PHILADELPHIA, June 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The weather was beautiful and the vibe was celebratory on Friday evening at the private event to welcome DeSean Jackson back to Philadelphia. TeamAltemus was part of a small group of sponsors who helped host the NFL superstar and his family and friends. DeSean was grateful, engaging and happy to be back in Philadelphia. During his opening remarks he told the group, "I want to win a championship and I feel like this is the best place to do it."
There was a blue velvet chair with Nipsey Hussle's name embroidered that remained empty for the evening to remember DeSean's childhood friend who was recently killed in Los Angeles. It was an ode to a person who in his short life created a legacy of using his fame and fortune to revitalize the community he came from. DeSean seems to be focused on ensuring his friend's legacy lives on. He spent the day after the welcome party hosting a youth football camp and that evening personally delivering food to the homeless on streets throughout Philadelphia. He said this about some of his early days in the NFL during his press conference to announce his return:
"It was kind of hard to get a hold of that (instant stardom) at a young age. You have to go through things in life in order to mature," he said. "I just feel like now, I have a family, I have kids. I do everything for them. I just think about what's the legacy I want to leave when I'm gone, what do I want people to say about me? The best thing I can say is that I put it all on the line for my teammates, my family, and my coaches. Just being accountable, coming to work every day and putting your best foot forward."
The TeamAltemus model came from decades of anecdotal evidence of observing professional athletes make more responsible financial decisions. As financial decisions improved, so did life decisions which in turn, led to better productivity. DeSean Jackson, like most NFL players entered the league at age 22 and their NBA counterparts are generally younger. At these ages, after growing up solely focused on school and their sport so they can make it to the professional level, these athletes are ill-prepared for life beyond school. When they reach the professional level, they're making more money than they likely ever will again in their lifetime. They're not at a maturity level where they can be expected to manage all of this effectively and responsibly. Some have families, agents or advisors who make their best interest a priority. For those who don't, they're taking uncalculated risks with no knowledge and no experience. Without intervention or really great luck, they become another sad statistic.
The quickest way to building franchise value of professional sports teams is to win early and often. Hundreds of millions of dollars are invested in talent (coaches and players), physical health (conditioning, nutrition, recovery) and facilities in efforts to win. Additional investments are made in more wholistic support for athletes and coaches but these efforts vary across leagues, teams and players' associations. Sports teams who invest in programs like TeamAltemus can help athletes make responsible decisions. The programs help minimize distractions away from the sport, increase productivity and chances of winning. The teams win and build franchise value. The players and their families win and build franchise loyalty.
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