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.

Inspirational Athletes

Inspirational Athletes: Lionel Messi: The GOAT of football

It was a first for the worldwide football community to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup taking place during November and December, instead of the typical June and July. There was a lot of anticipation for the tournament, not because of the dates on which it was taking place but rather because it felt like it was “a last dance” for one of the greatest footballers of all time, Lionel Messi.


October 2022 Editorial: Navigating the NIL Labyrinth: Sponsorships, Endorsements and Partnerships

With professional athletes having a relatively short-lived career playing sports, relative to other professions, it is crucial for them to find ways to diversify their earnings streams outside of the playing field, during and after their sports career. A great way to do that is by taking advantage of the great influence they have on their fans and the general public; using their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) to build and commercialize their brand image and therefore capitalize on it through sponsorships, endorsements and partnerships. This can be achieved through the creation of personal marketing strategies with well-defined branding activities, which are in line with the athlete’s personal values and what they want to represent.

Solo Sport

Industries that invest in solo-sport athletes

With athletes trying to make the most out of a relatively short-lived career in professional sports, they need to take advantage of how they engage with their fan base in order to build a strong connection through online social media platforms. Athletes of individual sports which are favored by the general public can be considered as a safe bet for industries looking to invest in athletes.  

Solo Sport

Solo-sport athletes: Choosing your advisors carefully

Solo-sport athletes are often compared to lone wolves, since they don’t have a team or in this case a pack to support them as athletes in team sports would. Therefore, it is crucial for them to create their own support system which should consist of professional advisors, among others.

Solo Sport

Solo-sport athletes and tax obligations

For most solo sport athletes, given their constant traveling and inherent tax obligations, the subject of income taxes can be very scary. Although most solo-sport athletes have their own personal tax experts, knowing and understanding their tax obligations may sometimes spare them from major headaches. In this article, the Money Smart Athlete will explore the different tax obligations that solo-sport athletes have depending on their sources of income and where that income has been earned.

Solo Sport

The Non-Financial Challenges of Solo Sport Careers

The life of solo-sport athletes may seem fascinating in the eyes of spectators, being the center of attention while they perform, having independence and autonomy since they don’t need to rely on the efforts of others; taking on all the credit for their success. However, there is much more to solo-sport athletes than meets the eye. From swimming, to running, to golf and tennis; individual sports come with a wide range of obstacles; proving to be more challenging emotionally and mentally; relative to individual sports.


September 2022 Editorial: Solo-Sport Athletes: A challenging and lonely lifestyle

When it comes to athletes and the challenges they face in their sports career, most people do not make the distinction between solo sports and team sports. However, the differences are significant, with solo-sport athletes facing a completely different set of obstacles relative to athletes in team sports, with loneliness being a great struggle. In individual sports, athletes only have themselves to rely on and when they fail to achieve their goals, the effect can be demoralizing; putting a strain on their emotional and mental health and well-being. This in turn can have a major impact on their personal life as a whole- not just on their sports performance.


Athlete-entrepreneurs: Using your brand to build a business

With numerous cases of professional athletes making a transition into the entrepreneurial world, it seems like elite athletes are becoming more and more conscious of their potential as business leaders. Some may argue that athletes find it much easier to thrive as entrepreneurs since their popularity allows them to attract public interest when starting a new business. Professional athletes who are widely-recognized in their sport and are considered celebrities should be able to capitalize on that reputation and use their public exposure to flourish on a business level. There are two common ways athletes can become entrepreneurs; by starting their own businesses or forming partnerships to promote other firms' products and services utilizing their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL).


Athletes: Is the entrepreneurial lifestyle a good fit for you?

Entrepreneurial careers seem to be relatively common among athletes seeking to safeguard their financial stability, especially after retirement from sports. At a first glance, entrepreneurship may seem like the ideal career alternative to sports, due to the wide prospects it has to offer. However, it is important to start creating a realistic image of what entrepreneurship is actually like, that better reflects the truth, to allow athletes to understand which roles fit them best; aligning with their dreams and goals. Before deciding to take the risk of starting something new on your own; there are certain advantages and disadvantages which should be taken into consideration when making an informed decision.


Athletes and Social Entrepreneurship

Every athlete will eventually retire from the pitch and they will have to move onto the next chapter of their lives. Of course, this is a question that they have to ask themselves well in advance. Most athletes want to stay close to the action either as coaches, technical directors and the sort or in tangential roles; for example, as pundits or agents. However, there is simply not enough space for everyone. Not everyone can be the next Carragher and Neville of punditry, or the next Pep Guardiola of coaching. Your post-retirement plan requires some degree of imagination and creativity.


Athletes Who Succeeded as Entrepreneurs

Without a doubt, entrepreneurship has completely reshaped the traditional business landscape with innovative start-ups transforming work as we know it, creating a new meaning for business success. Entrepreneurship has also had an impact on the world of sports. We see great professional athletes making a transition from sports into the world of business, with entrepreneurship now being a significant part of the modern athletes’ mindset, and consequently redefining their lives. With the athletic career usually being more volatile and short-lived, relative to a career in any other industry, athletes need to find ways to safeguard their financial stability after retirement from sports, meaning that they need to shift their focus from how to spend to how they can build with their money. There are numerous success stories of elite athletes who have gone on to have successful business careers as startup founders and innovators, in fields outside of sports. 


August 2022 Editorial: The Athlete Entrepreneur

In an ever-changing business environment, the conventional traditions of business are being redefined, with start-ups and entrepreneurs revolutionizing the economy. Elite athletes are no exception to this entrepreneurial transition. Notable sports names including David Beckham, Magic Johnson and Venus Williams have chosen to shift their focus to the world of business, with successful business careers as startup founders and innovators, safeguarding their financial stability after retirement from sports. There is no doubt that throughout their sports career, athletes cultivate various transferable skills and traits which could be applied to the business world, allowing them to become successful entrepreneurs.

Student-Athletes, The Athlete's Brand

How College Athletes can commercialize their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL)

The right to publicity, which is a right protected by law, gives any individual the exclusive right to license the use of any distinct aspect of their identity for commercial promotion. Through the use of this right, athletes who were traditionally paid just to compete in their respective sport, could create an extra revenue stream through licensing the use of their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) for commercial purposes. Nowadays the development and commercial exploitation of an athlete’s brand has become an integral part of their career, allowing them to monetize their on-field success in the long term, even after their playing days are over.


The College experience as a student-athlete

As a college student you may think that student-athletes have it so easy in college, by being admitted with lower academic achievements and having a support network while in college which includes academic mentors, tutors, coaches, and advisors. Even though all these may be true, is that the whole picture?


International student-athletes and the relocation factor

A great number of athletes will need to relocate during their careers, either to a different state/region or different country. The situation is similar for foreign student-athletes who move to the United States to combine academics and sports.  Approximately 12% of NCAA division I students are foreign students, as when it comes to fusing higher education with sports, the US is second to none. There is no other educational system in the world which offers the opportunity to compete on an almost professional level, playing alongside the future protagonists of professional sports, while at the same time working towards your undergraduate degree.


July 2022 Editorial: Student-Athletes – Financial and emotional challenges

Student-athletes are predominantly an American concept. Becoming a professional athlete through college sports is considered the conventional and “right” way. Talented high school seniors are scouted and courted by colleges. They then have to prove that they are pro material in order to be offered a professional contract; at least some of them. In fact, fewer than 2% of them end up turning pro. Nonetheless, student-athletes are considered some of the most privileged people on campus. In some aspects they are. They become recognizable, popular and people line up to watch them compete. But how “privileged” are they, really?