Scouting report: Finding pro athletes

Jan 16, 2011 @ 12:01 am

By Davis D. Janowski

Financial advisers want to work with professional athletes.

And professional athletes surely can use the help, considering that 78% of NFL players are bankrupt or under financial stress within two years of retirement because of joblessness or divorce, according to Sports Illustrated. Sixty percent of NBA players are broke five years into retirement, SI said.

Enter Pro Athlete Direct, a database of 7,000 pro athletes.

“Our tool can help advisers grow their businesses and help fix those SI stats by improving the financial direction of these athletes,” said S. Brian Ouellette, who created the database after spending a decade in the money management industry.

The database is meant to act as a hub among athletes' agents and advisers, other service providers, marketers and nonprofits.

“The gatekeepers are the agents, and while there are some celebrity databases out there that [the athletes] are in, we think we have built the first athlete-only database of its kind,” Mr. Ouellette said.

It contains athletes' names, teams, salary ranges, agents, agencies and contact information, among other data. While the information comes from publicly available sources, it took 18 months to compile.

A one-year single-user subscription to the service costs $2,500, and a corporate license for five users is $8,000. The firm plans to limit the number of licenses sold each year to money managers, real estate agents, luxury-goods providers and universities, for example, Mr. Ouellette said. But he noted that athletes and their agents still must do due diligence on contacts that they make through the database, because it doesn't screen buyers.

“The best advisers and planners would rise to the top,” Mr. Ouellette said. “The goal ultimately is not just financial planning but overall planning for life after retirement — and teaching athletes the right way to do this early on.”

For more information visit Pro Athlete Direct online.


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