NFLPA EXPANDS AWARD-WINNING FINANCIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM
Washington, D.C. – The NFL Players Association announced today that it is expanding its financial education program for active and former players by adding an unbiased Financial Helpline service to help them make more informed financial decisions and provide a second opinion on investment strategies and recommendations from their financial advisors.
The addition comes on the heels of two industry awards for the program’s effectiveness at helping players develop better financial skills: a Signature Award from the Plan Sponsor Council of America and a Superstars and Innovator Awardsfrom The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism. The awards mark a major milestone for the organization, which is dedicated to helping players make an effective transition to life after football. Players face unique challenges during this time since most make a majority of their lifetime income in their early 20s and face pressure to live an extravagant lifestyle during those years.
In 2009, the NFLPA partnered with Financial Finesse, the leading provider of workplace financial education programs, to design and deliver a customized online financial education platform for players and their families, along with workshops and webcasts designed to build awareness around the importance of financial responsibility. The program was a new way to address an age-old problem—leveraging social media and multi-media through videos, podcasts, personalized assessments, and contests all designed to engage players in a web 2.0 strategy designed to appeal to the Millennial Generation.
The results were groundbreaking, with more than 1,000 players participating in the program, most engaging on an ongoing basis, and 48% saving at least 20% of their annual earnings in preparation for a potential lockout in 2011 based on the results of a lockout preparedness assessment. The preparation paid off—enabling players to stand united in negotiations with the NFL, knowing they had the savings to withstand a prolonged lockout. According to DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA, the program played a more central role in preparing players than he ever could have imagined and was one of the key reasons the organization was able to successfully negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that protected the players’ best interest.
While increased focus and urgency during a crisis normally drops off once the issue has been resolved, Smith said that he is proud that players not only prepared themselves well financially for the lockout, but that they have parlayed that progress into other areas of financial planning. “What we’ve realized is that players have competitive personalities. When they set their mind to something, whether it’s winning a game or building their wealth, they become very focused individuals,” Smith said.
Dana Hammonds, NFLPA Director of Player Affairs and Development, echoes Smith’s sentiments. However, she stresses that there is more to be done and promises that the NFLPA will continue to broaden and deepen its reach to further help players achieve long-term financial security. “We want players to have the ongoing support they need to make solid financial decisions for themselves and their families,” said Hammonds. “The Financial Helpline is our next step in this ongoing mission to reach players by providing them with direct access to an expert they know they can trust in a convenient way to get answers to tough financial questions and make more informed decisions that impact their futures.”
“There are still far too many players who fall victim to predatory lending, fraud and over-spending,” Hammonds said. “Imagine the challenges we’d face as a society if all Americans made the majority of their income from ages 22-25, lacked the proper education and financial guidance to know how to manage that income and faced massive pressure to ‘live the dream.’ The challenges are immense and take significant time and resources to combat. That’s why we are so committed to this issue and why we are actively expanding our efforts in this area.”
About Financial Finesse
Financial Finesse was established in 1999 with the sole mission to provide unbiased financial education to people everywhere. Today, Financial Finesse is the leading provider of a full suite of financial education, coaching and counseling programs to more than 400 corporations and credit unions nationwide. For more information, visit www.financialfinesse.com.
About the NFL Players Association
The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) is a non-profit, professional sports union that protects the best interests and welfare of all NFL players. It serves as the exclusive bargaining agent for all NFL players in collective bargaining. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA is governed by a Board of Player Representatives, acting in accordance with the NFLPA Constitution and federal labor laws. The NFLPA’s responsibilities include: Representing all players in matters concerning wages, hours and working conditions and protecting their rights as professional football players; ensuring that the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement are met; negotiating and monitoring retirement and insurance benefits; providing other member services and activities; providing assistance to charitable and community organizations; enhancing and defending the image of players and their profession, on and off the field. For more information, visit www.NFLPlayers.com.