Slam dunk! Rutgers basketball partners with Prudential Financial

Rutgers Scarlet Knights basketball has a new partner on the bench this season. On Thursday, Prudential Financial, the Newark-based financial services company, announced itself as the presenting sponsor for Rutgers’ men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Prudential said it also will provide access to financial education and funded investment accounts for domestic Rutgers student-athletes in a variety of sports, as it is aware that becoming a collegiate athlete (and having the opportunity to turn pro) is what Prudential refers to as a “Now What?” moment, where you can take your financial future to the next level.

When you seize “Now What?” moments — the moments you realize your life has changed for the better — these are the ideal time to start investing, particularly for those college athletes who want to play professionally.

“Thanks to the power of compound interest, investing money in your 20s can provide millions by retirement age, particularly for young athletes who may be on track to play as professionals,” Richard Parkinson, chief brand officer, Prudential Financial, said. “By planning now, these young athletes can face their financial future with the same confidence they bring to the court or the field, no matter what happens in college and beyond.”

As part of the deal, Prudential Financial advisers Lisa Lovell and John Benton will be on hand for consultations with Rutgers student-athletes throughout the season. Prudential will provide investment accounts for select U.S. men and women student-athletes (international student-athletes are not eligible due to visa restrictions).

“We are thrilled to enter into this transformative partnership with Prudential,” Rutgers Athletic Director Pat Hobbs said. “This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to not only impact the lives of our student-athletes, but their families and hopefully generations to come. I look forward to collaborating with Prudential to help our Scarlet Knights build strengths in the principles of financial literacy.”

“College athletes can be valued at more than $1 million, but they (and their families) frequently live below the poverty line,” Delvin Joyce, Prudential Certified Financial Planner and Certified Financial Advisor, and a former professional athlete, said. “That’s why it’s more important than ever for them to invest their income early. By setting aside a small portion of their earnings each year, they can ensure better financial security when their sports careers come to an end.”

“It’s more important than ever for young people to invest their income early — particularly those who are considering a pro sports career,” Benton said. “Traditional defined benefit plans, which provide retirees income for life, are disappearing fast — 70% of people had one in 1975 versus only 12% of people today — and Social Security benefits are projected to face a 20% cut across the board by 2033.”

“If you don’t see it, you won’t spend it — and you can still have a great lifestyle with just a fraction of what you earn in a season,” Joyce added.