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Monday, January 28, 2013

Will Stars Align for Constellation?

New Sports Index rewards good; unable to quantify "Knuckleheads"

By TERRY LYONS, Editor-in-Chief of DigitalSportsDesk

NEW YORK, January 28, 2013 - Former HBO Boxing guru Seth Abraham, a true mensch of a sports exec and an eloquent press conference host, explained the concept best when he compared his venture's sports player index to the US News & World Report's annual listing of Top U.S. Colleges but the rankings of colleges and their consistent performances provide students with a solid road map while an index of publicly reported gossip on sports stars might lend to a highly speculative product. The NYU-Tisch Sports Index might provide marketers with a valued list one day but when the wind blows and tales of concusion impact, depression, crime, suicide and many of the other terrible issues facing professional sports - particularly the most popular U.S. pro sport, NFL Football, the index might be as worthless as an IPO prediction of Facebook.

The late Junior Seau
The news of the group's formation was headlining a press conference to announce the index and its connection to - get this - a wealth advisory group seeking business from soon-to-be-retiring professional athletes. As the news release was put-forth, the assembled group was duely impressed with solid presentations, tales of Mike Tyson's most lavish BMW present-giving,  and smiley-face visions of grandoise from the academia side of the operation, but the faces in the crowd grew a bit more perplexed when the threesome of suits, including former NFL QB Steve Bono, was asked how the late Junior Seau might've fared on the index one day while he was filming "Sports Jobs" for Versus but how that might've looked another day, say May 2, 2012,  when the sports and football world mourned his death from a self-inflicted shot gun blast which ended a downward spiraling post-NFL career.

While it is obvious that having such a listing is better than not having one, the proof of such a concept will only be evident when the first listing is made public, hopefully sometime in the very near future. Surely, the likes of Grant Hill, Tom Brady, Mario Lemeiux, John Elway, Yao Ming or David Robinson will fare quite well in the listing which will recognize the most marketable, fan-favorite, camera-ready superstars, and the listing will only go so far, the uncertainty of the human spirit, never-mind a spirit concussed at high rates - the NYU-Tisch-Constellation sports index might be more a roll of the dice than a Moneyball print-out. Elway and his - "I'm comfortable in my own skin" aura will be just what the NYU professors have to offer.

So, let the official press release provide some insight:
"Constellation Wealth Advisors LLC, one of the leading advisory firms in the area of private financial management, and the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management at the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS) today announced a research study to gauge the overall financial health and well-being of athletes in their post-professional athletic careers. The scope of the research will include analyzing the attributes of retired athletes who have had careers in either team or individual sports and will take into account several factors including their financial status and their participation in philanthropic initiatives. The initial findings of the study are expected to be released later in 2013. It is believed to be the only study of its kind to date.
“We are very pleased to be able to work with Constellation Wealth Advisors LLC,” said Robert Boland, academic chair of the NYU-SCPS Tisch Center. “All too often, the media dwells upon the failures of athletes after their professional careers have ended, but there are numerous examples of those who have excelled. We expect that this research will help to define what is needed to ensure post-career success for future generations of athletes.”
“We have seen so many athletes and individuals who are not prepared to deal with the uncertainty of today’s volatile financial environment. As a company that provides services to select athletes, we are very pleased to be able to assist NYU-SCPS in helping to create this index of success,” said Paul Tramontano, co-CEO of Constellation Wealth Advisors LLC. “We think that this type of study will help any athlete, and many individuals, to gain a better understanding of what it takes to be successful on a multitude of fronts once they have retired.”
The research will be based upon publicly available data and will include interviews with former athletes who have achieved success in various categories during the post-career phase of their lives. The information will be evaluated to identify successful patterns and practices. In addition to Constellation Wealth Advisors, a number of independent consultants in various fields will be asked to offer their perspective on the results. The research will culminate in identifying a top group of athletes who will be honored for their overall post-professional success and well-being.
Constellation conceived of the idea for the research project after working with a number of athletes and identifying how certain key attributes, investment practices, and philanthropic involvement helped to provide a solid foundation for success in retirement years. Steve Bono, former quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, and Joe Ogilvie, a touring PGA Professional, are both principals with Constellation and will be among those involved in this project. The project team will be led by Seth Abraham, the former head of HBO Sports and Madison Square Garden Entertainment, who is a longtime personal advisor to a host of athletes and celebrities.
The NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies was established in 1934, NYU-SCPS ( is one of NYU’s several degree-granting schools and colleges, each with a unique academic profile. The reputation of NYU-SCPS arises from its place as the NYU home for study and applied research related to key knowledge-based industries where the New York region leads globally. This is manifest in the School’s diverse graduate, undergraduate, and continuing education programs in fields such as Real Estate and Construction Management; Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management; Global Affairs; Philanthropy and Fundraising; Graphic Communications Media, Publishing, and Digital Arts; Human Capital Management, Marketing, and Public Relations; with complementary strengths in the Liberal and Allied Arts; Translation and Interpreting; Management and Information Technology; and Finance and Taxation. More than 100 distinguished full-time faculty members collaborate with an exceptional cadre of practitioner/adjunct faculty and lecturers to create vibrant professional and academic networks that attract nearly 5,000 degree-seeking students from around the globe. In addition, the School fulfills the recurrent continuing higher education needs of local and professional communities, as evidenced by 55,000 annual enrollments in individual courses, specialized certificate programs, conferences, workshops, seminars, and public events. The School’s community is enriched by more than 25,000 degree-holding alumni worldwide, many of whom serve as mentors, guest speakers, and advisory board members. Meanwhile, Constellation Wealth Advisors LLC is an independent multifamily investment office with an uncompromising commitment to the best interests of our clients. We are committed to long-term relationships with our client families to help them reach and maintain their life goals, and to simplify the inevitable complexities that come with wealth."
The key words written within the release - "publicly available data" - means there won't be P.I.'s snooping around the NFL retirement homes nor will they be crunching public opinion, inuendo or the dreaded rumor-mill, the index researchers will be more apt to read The Wall Street Journal, the Globe & Mail and Bloomberg wire than they will be consulting the Bleacher Report or Ball Don't Lie blogosphere. 

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