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5 Ways Athletes Can Make Extra Money and Keep Competing


Can athletes make extra money and keep competing? The biggest fear of every athlete is finding a job after college. The biggest dream for every athlete is to go professional, but the truth is not everyone goes into the NBA, NFL, or other major sports leagues. Not every sport has a professional association either.

Whether you’re a student-athlete or you’re past that and looking to continue competing, you still need to make some money on the side. Here are five ways you can make extra money and keep competing.

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1. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) Through NIL Rights

Here’s something radical you can use to earn extra money. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are a new technology related to blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. You can earn money with your name, image, and likeness as an athlete without having issues with your collegiate sports organization.

IN RECENT YEARS, the NCAA and its athletes have agreed to monetize athletes’ name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights. The NCAA will allow them to earn money through these means, giving them a chance to make some extra income.

With NFT, you can sell different tokens that work as digital collectibles, from images, videos, and gifs, to digital trading cards. These make good use of your NIL rights and sell for a decent amount. If you have a specific type of following, you can use NFTs to your advantage.

What’s excellent with NFTs is that you’ll gain additional royalties over multiple token resales. So if you are famous enough or have a strong following, you can get consistent royalties and payments – all of which come in cryptocurrency.

2. Training Younger Athletes

If you’re a varsity athlete, especially in a Division-1 category, you’re likely among the best athletes of your crop.

If that’s the case, one of your best chances to make money is to train younger athletes, usually those in high school or even grade school. Such training can give you several advantages that can help you compete.

You can stay healthy as a student-athlete while you train others. Training even with younger kids means keeping in shape while you make money. Finally, you can keep training outside mandatory school training periods rather than sit on a computer and do boring stuff. 

Parents will also be more than willing to let college-level athletes train their kids, especially those considering becoming athletes. So you know the craft from the inside out, together with the intricacies and training needed to reach your level.

Ask your coach or athletic director if they can help you get these training jobs. You can charge a decent amount of money per hour, usually somewhere between $25 to $40. So if you can get a group of at least five kids, you’re at $125 per hour, which is a decent sum of cash.

3. Student Grants

Grants are an excellent way to earn extra money for student-athletes from low-income families. In addition, financial aid from different organizations can be a great way to earn extra money if you don’t do it for advertising purposes.

For example, American athletes can apply for Federal Pell Grants, usually awarded to students with unmet financial issues. You would need to come from a family with less than $50,000 annual income and have not earned a degree.

You can also apply for student assistance funds from your school. This money can cover several expenses you need for your education or sport, usually around $3000 to $4000. 

Some students can apply for a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). As long as your school is a participating college or university, you can get as much as $4000 a year in assistance, paid directly against unmet payments in school.

4. Online Gigs

Online gigs are a great way to make money if you’re a student with different skills outside of your sport. Many online platforms like Fiverr allow you to do one-time or consistent gigs with other people, working as some part-time job.

Depending on your talent, you can write, voice act, design graphics, etc. Gigs typically cost around $5, but you can get even more, especially if you find your niche. For example, if you’re the type who creates art, you can also open yourself to commissioned work.

Gig work is not something most athletic organizations ban, as long as you notify your compliance officer. However, be careful not to do gig work with a booster from your university, as this can cause several complications down the line.

5. Managing Social Media

Are you good with social media? If you are, a fantastic way to make extra money is to handle the social media accounts of several businesses, working as their social media manager. Thus you can do this for a few small businesses, who will likely know your work as an athlete.

You can start by targeting small businesses around your campus can see which ones have social media already. Also, you can even work with those who don’t have social media accounts just yet but are looking to penetrate the space.

Reach out to them and see if they’ll show interest in hiring you as their social media manager. You don’t need to be a guru to maintain these.

But instead, you can spruce them up. Don’t over-promise. Do the usual things you do with your social media, from posting photos, backlinks to their website, and even promos.

Encourage your followers to follow their pages and spread the word if you have a following. From these gigs, you can earn a reasonable $100 to $500 a month per business. You can do this gig well after your stint as an athlete if you have critical marketing skills.

Final Thoughts

Being an athlete can be challenging. Your work needs hard work, dedication, and sheer will.

However, these won’t put money in your pockets unless you’re the next LeBron James or Stephen Curry. So it would help if you supplemented your budding sports career with ways to make extra income.

Follow the tips we gave here, and you should be able to make a few extra bucks on the side. Every dollar counts when you’re competing at a high level.

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