Former NRL stars launch mentoring service for athletes
A group of former NRL stars, including ex-St George Illawarra Dragons teammates Trent Merrin and Jake Marketo, have partnered with a team of professional service providers to launch an advisory and mentoring service to save current and former NRL players and other athletes from falling into the ever-increasing number of career traps they encounter.
The players have created Azure Partners with professionals experienced in corporate law and advisory, marketing and branding and events, social media management, events and finance.
“Elite athletes in all sports face a gap in support as many of the existing services only focus on their on-field performance and contracts, leaving their financial, personal and professional growth unaddressed,” Azure Partners co-founder Merrin said.
“We all know or have experienced the terrible mishaps that athletes fall into, including their personal relationships, contractual disputes, failed business ventures, gambling and the list goes on.”
Azure Partners, which has already signed athletes including Zac Lomax, Cameron McInnes, Blake Lawrie, Gareth Widdop, Tyrell Fuimaono and Michael Weyman, will bridge the support gap, empowering careers through personal guidance, brand development, financial management and other professional advice. Azure is also working with these athletes on business opportunities along with their personal growth on and off the field.
“Jake, myself and others within our network of players have more than 30 years of experience on the field and understand the problems that come with concentrating only on our athletic performances and not properly managing all of the other factors that affect everyday lives,” Merrin continued.
“From contracts to relationships, we ensure that athletes stay informed and protected from what can quickly become a tangled web from which they can not escape either when they are performing or after the music stops on the field.”
Azure Partners will help athletes transform a business idea into life, as well as guide athletes through the current social media maze, curating their presence, while building their brands and providing business opportunities that will maximise income producing opportunities that will last for years in retirement from professional sports.
“You miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take. We are here not to just disrupt the game both on and off the field, but assist athletes ensuring they do take the shots they never thought they would take so they can create a successful career post-professional sport,” experienced marketer and Azure partner Kylie Chilton said.
An example of Azure’s business building expertise is Merrin’s upcoming launch of his mobile ice baths company that will be available for sale or lease through gyms, businesses and at home.
“Freeze Yourself will bring the power of cold therapy to millions of health-conscious Australians,” Merrin explained.
“Ice baths bring many great science-backed benefits for your body, and your mental health, helping people face the challenges of the day, creating well rounded and confident individuals.”
Dominic Tunstall has also joined as a partner in Azure, being responsible for creating brands, building digital products, including apps and websites, and enabling growth with his marketing expertise.
“Empowering athletes to innovate, create, and disrupt off the field will help them grow professionally, keeping them mentally stimulated during their career or when they retire,” Tunstall said.
Azure Partners and its trusted network of advisors also promises to secure athletes’ financial future through trusted wealth management services, ensuring savings are made, loans are covered and investment portfolios are created.
“We are providing mentoring and life coaching, while also advising players when appointing managing agents, sponsors and business partners, in return for a monthly fee,” Merrin added.
The partners are expanding their portfolio of clients across a wide range of sports, including the other football codes, tennis players and UFC fighters, with plans to help those in the arts and other fields.