Patriots’ QB Tom Brady Is Already Working on His Retirement Brand
Even if you happened to overlook the sidewalk poster touting “Train like Tom Brady,” once you enter TB12 Boston, a bright-white, glossy two-story space, there’s no mistaking who’s behind the brand. Photos of the New England Patriots’ longtime star quarterback are everywhere in the minimalist and rather stark space: in extreme close-up, making eye contact from the cover of his best-selling book, with copies stacked near sacks of TB12-branded protein powder, gear, and folded t-shirts.
Most celebrity athletes kick off their brands with a sneaker or gear deal, but the Patriots QB is focused on the long game. TB12 sells products along with the diet, exercise, and mindset that Brady put to work on the way to winning six Super Bowls, more than any other player in history. Now 42, Brady is in his 20th season in the NFL. The average career for players is just three years. The TB12 tagline is all Brady: “Do what you love better and for longer.”
But the clock is ticking on his career and so, to use a corny football metaphor, Brady is driving towards the end zone. In the past year, TB12 (the name combines Brady’s initials and jersey number) has grown from 20 to 80 employees. And the brand also added a CEO known for building emerging consumer brands. John Burns helped turn Yasso Greek Yogurt and Spartan Race into the big names they are today.
Last month, Brady’s brand opened its first retail and training facility. (The company also has a smaller training facility in Foxboro, near the Patriots’ home stadium.) The multi-level, 10,500-square-foot TB12 Performance & Recovery Center on Boylston St. in Boston’s Back Bay features a café and store, and what looks like the world’s swankiest physical therapy space. The top floor is given over to the retail area and beverage bar, where customers can order Brady’s favorite blueberry-banana smoothie, full of chia and hemp seeds. On the shelves, vibrating foam muscle rollers at $160 each, sacks of plant protein powder for $48, or T-shirts with the TB12 buzzword “pliability” scripted across them ($25, on sale). On the lower level, exam rooms outfitted with massage tables ring a swatch of artificial turf featuring the familiar lines of a football field. CEO Burns says he’s planning to open similar TB12 units in New York City, Los Angeles, and perhaps Miami, adding that the centers should be able to produce $600 to $1,000 per square foot in revenue.
TB12 will also have at least one retailer outside of the company locations. In time to fulfill New Years’ 2020 resolutions, a major retailer will also start selling TB12 branded gear, Burns said, declining to disclose which one.