This paper examines how professional athletes can optimize commercial revenues from endorsement and sponsorship agreements throughout their careers. We use athlete brand management, defined as the balancing of brand building and brand selling activities, to understand the dynamics of commercial revenues optimization. We develop a conceptual framework that consists of two main blocks. First, we investigate four key determinants for the generation of athletes' accumulated commercial revenues. Second, we analyze appropriate brand management strategies at different stages of an athlete's life cycle. We propose a number of contingencies that refer to an athlete's characteristics, situation, and environment and argue that these contingencies determine the appropriate, i.e. revenues-optimizing, brand management strategy of an athlete at any career stage. Examples of professional athletes' brand management strategies support our framework. To our knowledge, this is the first paper to examine athletes' long-term commercial revenues optimization through athlete brand management.