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Jim Plack Highlights the Importance of Financial Guidance and Support for Beginner Pro Athletes

History has shown that many professional athletes run into monetaryproblems soon after retirement despite the hugesigning bonuses, million-dollar salaries, and endorsement income. Wealth mismanagement, extravagant lifestyles, family pressures, misplaced trust, and unrealistic career expectations are the most common reasons for the financial downfall of many pro athletes. Little seems to have changed in the decade since Sports Illustrated conducted a study on the issue, declaring that “By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce.Within five years of retirement, an estimated 60% of former NBA players are broke.” The validity of these numbers was challengedin subsequent years, but as noted in an ESPN documentary, the precise figures do not matter all that much since anecdotal evidence reveals the problem to be widespread. According to seasoned financial industry executive Jim Plack, the issue can be addressed through support and guidance for athletes before that first professional moment occurs.

While pro players typically generate substantial incomes, the big paychecks take a while to materialize, and the pay structure in the major leagues can often lead to a cash flow situation.South River Capital, the boutique specialtylenderfounded by Jim Plack, recognizes the need for transitional capital and works to solidify the financialbase of an athlete based on what earnings are “guaranteed” to come during the season while providing a short-term loan for cash flow. Due to their celebrity status, insufficiently established credit histories, and conflicting special interests, professional sportspeople are a uniquecategory and often find it a challengeto secure financing from traditional banks. Unlike many lenders, South River Capital is free from certain constraints primarily because it funds its loans directly, providing anywhere between $50,000 and $10 million. The company also offers long-term financing when such cannot be obtainedfrom traditional banking organizations.

As Jim Plack points out, South River Capital operates on the belief that there is value in supporting those who are on a path to success and require financial assistance immediately. It starts by trying to understand the needs and budget of athletes, considering issues such as whether their new job creates cash flow throughout the year or their league only makes payroll during the season. Secondly, the company seeks to ensure that any money borrowed has a defined, manageablere-payment plan and the clients’ agents and financial advisors concur with its recommendations. South River Capital has so far extended more than $200 million in athlete-directed loans, drawing praise for the highquality of its service, as well as the ease and speed of meeting the financial needs of its customers.

Jim Plack assumed the leadership role at South River Capital  in 2016after two decades of serving in CEO roles for both Sports Capital Lending and American Bank. Plack brings his extensive industry expertise to a company focused on niche real estate loans, bridge financing, and credit for professional athletes.

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