By Niovie Constantinou, Contributor
In today’s media-driven world, professional athletes have obtained considerable fame, with the top performing ones being some of the most iconic individuals in the world. It is a fact that they have influenced generations to come, not only with regards to sport, but in so many other areas as well, since their power and influence has spread across the entertainment industry and beyond. The flip side of becoming so famous so fast, is that there is always pressure for athletes to stay at the top, which may bring about negative effects in an attempt to cope. It is therefore important that athletes do not simply enjoy the benefits of their (potentially short lived) fame, but actually take the time to think well and hard about how to make the most of it.
So, you have worked hard, given it your all, and managed to become the best in your sport – congratulations, you are famous; now what? Do not treat your fame recklessly and do not let it stunt your growth. Now is not the time to rest assured, it is time to start working:
- Grow your personal brand: your athletic performance may help you during your sport career, but you will carry your brand for life. Michael Jordan was once USA’s favorite athlete but his contract with Nike succeeded in taking this a step further, transforming him into “Air” Jordan, the world icon. Metaphorically, Michael Jordan is likened to Clark Kent; “Air” Jordan, can “fly”, and is our real-life Superman. When you are at peak performance, it is your moment to shine, to build your athletic brand and actively connect with your fans so as to create a legacy.
- Capitalize on your fame: athletes no longer make money solely through sport. It is vital that you use your fame to maximize on endorsements and sponsorship. This will not only bring about more income, but will give you even more exposure!
- Make money smart moves: now that you have various streams of income, you need to create a financial plan that ensures financial security for life. In previous posts we have discussed the intricacies of an athlete’s career such as unpredictability and possible short duration. For this reason, it is crucial to have in place a complete financial plan which includes savings, a combination of investment options, paying down any debts, estate planning etc.
- At this point, your fame presents a lot of opportunities on and off the field and it gives you the resources to create a secondary plan – think about what you want to do after you retire from sport and start pursuing it. Whether it is a collaboration with a TV show, or a university, what is now a sideline may actually be your career post retirement.
- Famous athletes have the opportunity to create contacts in high places; start networking, make new contacts and stay in touch with your existing ones. You never know who could help you in the future when you are no longer playing sport.
- Inspire change and give back: being famous gives you the power to bring about positive change on important issues, be it social or environmental ones, since people are more likely to take action because the message comes from a star. Athletes’ fame is not limited to their talents on the field, and nor should their voice be.
So there you have it. Don’t lean back on your athletic performance alone, be proactive and you will achieve a legacy that will live on forever! For a discussion of how you can use to your benefit the fame that comes with top athletic performance you can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.