In the summer of 2010, an NBA sports agent buddy of mine shared the infamous Sports Illustrated article, “How (and Why) Athletes Go Broke.” I was blown away. Over the years, most of us had heard that these athletes have money issues, but I had no idea of the extent of the problem.
I immediately reflected back to my prior career as a financial advisor. Many of us based in Seattle were chasing the same clients—Microsoft retirees, Boeing retirees, etc.
No one I knew was targeting pro athlete clients, yet as the statistics showed, this was a group who needed help the most.
As I learned from my friend, there was a big advantage to working with this client base, which was totally unique and which simplified the client development process. The athletes employed sports agents, and part of the agents’ role, we soon learned, was to engage financial advisors and realtors.
As Sports Illustrated noted, however, these advisors were failing the athletes a majority of the time.
In a light-bulb moment I wondered, what if a new crop of financial advisors came in with a goal of fixing what Sports Illustrated had deemed “the financial pandemic of the pro athlete client”?
Could we address this fixable problem for the athletes and their families and at the same time open up a fresh source of accredited investor clients for driven financial advisors? (We'd soon learn that it's also a great client base for realtors, thanks to the athletes’ tremendous appetite for buying and selling real estate.)
As a result of this reflection, Pro Athlete Direct was born. As we have evolved, we have opened our service to real estate agents as well as financial advisors.
We have built an education-based marketing system, which is designed to help our members quickly build a relationship with the gatekeeper (the sports agent), while positioning each of our members as an authority, a specialist, and a trusted advisor at the beginning of the relationship.
While other advisors are out there pitching and selling, we're running counter to that, educating the agents and their clients.
In addition, our members have direct contact access to more than 75,000 athletes and celebrities (active and retired) and their agents.
"We cannot wait to help you learn that many of the misconceptions about this client base are dead wrong and actually work to your advantage when you take the counter approach that we coach our members and prospects to take."
S. Brian Ouellette, Founder of Pro Athlete Direct