Athletes and entertainers face unique wealth management opportunities, considerations and challenges. The athletes and entertainers we interviewed shared their personal stories and perspectives to highlight the need for more financial education in the sports and entertainment world. We thank them for being strong advocates of financial literacy.
Osi’s advice for younger athletes
“Football is all we’ve done. We have to set ourselves up to be free and financially independent the rest of our lives after we finish playing. As crazy as it sounds, you have to start planning for life after sports while you're still playing.”
A whole new world
When London-born Osi was 14, he moved from Nigeria to live with his sister Nkem in Auburn, Alabama. His father had been a successful business owner in Nigeria, and the family enjoyed a very comfortable lifestyle. Things were different in America. Osi and Nkem had little financial resources after government upheaval in Nigeria caused their father's business to take a downturn. Nkem attended college by day and worked the overnight 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift at a local restaurant to help pay rent and school fees. "It was an eye-opening experience. I didn't have money, not even lunch money. It was really strange to be in Africa in a good financial situation and then in America with nothing."
A football star is born
Osi discovered his talent for football at Auburn High School. He won an athletic scholarship from Troy University, where he set several school records for tackles and sacks. In 2003, Osi was drafted by the New York Giants. His first NFL contract was $2 million and he took home around $1 million after taxes and fees over a four-year period. It was the first time Osi had any real money. "When I was drafted by the New York Giants, it was a surreal experience to go from literally having nothing to getting everything I ever wanted. It goes pretty fast. Save every penny of the first contract. Most players won't get a second contract."
It goes pretty fast. Save every penny of the first contract. Most players won't get a second contract.
Osi's second NFL contract came in late 2005, when the Giants signed him to a six-year extension for $40 million. His contract guarantee was $15 million, with the balance paid over the duration of the contract, contingent upon him playing all six years. Taxes and his agent's fee meant he netted about half of the $40 million. After playing 10 seasons with the Giants, he signed a two-year contract in 2013 with the Atlanta Falcons for $8.5 million. Osi also had endorsement deals with 5-hour ENERGY, Nike and Verizon Wireless through his marketing team, which took a 15% commission.
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