Being a major professional athlete has to be one of the greatest accomplishments in life as we know it. The ability to be paid very highly for an activity that you absolutely love is an incredible blessing….talk about pursuing your passion! The actual percentage of being able to make a living as a major (mainstream sport) professional athlete is quite low… it’s something to the effect of (approx.) .006% and if you are a college NCAA athlete, it jumps to about (approx.) 2.6%. The odds aren’t unlike winning the lottery and financially speaking, it’s very similar.
So why is that according to an article from according to Business Insider: By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce, and within five years of retirement, an estimated 60% of former NBA players are broke!?
Now this particular article claims several reasons, lavish spending, bad investments, too many children, divorce, etc., however I’d like to suggest that the common denominator is that the value of the athlete is limited. The problem with the mindset of an professional athlete is that his/her “window of influence” is not limited. In other words, the athlete can only perform for a certain length of time and there is always an end point of each contract.
Let me begin to steer this particular article in the direction I had intended it to go. There are some high profile athletes such as San Diego Charger Shawne Merriman and Cleveland Cavalier Shaquille O’ Neal (both make several millions annually) whom understand that their influential period is limited; thus have involved themselves as not only spokesman but independent distributors for particular network marketing companies.
Does that mean that they are actually giving presentations and actively personally sponsoring associates? Probably not, in most cases they have their personal sponsors build their downline, what they will do is use their personal testimony to endorse the product which makes for great advertising. It’s a matter of properly understand the power of a network marketing compensation model and using the spark of influence (why they still have that attention) to create something that is not limited to time such as their athletic or endorsement deals. The power of distributorship for Merriman and O’Neal is that by the time they are through playing and their athletic influence and product endorsement deals are expired is when their network marketing distributorship will be most lucrative. Many companies will even allow that particular distributorship to be passed to their kids.
Now given the nature of their profession and the high percentage of health-product companies in the industry, it makes for a perfect match… it just takes some education and information to be relayed to the management of a particular athlete (which is not always easy.) By the way, it doesn’t always have to be in the prime of their career that one gets smart about the strength of the network marketing industry, recently Hulk Hogan joined an MLM and is using his visibility to build a strong downline for his opportunity.
Coming from an Action Sports background with bodyboarders, surfers, skaters, snowboarders, etc., I have a personal interest in attempting to share these benefits to lower-compensated athletes whom are also limited to their influence. In other words, though their income may not be as immense as a “major professional athletes”, they are very visible and their influence runs very deep, but again, they won’t be able to perform at a high level forever, thus they their influence is short-lived.
It’s even more important for these particular athletes to capitalize on such a partnership with a network marketing distributorship. I know many of them personally and the majority of them are far from wealthy. Many of their wealth appear in the form of unlimited merchandise, products and decals of course. (haha)
Although the professional athlete / MLM distributorship sounds like a match made in heaven, there are reasons why they are few and far between. Here is my short list on such difficulties that must be overcome:
- Athletes don’t understand the concept of investing into a sponsorship, let alone Autoship? Yikes!
- Many of them live a lifestyle of freedom and artistic debauchery (anti-business mindset, etc.) so it’s difficult to put a focus on “business.”
- There is personal insecurity in business-related topics.
- Many athletes have managers and they are usually looking for up-front gain and long-term distributorship or gain does not make sense to them.
- Their traditional view of sponsorship (we give you products -> you use and wear them -> we pay you) hinders their ability to grasp exponential growth of MLM compensation.
Regardless of the difficulties, it is possible, and it’s a beautiful thing to partner with someone whom is able to utilize their visibility to build a network marketing business. I will say that in my experience of partnering with Olympic athletes and professional MMA (mixed martial arts) fighters, the product approach is a great way to avoid business up front and share product quality that may lead to development of a future business relationship.
Success in network marketing can be the difference between for some of these athletes in living their passion on their terms or one day having to one day obtain a “real” job.
Given the statistics, there is one thing I know for sure, athletes need network marketing more than the industry needs them!
To Your Success,