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Money Smart Athlete Blog

The aim of the Money Smart Athlete Blog is to provide athletes worldwide with the tools to become money smart and help them make savvy financial decisions. We created this blog to transmit and share the knowledge we have accumulated as financial and business advisors during the past two decades.

Mental Health

Athletes, mental health and social media

Social media are online platforms that help you connect with people from all over the world, upload family pictures and like your friends’ vacation photos. You can find people from all over the world who share your interests and follow your favourite athletes. There is, however, the flip side to all that which we’d rather not talk about that much; up until the moment it affects us. Bullying, body- shaming, hate, abuse, racism, sexism and a host of other -isms have crept their way into the day-to-day reality of social media.

Mental Health

The growing problem of mental health

Mental health has been at the forefront of discussions around the world for a while now, particularly because, according to the World Health Organisation, mental health conditions are on the rise, with possible contributing factors being the increasing use of social media and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Editorials

May 2022 Editorial: Putting mental health on the front page

Regarded as a taboo until recently, discussions on mental health have certainly become mainstream in the past few years. Several high-profile athletes have opened up about their struggles including the much-debated Osaka saga. It’s hard to persuade people that athletes with their celebrity status and millions of dollars deserve sympathy, but the reality is that neither talent nor money guarantee mental stability.

Financial Literacy

Athletes already in debt? It’s not the end of the world

Living in a material world where we aspire to have and experience the best things in life, the temptation of making impulse purchases on credit can be a trap. Making purchases on credit is a major part of everyday life to the point that it is being frequently abused and may be transformed into excessive unmanageable debt. 

Financial Literacy

The balance between saving, investing and spending

Almost 78% of professional athletes go broke within three years after retirement[1]. Such stellar proportion is a call to action for every professional athlete out there, to educate and surround themselves with competent financial advisors who will create a solid roadmap to financial freedom. Finding the right balance between spending, saving, and investing is a very tricky task and most financial advisors out there will have an opinion about which allocations between the above three comprise the “magic formula”. Truth be told, there’s no such thing as a “magic formula” and the exact percentage of your income that should be allocated between spending, saving, and investing depends on the individual’s risk appetite and goals. There are some basic rules and thresholds which should always be kept in mind when deciding what portion of your income should go into which basket.

Building and Maintaining a Financial Plan, Financial Literacy

Athletes and Budgeting: A few simple steps

The term budgeting tends to put people off and is usually associated with restrictive spending. Actually, having a budget is the first and possibly most important step in getting your finances in order and establishing the foundations for your long-term financial well-being. Another common misconception is that people with higher salaries – such as athletes – do not need a budget. The reality of it is, if you are prone to overspending it does not matter how much you earn; if anything, higher salaries are harder to calibrate in terms of spending. After all, a budget is nothing more than a summary of your expected income and expenses for a period of time; usually a month or a year.

Financial Literacy

How do athletes attain financial freedom?

The term “financial freedom” means something different to each person.  Many define it as being able to have the lifestyle they want and knowing they can afford it financially, without worrying about paying bills and making ends meet. Financial freedom means that instead of having to work to generate income, you will have your assets working for you and these assets will be generating the income you need to support your desired lifestyle.  In order to attain this goal, it’s important to begin investing as early as possible so that you generate passive income streams instead of having to work for every penny.

Editorials

April 2022 Editorial: Financial Literacy: The gate to financial freedom and well-being

Financial literacy lies at the core of our mission here at the Sports Financial Literacy Academy. We define financial literacy as the ability to understand basic financial concepts and utilize a plethora of financial tools and skills in order to make informed and effective choices. Years ago, the Money Smart Athlete Blog was created when we identified a critical shortcoming of sportspersons around the globe; the ability to make prudent financial decisions and ensure their long-term financial well-being. We are glad to see that in recent years, more and more people are starting to appreciate the importance of financial literacy, both in the context of sports and outside of it.

Women Athletes

Gender (In)equality in sports

Gender (in)equality has become an increasingly discussed topic in the 21st century. It started as a reaction of many females that felt trampled, but eventually grew to become one of the largest social and political movements society has witnessed. This increase in zest for the topic has resulted in it affecting several aspects of life, including – in a controversial manner – sports.

Special Themes, Women Athletes

Serena and Venus Williams: Athletes, entrepreneurs, role models

Serena and Venus Williams are two of the best athletes to ever grace the tennis court. They are nonetheless athletes, entrepreneurs, investors, and philanthropists. They are everything that young athletes – both male and female – should look up to and a near-perfect example of the overall strategy that athletes should try to emulate. What makes their case exceptional, is that they rose to prominence at a time where it was commonplace to consider female sports as subpar to male competition; they can be credited to an extent for changing that perception as well. The fact that they are sisters is just the cherry on the top.

Women Athletes

Female Athletes who changed history: A brief guide

Female interest and presence in the sports industry has been steadily increasing, particularly in the past couple of decades. Statistically, the percentage of females competing at a club level, is approximately 23% higher than their male counterpart percentage. This is mainly due to the push for gender equality; for which many female athletes fought to achieve in their own individual fields. However, the journey of female athletes in sports began a long time ago…

Women Athletes

The rise of female sports

With women in sports being historically underrepresented, over the past decade a significant increase in interest has been noticed, with the spotlight being shifted to female athletes. This increased interest in female athletes is here to stay, with female sports showing great resilience over time, building grounds for even greater growth. The rise of female sports has undoubtedly had an impact on the sports industry, not just affecting athletes but also rights holders, media, sponsors, brand commercialization practices and fan engagement; leading to major changes in the dynamics of the industry as a whole

Editorials

March 2022 Editorial: The Evolution of Female Sports

The developments in female sports are rapid and incessant. Although, gender inequality in salaries, investment, TV rights and even participation still exists, no one can doubt that the gap is briskly closing. Just last week, the US Women Soccer team won $24mn payout and guarantees regarding the future of the industry after a six-year legal battle over equal pay. In the spirt of women’s day which is in a week from now, we have decided to dedicate March to female sports.

Blockchain technology and Cryptos

Athletes using NFTs for the commercialization of their Name, Image and Likeness in the Crypto space

Professional athletes have a relatively short career playing sport, living most of their life off earnings made off the field, which is why commercializing their Name, Image and Likeness (‘NIL’) is important. Athletes have traditionally been commercializing their NIL via endorsement deals and sponsorships by advertising products or becoming brand ambassadors, while as of late, athletes may also commercialize their NIL through the use of NFTs.

Blockchain technology and Cryptos

Should athletes invest in cryptoassets?

Athletes’ careers can span anywhere from five to twenty years, making the pursuit of other streams of wealth amongst the most important aspects of an athlete’s road to financial freedom. It is therefore important for athletes, and their wealth managers, to be well informed of the investment assets that are available, as well as the risks and benefits accompanied by each group of assets.

Blockchain technology and Cryptos, Financial Literacy

The Sports Industry and Cryptocurrencies: The future or just a bubble?

On one hand, you have the narrative of a revolution led by young people, computer science geeks and perhaps some charlatans as well, who seek to redefine the matrix of our financial system and who see blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies as the future. On the other hand, we have the traditional investors and hedge fund people who dismiss cryptocurrencies as attempts to subvert political systems along with national currencies, and label them as the next great bubble. In a sense, both are right. Cryptos are the offspring of the two previous financial crises. The dot-com bubble with overspeculation in tech and the Great Recession which eroded trust in financial institutions and “the system”.  In short, yes; cryptos are here to stay, but the explanation is much more complicated.

Blockchain technology and Cryptos, Special Themes

Athletes, Blockchain Technology and Crypto-assets

With numerous sports teams now accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment as well as professional athletes accepting it as part of their salary or sponsorship; crypto investment interest has increased significantly among the sports industry. The first team to accept Bitcoin were the Sacramento Kings, whilst the Dallas Mavericks accept Bitcoin as game tickets payment. Furthermore, crypto firms are steadily becoming major sponsors in the sports field with examples such as BitPay being an ESPN sponsor in 2014, and Cashbet being Arsenal Soccer Club’s official partner. Some of the most high-profile athletes are openly joining cryptocurrency sponsorships such as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Russel Okung, of the Carolina Panthers, is paid half of his salary in Bitcoin, whilst Kansas City Chief’s Sean Culkin chose to convert his entire salary to Bitcoin.

Editorials

February 2022 Editorial: Athletes investing in blockchain and the Crypto space

It is highly unlikely that you haven’t heard of cryptocurrencies, crypto-assets, crypto-funds, or whatever other name is used to describe these electronic currencies. It all started with Bitcoin and its mysterious founder Satoshi Nakamoto. Despite the negative publicity surrounding the crypto world with its perceived relationship to criminal activity, money laundering and terrorist financing, it has gained ground with regular people and mainstream investors. Its decentralized nature has drawn millions of people from all over the world and it has made millionaires and billionaires overnight. It has also recently gained the attention of central bankers and politicians, such as Hilary Clinton and regulatory debates regarding the crypto space have already begun.

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