By ROB MAADDI, AP Professional Football Writer
Former NFL players help athletes prepare for life off the field.
Wale Ogunleye, a Pro Bowl defensive end during a 10-year career in Miami, Chicago and Houston, leads UBS Global Wealth Management’s strategic athlete and entertainer client segment.
Copeland Bryan, who played three seasons with Buffalo and Detroit, and Cameron Lynch, who spent four seasons with the Rams and Tampa Bay, participated in the NFL Business Development Program in partnership with Visa. They attended the NFL Player Care Foundation’s Fourth Annual Super Bowl Career Fair in Los Angeles and are completing a two-year rotation program in various Visa lines of business.
“As a former athlete, I’ve come to realize that the industry could do a better job of providing advice to our wealthy people, especially our athletes, and using our platform to help make financial decisions” , Ogunleye told AP Pro Football. Podcast. “I made a ton of money; that does not make me a money expert. So I went back to school, educated myself. But I feel like our advisors in our firm should have an obligation to teach as we go, to teach our athletes to understand what their finances are and to make sure they have a legacy. to rest on when their days of play are over. ”
Ogunleye made the Pro Bowl in 2003 after recording a record 15 sacks with the Dolphins. He was traded to Chicago following a contract dispute and signed a six-year, $34 million contract with the Bears.
In his role at UBS, he wants to provide players with information to help them make smart decisions about their future.
“Financial education, when dealing with our financial advisors, make sure they understand that our athletes need to have a legacy,” he said. “And then also, finally, dealing with our customers themselves, the athletes themselves and the artists, making sure that we support them, their philanthropic efforts, life after the stage, after sport. Because even if you’re a Tom Brady, you still have the rest of your life to live, right? What are you gonna do with that? Even though you’re an anomaly like me and played 11 years in the league, I was in my thirties. I’m still quite young, so I haven’t retired. And I think what we’re going to do at UBS is we’re going to look at our athletes as businessmen, businesswomen, entrepreneurs, knowing that’s just a small segment of their life. And once those 15 minutes of fame are on the pitch, we want to make sure that you have a much longer life to live to get that legacy for you and your family, maybe the communities you come from.”
Bryan considered pursuing his MBA at Harvard, Yale or Stanford before the NFL Players Association gave him the opportunity to join the league’s business program with Visa. He is completing his rotation with Visa’s Strategic Initiatives and Global Technology Partnerships team.
“Since I arrived, I’ve had a few years to do some very interesting work,” Bryan said. “It was an opportunity to really hone the skills I had developed in the world of start-up and business development consulting. I had always been in an adjacent business, never in a business. to see the kind of process in a corporate structure, in a large company like Visa that affects like every other company in the world, is very revealing.
Lynch stressed the importance of preparing for a career after retirement. He last played for the Buccaneers in 2018, but the 28-year-old was ready for the next phase of his life at a young age. He started preparing for college and continued in the NFL.
“While I was playing, I did an internship in the offseason. I made sure that on my days off I did some community service to build up that resume after I retired,” he said. Not being drafted, I knew it could happen at any time. Luckily, I ended up at Visa, Silicon Valley, where we can take my skills in the field and bring them to the board and also get my MBA, master that terminology, move from team to team. The playbook is different from the Rams to the Buccaneers. So from the field to the boardroom, the playbook is different. So I got my MBA to gain knowledge, train and apply those skills at Visa.
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