While they may seem like two careers that are worlds apart, the financial needs and hurdles that golf and motorsports professionals face can be remarkably similar. Unlike other professional sports where athletes are employees of teams and leagues, golfers and drivers are independent contractors. Essentially, you are your own team.
Along with greater individual freedom and control, however, this independent status brings with it much more logistical and financial complexity. There’s no team travel manager telling you when to show up at the airport for a charter flight or arranging your hotel accommodations all across the country.
Perhaps these similarities are why late in 2018, Charlotte-based FUEL Sports Management Group and Scottsdale-based PROSPORT Management chose to merge–bringing together two of the nation’s leading golf and motorsports agencies.
Managing and funding a life
On the road
If you’re a touring golf professional, you spend much of the year traveling from city to city, venue to venue, and spending the better part of a week there–from Tuesday/Wednesday practice rounds through Sunday afternoon. Similarly, motorsport owners, executives, and drivers will typically spend Thursday morning to Sunday night on site.
Here’s the reality: you’re spending more of your life on the road than at home. That’s why it’s critical for you to have a knowledgeable partner who can provide you with the financial resources to support you – whether it’s quick and easy cash flow management or financing the purchase/lease of a private aircraft or motorhome.
Most wealth managers will clamor to manage your investment portfolio. After all, you’re a high-profile client with a great deal of investable income and assets. Investments, however, are just one piece of the financial puzzle. You may also need:
- Direct deposit for payroll
- Help with budgeting and cash flow
- Personal and business credit cards
- Personal loans for large purchases and mortgages
- Credit lines and commercial loans for your corporate entity
- Retirement savings plans
- Personal and commercial insurance to protect your income and assets
- Trusts and estate planning
Lastly, don’t overlook the holistic planning expertise to integrate each of these elements into a comprehensive and cohesive financial plan not just for today, but for years to come. Truist Wealth’s Sports & Entertainment Group does precisely that–handling all of those diverse needs in-house, through a single advisor relationship.
Why integrated wealth management?
“There aren’t a lot of guardrails in place to make sure you’re doing the right things financially for your future,” explains Truist Wealth Sports & Entertainment Group managing director John Hondros. “It's up to you to create them. Whether that's putting aside enough to cover your quarterly taxes, creating the best corporate structure for your marketing/endorsement revenue, or protecting your family with a thoughtful and well-designed estate plan.”
Where’s the best place to start? Put together the right team of advisors – your agent, attorney, accountant and financial advisor. Make sure everyone understands each other’s roles and responsibilities, collaboratively works together, and communicates openly to ensure the team’s pulling in the same direction to further your professional and personal financial well-being.
“The Truist Sports and Entertainment Group is passionate and knowledgeable about the sports we service clients in, and they understand the challenges and various scenarios our athlete clients face. They’ve done a fantastic job of educating our clients about having a sound financial investment plan and staying on top of things to make sure that plan is implemented. In addition, Truist comes up with the right solutions–whether or not it involves financial portfolios or other investment opportunities in which they participate.” – Rod Moskowitz, CEO, PROSPORT Management
Cash management and lending needs can be particularly challenging early in your career--especially if you don't have a lucrative upfront marketing deal. From financing a home (or other large purchase) to helping manage short-term cash flows, you need a trusted private banker--someone who can meet your needs, but always with a vigilant eye on your long-term financial plan.
Present aware but future focused
Unlike other professions where you gain years of life experience and lessons before ever seeing significant wealth, professional athletes have no learning curve. The income you generate from your career can be truly life changing. But in any sport, your peak earnings years will be fairly limited. The challenge comes in making that money last a lifetime–a task that requires not just prudent spending discipline, but thoughtful long-term financial planning (including preparations for your ‘second career’).
Transitioning away from your sport and finding a new passion that will provide similar motivation and rewards can be the greatest hurdle any professional athlete faces. Not only may it require you to make financial changes, but stepping away from the limelight often means redefining your sense of self.
The time to plan for life after your golf or motorsports career is now. Seek out the things that energize, inspire and motivate you outside of your sport–whether business, finance, technology, or something else entirely–and begin learning more about those interests and networking. It may be difficult to picture yourself as a retired 50-year-old with kids looking at colleges. But that day will be here before you know it. The steps you take now to prepare will make all the difference.