Dow Lohnes Sports & Entertainment Prepares Top NFL Players For The Business Of Football And Post NFL Life During Annual Client Retreat

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The sports law practice hosted its athlete clients in D.C. for a two day retreat that focused on leveraging their success, during and after their NFL careers. Players participated in sessions and panels led by experts in the sports, media and business industries.

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The fact that they play football does not make them less of a business person than a traditional executive.

Dow Lohnes Sports & Entertainment hosted its roster of NFL athlete clients in D.C. for a two-day retreat on July 12th – 14th, that included visits to the White House and NFL Players Association. Attorney and DLSE President, Adisa Bakari created the retreat with the goal of educating the firm’s clients on the business of football and encouraging them to maximize their time in the league.

Bakari started the sports law division as a result of advising professional athletes on various legal endeavors. It evolved as a natural adjunct to the general legal services that Dow Lohnes, one of the top business law firms in the United States, has been providing to high net worth individual and corporate clients since 1918. Bakari and his team offer their professional athlete clients a holistic plan much like Dow Lohnes offers their traditional business clients.

The Retreat is a product of DLSE’s overall strategy, which is providing clients with the tools for success during their athletic and post-athletic careers. At the Thursday night welcome dinner at Fogo De Chao, the group participated in a session on social media and branding. Social media consultant Michelle Talbert and Rolling Out’s digital strategist L. Martin Pratt spoke to the group about the impact of social media and the extension of their personal brands online.

Day two of the retreat started with a visit to the White House that included a meeting with staff members from the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith welcomed the group to the NFLPA’s headquarters for a breakfast and discussion centered on the business of football. In addition to Smith, NFLPA’s George Atallah, Jason Belser and Tim Christine spoke to the group about a range of subjects from finance and personal safety to the multitude of benefits available to current and retired NFL players. Primarily, Smith urged the athletes to understand the exclusive opportunity they have as an NFL player and to conduct themselves accordingly, in order to get the most out of their time as players.

The day continued with panel discussions including Athletes and the Media, featuring Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter, NFL Network’s Steve Wyche and ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The panelists gave players rare insight into the media’s relationship with athletes, from the writers’ and reporters’ perspective.

It was followed by What Companies Look for When Choosing A Celebrity Endorser featuring panelists, Dexter Santos and Gina Scott of NFL Players and Chartrese Burnett, CEO/Founder of Chartrese Enterprises LLC. The panel, Evaluating Business Proposals, focused on key factors to consider when starting or becoming an investor in a business and involved pitches from real entrepreneurs.

During Friday’s dinner session at B. Smith’s Restaurant, Events’ DC executive director Erik Moses moderated a conversation between Eugene Profit, CEO of Profit Investment Management and the group on leveraging their success on the field to ensure post NFL success from a financial standpoint. Profit offered a unique perspective as a former NFL player who transitioned into his post-NFL life successfully and currently heads one of the largest and most successful African-American owned investment firms, with approximately $2 billion under his management.

“We want our clients to learn what it means to be a professional and to reaffirm what we tell them in the very beginning of the recruiting process, that they're no different than corporate executives,” stated Bakari. “The fact that they play football does not make them less of a business person than a traditional executive.”

The retreat concluded with panels on Dressing for Success, Avoiding Financial Pitfalls and most importantly a player panel discussion. The player panel featured veteran players, Maurice Jones-Drew, Antoine Bethea, Matt Forte, Kendall Langford, Justin Durant and Josh Barrett. The purpose was to have a very candid discussion between the experienced players and the younger players with special emphasis geared toward the rookies. Players discussed common mistakes, fame, contracts and their fitness routines among other topics. The general consensus among the players was that the retreat was time well spent and provided them with valuable information as they head into a new season.

To view pictures from the retreat please visit, http://on.fb.me/OGmHzV

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Katrina Leonce
Dow Lohnes Sports & Entertainment
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