Morgan Stanley Teams Up with The Zone to Get Athletes Financially Fit – Financial Advisor IQ

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December 27, 2021
Morgan Stanley has teamed up with The Zone, a mental health and wellness coaching app, to provide financial tools targeted at student-athletes.
Founded by former college athletes Ivan Tchatchouwo and Erik Poldroo, The Zone provides wellness services to several National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I athletic programs. Its service is also aimed at professional teams, companies and non-profits.
Morgan Stanley’s Global Sports and Entertainment group, which aims to address the specific needs of athletes and entertainers, is providing educational content to be distributed through The Zone’s app, according to a statement released last week.
Users of the Zone’s app will get push notifications and content that focuses on the link between financial education, mental wellness and peak performance. Athletes will also receive information on the fundamentals of personal finance and tips for achieving financial wellness, according to The Zone. Frequent interaction will provide close monitoring of athletes’ wellness and, as needed, communication with counselors.
Tchatchouwo told FA-IQ that The Zone uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to guide users to the correct on-campus counselors or support based on their needs. “Morgan Stanley will provide financial wellness tools for a personal in-app experience based on users’ needs,” he added.
“With the added pressure and commitments on today’s athletes, perhaps being greater now than ever before, we couldn’t think of a more important way to address this issue and help break the stigma around mental health and wellness,” said Sandra Richards, head of global sports and entertainment and segment sales and engagement at Morgan Stanley, in a statement.
The goal, she added, is “arming [athletes] with the education on how to best manage and approach their personal finances as they strive for their financial goals — and by applying these learnings to help them create pathways towards success.”
The initiative also comes roughly six months after the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that college athletes could earn endorsement money, reversing an NCAA policy that previously banned student athletes for being paid for such deals, as reported by the New York Times.
Wirehouses have been forging stronger links to the world of sports in recent years. As part of its recently-launched Equity Collective, which aims to ensure a pool of diverse talent, Morgan Stanley is partnering with non-profit organization Team Impact to reach college athletes.
UBS has partnered with Players Media for the “Front Office” miniseries, which features athletes talking about business. The series kicked off November 14 on Players TV with Travis Kelce of the National Football League‘s Kansas City Chiefs. Golf star Michelle Wie West featured in the second episode. The last of the five-episode series, which featured the National Basketball Association‘s Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul, aired on December 12.
Earlier this year, the College for Financial Planning and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management announced the creation of the Sports & Entertainment Accredited Wealth Manager program. The professional designation is designed to help advisors serve the financial needs of high net-worth clients in those industries.
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