Despite their inflated salaries, many pro athletes struggle with financials.
Minnesota Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil isn't one of them, thanks to a successful business venture he has on the side. He's the owner of five Pieology Pizzeria franchises, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. One of them is in Mankato, Minnesota, where the Vikings hold their training camp each year.
"We're doing really well; I can say that," Kalil said, via the Pioneer Press. "We've been having big lunches, and it's been big after practices."
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Three of Kalil's franchises are in Mankato. The other two are in California (Kalil's home state) and Texas. The company has 72 franchises in total, spanning 11 states, according to the Pioneer Press.
Pieology has drawn comparisons to Chipotle for it's fast-food, choose-your-ingredients style of service, but Kalil is quick to point out the differences.
"Chipotle is all corporate, and they don't franchise out," Kalil said, per the Pioneer Press. "But if they did, you get in a company like that, you can't really grow because there are so many. (Pieology is a) young company out in California, and we kill it out there because people already know about it. There are lines out the door.
"I'm not going to spend my money on a franchise if I don't like something, but after seeing and tasting the product myself, I thought it was a great concept. ... A lot of professional athletes are for the most part losing a lot of their money, but I wanted to start out with something like this. I'm sure I'll invest in other things in the future, but my goal is to secure (my future) and keep the checks coming in."
Kalil, 26, is still on his rookie contract, but he's already making good use of the money he has earned. If he maintains the reputation he's had as a blind-side protector since the Vikings selected him fourth-overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, he'll have a whole new set of investment opportunities when he signs his next monster deal.
Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports