gives Brady Flak for the 2019 Super Bowl, which the quarterback cost him when the Los Angeles Rams fell to Brady's New England Patriots.
"He owes me a Super Bowl since he stole one from me in 2019," joked Suh. "I have business to take care of this year and I would love to have this Super Bowl," he added. "I've seen a lot of individual successes, but I need this team success to really solidify my career."