The College Money Guys - May 2019

The Golden Era of Athletes on Social Media OUT OF THE DARK AND ONTO THE WEB

It’s not an overstatement to say that social media has revolutionized the way we live our lives today. But with that massively powerful platform comes a massive responsibility, especially if you’re already in the spotlight. Athletes have taken the opportunity social media affords them to build their personal brands and engage in community outreach with the fans who look to them as role models, but there’s a downside to cataloging years of unfiltered thoughts on the internet. For better or worse, social media is here to stay, and we have full access to all the drama that unfolds for our entertainment. Despite the web’s potential for good, some pros can’t seem to get the message that every post falls under the scrutiny of the public. PR firms

representing players have now made it a top priority to keep their clients’ images in line by scrubbing old posts that could be offensive and land them in hot water. Still, though, it seems like there’s a new controversy every week. One of the best examples comes courtesy of former football star “Johnny Football” Manziel. The former Heisman Trophy winner was notorious for posting embarrassing images of himself partying when he should have been practicing, and he often blasted his private issues in public, seemingly with no filter. He’s out of a job now, most recently having been banned from the Canadian Football League. For every bad apple, though, there is a bushel of athletes who use their platforms for the greater good. Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt,

five-time Pro Bowler and NFL star, has used his social media “juice” to spread the word about his charity, raising over $4.6 million for youth athletic programs and organizations. Philanthropy aside, part of the beauty of celebrity social media is that the people who seem so much larger than life become accessible because of it. In decades past, you might have written a letter that, if you were fortunate, got a response from some unpaid intern. Today, fans can reach out directly to their favorite athletes. It is a personal connection unparalleled in history. What a time to be alive.


“Dear College Money Guys team,

The decline letters came in with disturbing regularity. Each school expressed their support for Lisa but regretted that they could not accept every qualified applicant. They wished her well in her college career and closed the door on her attendance. Fortunately, she is doing very well at U.T. in Austin, making new friends and having a good college experience. Of course, we are concerned by the amount of debt she will have upon graduation, but we are doing everything we can to keep it as low as possible. Having had this experience with Lisa, we are now working with you to have a better experience with Samantha, our second daughter. Samantha is working with Dr. Kimmins, and we are very interested in your assistance in obtaining financial aid. As you are fond of saying, “Hope is not a plan!” and we are through with just hoping we get money for college. We are encouraged by the planning we have already done and appreciate the opportunity to use your services this time around. We felt betrayed by the application process. Lisa did everything asked of her! It still was not good enough to get her any merit scholarships for college. Thank you, again, for all your time and advice. We appreciate what you do for us and all the other students you work with. I hope your clients will learn from our story.” –Shelly P.

I want to share our story with you so you can pass it along to your other clients. I hope others can benefit from what we have learned the hard way.

We originally came to visit your office in February of 2013. Our eldest daughter, Lisa, was a junior in high school and doing very well academically. Her grades put her well within the top 5 percent of her class, and we were delighted to see that she had a perfect score on both the writing and reading portions of the PSAT. With all of this going for her, we were encouraged by others to look at Ivy League schools. We earnestly believed that a dedicated student who had a proven track record of academic performance would be vigorously pursued by almost any college or university. After considering your offer to become a member, we decided we could do it on our own. Lisa applied to seven Ivy League schools, and we decided that the University of Texas would be her fallback school, which seemed reasonable to us. The acceptance from the University of Texas came in, and we were disappointed to see she that did not qualify for any scholarships. The decision by U.T. to opt out of the National Merit Scholarship program was not something we were aware of. We kept up our hopes by waiting to hear about the other applications.

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