Young pro athletes are investing earlier in their careers. Here’s how a firm with more than 230 athlete clients advises them to grow their wealth.

  • Former investment banker Mark Patricof advises more than 230 high-profile athletes.
  • Athletes have backed about half of the firm’s roughly $140 million in investments since 2018.
  • He works with some of the youngest and highest-paid stars in sports, including Joe Burrow and Trae Young.

Mark Patricof isn’t looking for hall-of-famers with deep pockets when he partners with athletes to invest in companies like SpaceX and TopGolf. He’s looking for 22-year-old first-round draft picks. “That’s sort of the sweet spot for us,” Patricof explained to Insider.

The former investment banker understands that today’s superstars have the potential to earn hundreds of millions of dollars more than their forefathers. Everything in sports is more expensive — salary agreements, media rights deals, and brand partnerships — and some of that money is going directly into the pockets of young athletes.

“It’s just a different scale of business,” Patricof explained. “I’d rather work with, advise, and invest in someone who is 20 years old and has $300 or $400 million in earnings ahead of them than someone who is 38 years old and has made $100 million and has very little money left to earn in their career.”

Patricof Co. was founded in 2018 by him. So far, the firm has invested approximately $140 million. Athlete clients have contributed roughly half of each $10 million to $20 million deal. The remainder is contributed by top-tier funds, company partners, a group of family offices and high-net-worth individuals, and Patricof himself.

Patricof has over 230 athlete clients, including NBA legends Dwyane Wade, Aaron Rodgers, and Venus Williams. However, he claims that roughly two-thirds of his clients are under the age of 30. He’s brought in stars such as 24-year-old point guard Trae Young and 26-year-old quarterback Joe Burrow.

“Burrow’s incredible,” said Patricof. “He can compartmentalize enough to know that there are things he should be doing with the right advisor, but it’s not 24/7 football.” He has a great wealth advisor and a really good family unit, which allows him to think things through.”

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