If there's one thing professional athletes know, it's how to represent a big brand. And that could be why so many pros buy into franchise business models, where huge payouts can come from executing on an existing image and concept.
Troy Aikman, the former Dallas Cowboys star, made millions after cashing out some of his shares in Wingstop, the Texas chicken wings chain that went public June 12. Aikman has been a Wingstop spokesperson since 2003.
"A lot of athletes have consumer branding experience with restaurants, and that may be partly why they are drawn to ownership," said Matt Haller, vice president of public affairs at the International Franchise Association.
While this type of windfall isn't likely to arrive overnight for those who own their own franchise shops, many make millions over time if they've chosen a brand with lasting power.
Read on for profiles of seven athletes scoring millions in franchising.
—By Maggie Overfelt, special to CNBC.com
Posted 25 June 2015