When professional athletes sign multi-million-dollar contracts for a prospective team, it may seem as if they’ve just signed the golden ticket for a lifetime of wealth. Unfortunately, that reality can quickly morph into a fantasy for most athletes who, according to research from the American Bankruptcy Institute, experience financial hardships three to five years after retirement.  

An initiative to curb those statistics, Nigro Karlin Segal Feldstein & Bolno, LLC or NKSFB, the largest business management firm in the country, held its second annual Sports Wealth Summit in Miami from Wednesday, February 23rd to Friday, February 25th to educate young athletes on financial management and investing.

Sponsored by BET, the summit was helmed by Craig Brown, partner and co-head of the Sports Division at NFSFB, who says he started the event to connect young athletes to the resources they need to generate wealth.

“This was an idea I had for eight to 10 years,” said Brown in an interview with BET.com. “I really wanted to take a lot of questions my clients would ask individually and put it into a setting where I can provide real answers and real guidance.”

Among a different backdrop from last year’s inaugural summit in Aspen, Colorado, the second day of the event kicked off at the posh Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, where leading voices in business, tech and investing led an array of panels and presentations, covering topics from leadership and real-estate to investing and current hot-topics of NFTs, and cryptocurrency.

“We know the importance of building generational wealth in our communities, so I’m super excited to partner with Craig and his team in the sense of convening this room of young athletes to talk about not only what are you doing on the field, but what are some of those opportunities to look at off the field,” said Kimberly Evans Paige, Chief Marketing Officer of BET, who spoke to attendees about the importance of personal branding.

“The power of what’s been happening in this room and over the next few days is aligned with [BET’s] mission of changing outcomes,” she added.

Brown also tapped NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders for a fireside chat on leadership and purpose, and Miami-native rapper and business mogul Rick Ro$$ as well as Miami Dolphins All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard who all discussed entrepreneurship and ownership. 

“When you see a whole room full of athletes like this, the reason why it’s so powerful is because it’s so many different streams of income that can come together with these ideas, concepts, and tech companies, and so many other things that’s winning in a major way right now,” said Ross.

Brown says he hopes the summit will continue to inspire athletes to take the necessary steps to educate themselves on how they can continue growing their wealth even after they hang up their jerseys.

“I grew up as the son of an educator. Education is extremely important. It’s a journey. It’s not a destination. Everybody can continue to learn and continue to prosper and start to learn more and more things about how they handle their wealth.”