🇧🇷You know my commitment to the environment. Maybe less my interest in innovation and start-ups.” In a LinkedIn post published in December, French handball player Nikola Karabatic announced that he was investing in Morfo, a startup that aims to fight deforestation in tropical areas. The interest of professional athletes in investments is not new, both in France and elsewhere. What has changed, however, is how they communicate about their investments. 🇧🇷Over the past two years, athletes have been disclosing their investments. In the past, they didn’t show it, either because they invested anonymously, or because they didn’t know that their image was an added value for this investment., explains Pierre-Marie Blois, associate director of sports consultancy at KPMG. 🇧🇷In France, the first players to invest were initially entrepreneurs or technology heads who later became business angels.», observes Grégoire Kopp, founder of GRK&Comms, which supports Nikola Kabaratic in his social impact strategy.
For Pierre-Marie Blois, basketball player Tony Parker was a forerunner, anticipating his professional recycling. 🇧🇷The former basketball player started investing during his career and accelerated the investments as soon as he returned to France. He invested in horse racing, cable cars, but also in sport with the Colizey market“, remember.
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The year 2022 was marked by the efforts of French professional footballers in the technology sector. Blaise Matuidi launched his own investment fund, Origins, with the aim of supporting traditional start-ups. Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann invested in the French unicorn Sorare, which signed the biggest fundraising in the history of French Tech with 680 million dollars raised in 2021. “Investment funds are more open to the idea of bringing professional sportsmen into their capital because they invest in impact projects and do so after they have reached a certain level of maturity.“creates Oussama Sahbani, founder of the Shab. This agency supports athletes in maximizing their image and their investments, as is the case of footballer Edouard Mendy, who invested in the PowerZ educational video game in 2022.
Health, food, environment… The sectors in which professional athletes invest are aligned with the values they defend. What influences the brand image. 🇧🇷Joining Smart Good Things was an entrepreneur’s choice and a choice from the heart that allows us to build large-scale, economically profitable and socially responsible projects. The ambition is to contribute to changing the world by supporting three great causes that are dear to me: the training of young people, gender equality and the well-being of our elders.», says Tony Parker, now Deputy CEO and shareholder of Smart Good Things, a company specializing in carbonated wellness drinks, listed on the Euronext Access+. Pierre-Marie Blois also notes that “professional athletes are moving away from the classic investment triptych “life insurance, real estate and catering” to invest in start-ups, not necessarily related to sport🇧🇷
For Nikola Karabatic, senior advisor at the Teampact Ventures fund, “investing in impactful start-ups quickly became obvious. My goal is to put my experience as a top-level athlete, my image and my finances at the service of companies that have a direct and positive impact. But investing in a technology company is not easy, it requires understanding many factors that I am not trained in. Hence the importance of documenting yourself and being surrounded by the right people to clarify your project and get started.🇧🇷
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To support top-level athletes in their investments, new players are emerging along with sports agents. Among them, Athletico Ventures, created in 2020 by Arthur Bernard, former executive vice president of global strategy and operations at Lagardère Sports & Entertainment (currently Sportfive). Athletico Ventures notably supported Antoine Griezmann in 2022 in his investment in Moka.care, a French start-up specializing in workplace mental health. 🇧🇷When the athlete approaches Athletico Ventures, he appears alongside his private banker or wealth manager, his tax inspector, his lawyer and, sometimes, his image agent. We came to complete this device. The athlete’s level of maturity and the way he is structured will also be decisive for the progress of his investments.“, reports Arthur Bernard. Athletico Ventures helps athletes define a strategy and investment envelope. Analysts then study start-up investment project opportunities.
Athletico Ventures does not report investment values, but remembers that the athletes it monitors evolve in great sports. 🇧🇷Most of sportsmen’s wealth comes from the sports industry, so we suggest diversifying your investments in other sectorsadds Arthur Bernard. Grégoire Kopp, former communications director at Olympique de Marseille, joins him: “I advise athletes to use their visibility to meet new people during their journey outside their discipline, but above all to think about the sectors of activity that interest them, and not in terms of employment. The soft skills they managed to acquire during their high-profile career will serve them well.According to the American magazine Forbes, Kylian Mbappé is the highest paid football player in the world in the 2022-202223 season, with an estimated income of 128 million dollars. What startups dream of.