Wale Ogunleye aims to help generations of athletes on PlayersTV
Wale Ogunleye played in the NFL for 11 years. He was All-Pro and Pro Bowler with the Miami Dolphins. He earned $35 million during his career. Now in the second stage of his life as head of the Athletes and Artists division for UBS, Ogunleye wants to help others avoid the same mistakes he made during his playing days.
“I was an alpha and I didn’t like to admit when I didn’t know things,” Ogunleye told The Big Lead. “One of those things was my finances.”
A lack of financial literacy is an issue that can ruin lives, especially for professional athletes. Many enter the professional world without a great understanding of finance because, as Ogunleye says, financial jargon can be difficult to understand without extensive training. Instead, they rely on the people around them to understand it: advisors, managers, and CPAs. But how can they know they’re trusting the right people if they can’t grasp the intricacies of what’s being discussed? What if they don’t know until it’s too late and they suddenly hit the headlines after going bankrupt?
Ogunleye didn’t realize he had trusted the wrong people until he earned his MBA from the George Washington University School of Business after his football career ended. It was then that he decided to change the people around him and met with UBS to discuss his financial future and that of his family. Ogunleye said UBS is focused on how he can create generational wealth for his family with the money he has, to create a viable financial future for his family. That’s when he realized there had to be a way for UBS to get these kinds of messages out to athletes in general.
The seed was planted, and a few years later, Ogunleye helped found the Athletes and Artists division of the company. The department has grown under Ogunleye, and he says he now works with a team of 27 advisers. Ogunleye doesn’t personally work with any athletes, which is fine with him; he’s the kind of person who takes pride in finding the right match between client and consultant, giving both parties everything they need to succeed.
Now Ogunleye has the opportunity to achieve his goal and reach a large audience with PlayersTV.
PlayersTV is an athlete-owned media and entertainment network, the first of its kind. Over 50 athletes are invested in the company, including big names like Chris Paul, Travis Kelce, Ken Griffey Jr. and Dwyane Wade. It is available on services such as YouTubeTV and distributed to nearly 300 million homes worldwide. It is a unique entity, a company that not only gives athletes a sense of belonging and the ability to take back control of the narrative, but that creates content by athletes for athletes. It’s a place, says Ogunleye, where they can discuss their worries and anxieties about working life in a way they’ve never seen before. Telling their stories the way they think they should be told.
The company approached UBS with an overall plan, and it turns out Ogunleye is a perfect match for what they had in mind for a partnership. He was cast as the host for a brand new original show called long gamein which he interviews athletes on their personal journeys through entrepreneurship, financial wealth and building a legacy.
“I wanted to get away from those stereotypes and biases,” he explained. “You’ve heard it before, the comment ‘Shut up and dribble.’ This comment stings in so many different ways, but looking at this segment of these athletes and entertainers, they are some of the most empowering, caring, and ultimately highly motivated people. , they do very well.
“long game talks about the drive, the dedication it takes to build a lasting legacy. We really want to show society how amazing these individuals are and it has nothing to do with what they do in the world of sport.”
Ogunleye strongly believes that long game and Receptionanother PlayersTV show, entering its second season, is organized to help athletes with financial education. Reception is a shark tank-style show in which athletes get together with their financial team and hear presentations of business ideas. He draws on the experience of being an athlete – it’s hard to find a professional who hasn’t had a friend or family member come to them with a supposed million dollar idea asking for a ready – and, more importantly, shows what the process is should look like.
“If you know anything about athletes, from the moment you enter this professional field, everyone, from your mother to your best friend you grew up with, comes to you with an idea. The only thing that going to make this idea work is your capital. Your money,” says Ogunleye. “This show, we wanted to show individuals how they should look at business transactions, and not just that, but how you should structure the ecosystem around you that helps you with these business transactions. You should have someone to check. You should have numbers. It should be a business plan, not something you talked about over Thanksgiving dinner.
“Those are the side effects of having a show like this – we’re actually showing people how it should be done right, especially those young men and women who have no idea what to do with all the money. they have and that happens so fast pace.”
Ogunleye sees PlayersTV as an opportunity to reach the next generation of athletes, or even the current generation, and show them how far the limit of what is possible can be stretched. Its mere existence proves the limitless opportunities they are able to create not only for themselves but also for their communities, the people around them.
This is the primary objective. The long game, if you will. For now, Ogunleye just wants to reach as many athletes as possible in the hopes that he will help them avoid the kind of financial pitfalls that have plagued athletes for generations. That’s why he decided to partner with PlayersTV in what he calls one of his first big moves as head of the athlete and entertainer division at UBS.
“I said as long as we can create content that educates the masses about financial education, some of the things that made me confused and made me risk my finances because I had a lack of knowledge, if we can partner up and give people their medicine but it tastes good and it feels good, let’s do it,” Ogunleye says. “PlayersTV was the ability to give people real life experiences around finance in an edible and visually pleasing. You talk about finances, quite frankly, it’s probably the most boring subject known to man. But you throw Chris Paul in there, you throw Jackie Joyner-Kersey in there, you throw Darren Williams in there, you throw Mookie Betts in these conversations, it helps explain the message. If a person can learn from their experiences, we have done our job.