NFL Buccaneers’ Ndamukong Suh using Warren Buffett’s advice

Matt Ryan (2) of the Falcons 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 03, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

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National Football League lineman Ndamukong Suh tries to speak with Warren Buffett quarterly to catch up and solicit investment advice.

The two have been close since 2009, when Suh attended the University of Nebraska. The last time he spoke with the “Oracle of Omaha” was during the holidays. Suh, who now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said Buffett discussed opportunities and being in position when they arrive.

“As you can see, he’s been super cash-heavy,” Suh told CNBC on Friday. “It’s being prepared to make moves and see where there’s opportunities in the market.”

Though Suh is busy preparing for the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, in a showdown between iconic NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady on the Bucs and Drew Brees on the Saints, he said he stays aware of market turmoil and activity via CNBC mobile alerts.  

While waiting for investing opportunities, he’s also preparing for life after football.

“I have aspirations to be more successful off the field than I was on the field,” Suh said. “I think I’m in a fairly good place, but I know I have a lot of hard work ahead of myself to accomplish that.”

Suh’s portfolio

Suh, 34, has been particularly keen on opportunities in hospitality and restaurants, and says he’s “bullish” on the sectors.

“I’ve seen a lot of good growth in those areas that a lot of people wouldn’t expect,” Suh said. (He’s an investor in a SPAC in the hospitality space, but declined to name it.)

“There’s going to be a bigger demand as the vaccine is rolling out and people more open to being out in public,” Suh said. “Deliveries and the opportunity to grab and go; I’ve seen a lot of success in those spaces.”

Suh didn’t add publicly traded food companies to his portfolio in 2020, but privately he has “projects in the pipeline” this year around Portland, Oregon, where he grew up.

“We’ve signed leases and waiting for things to get up and rolling as things come back,” Suh said.

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, and Suh says the firm is expanding.

He’s used his NFL stardom to make connections with Gary Shiffman, chairman of real estate company Sun Communities Inc, and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. He has stock in both companies and is exploring investments in tech firms, too.

“I would say I’m a hands-on investor,” Suh said. “I like to get my hands dirty. I like to add value, which is why I like to be an advisor to companies if I’m not a board member or a venture partner.”

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions

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A meeting with Phil Knight

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 08, 2020 in Tampa, Florida.

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Brady owes Suh

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