While for most of us, a career as a professional athlete remains firmly in the realm of childhood dreams, those individuals talented and committed enough to succeed as sports stars often find themselves facing a life of seeming contradictions. At first sight, the pinnacle of elite sport provides the opportunity for international fame and a staggeringly high earning potential, with its accompanied glamour and lifestyles. However, these individuals also operate in an ever shifting, ever more fluid, and increasingly global professional landscape, with unique pressures, risks, and considerations for players and, increasingly, for those who represent them.

Such a career, and the singular demands placed upon those within it demand, in turn, a singular approach to career, lifestyle, and wealth management. With an ever present risk of career-ending injury, market fluctuation, and an early retirement age, an holistic approach to long-term financial planning is central to the type of responsible career management necessary to ensure a smooth and successful transition to life after playing.

Unfortunately, the exceptional dedication required to succeed in professional sport mean these concerns are not always prioritised by those involved, which can lead to significant financial hardships after retirement, even for some of the highest earning athletes. The cyclical nature of training and performance, coupled with potentially extreme wealth and fame at a young age can result in a lack of financial foresight which, in turn, can result in ex-players being ill-prepared to adapt to the economic realities of life after their career ends. Indeed, over 50% of former professional footballers admit to encountering difficulties with money in the years after finishing their careers.

These factors make Professionals Personal Accident Insurance (PPAI) an essential aspect of career management, and a key responsibility for those advocating on a players’ behalf.

At Cape, our business model ensures integrated expertise across the varied and variable aspects of risk encountered throughout all stages of a sporting career. We take financial and lifestyle management to be as central to an athlete’s wellbeing as injury or playing fitness. As such, our approach to sports management insurance strives to provide comprehensive risk assessment and wealth guidance at all stages and for every facet of an athlete’s professional life. Additionally, our partnership with The Lighthouse Group, through joint membership of the wider group of ARMCO, allows us to work exclusively with leading sports and entertainment sector specialists to provide a policy uniquely tailored to best suit the individual needs of each athlete.

By Henry Gallacher, Cape Insurance