NFL’s Arrelious Benn And Financial Expert Ryan Schachtner Team To Tackle The Financial Literacy Gap

Using The Language Of Sports To Change The Economic Spectrum

CHARLOTTE, NC / ACCESSWIRE / February 18, 2021 / Ryan Schachtner, a well-known financial expert and founder of ‘A Must Win,’ continues to partner with top athletes, sportspeople, and athletic departments in efforts to provide easy- to-understand financial literacy to collegiate athletes. those who obtain financial success in sport but lack the knowledge to manage this wealth. And while his experience may validate all he writes about, further validation is provided in his wise words when aligned with actual athletes who have lived through and successfully overcome the obstacles that athletes face when moving to the next level.

Former NFL player Arrelious Benn enjoyed a standout career in high school and at the University of Illinois, after which he was selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft before eventually retiring from the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018. Now, a successful entrepreneur, Benn and his wife own Social House Coffee in Jacksonville along with a thriving real estate portfolio. Throughout Benn’s athletic career he received some of the best athletic training, coaching and educational support available.

Like the majority of athletes however, Benn had, throughout his life, only received coaching and advice to make him a better player. “Growing up in Washington D.C. in a low-impact community, financial literacy is a topic that isn’t ever discussed, resulting in an economic domino effect impacting generations,” said Benn. For many kids, they see athletics as their only way out of their circumstances. They view themselves as one dimensional and they are so much more than that, they need to hear that message and also get the financial education to break the economic cycle.

He continued, “I never had anyone sit down and talk to me about financial literacy, especially in a way that makes it understandable, never. I had to learn everything through trial and error. When you make it pro, whether it’s in sports or beyond, things move so fast. You are focused on making the team, getting the next contract, and helping the family, and you don’t have the time to sit down even if you’re one of the few athletes that use a financial advisor and understand your financial situation.”

Following his time in the NFL and appearing in the ESPN 30 For 30 episode ‘Broke,’ Benn became an advocate of educating kids on financial literacy. This passion and deep interest in making a difference and educating others in financial literacy started when he was six years old when he dreamed of making it to the NFL and grew stronger as he had to learn and overcome financial obstacles that he could have avoided, had he received the proper financial education.

Now speaking the same tune as Schachtner, Benn said, “The lack of basic financial literacy is what leads to 85% of pro athletes going broke within 2 1⁄2 years of leaving the game, and this contributes to the high debt and low savings of everyday Americans.” Benn estimates that less than 50% of all student-athletes leave school with a basic financial understanding. “Athletes don’t understand that they already possess the tools to be successful beyond sports, oftentimes viewing themselves as one dimensional.”

When Benn played in the NFL, he witnessed teammates like Ronde Barber build a brand and a business outside of sports, which at the time was unheard of. “Athletes view themselves differently now, and it’s about to get more complicated with the ability for student-athletes to profit from sports while in college with the Name, Image, and Likeness [NIL] rules coming into play. This is something that wasn’t allowed in the past. Athletes need to start viewing themselves as the CEO of themselves.”

According to Benn, and with similar sentiments said by Schachtner, “This means understanding financial basics so they can avoid making financial mistakes and even worse, being taken advantage of due to their lack of knowledge.”

Enforcing Benn’s beliefs and efforts, Schachtner, the solution to the problem as Benn believes, was also a former collegiate athlete and now is a 21-year financial industry veteran. Schachtner has created a financial literacy coaching program designed to be a life- time resource that speaks to athletes through the language of sports.

Benn said, “In athletics, everyone is trying to get something from the athlete. One day you’re everyone’s best friend, and the next day you’re being treated like damaged goods.” A Must Win is the first program to focus on giving back to the athletes without asking for something in return.” According to Schachtner, the program boasts three main objectives. “The first is that we keep it ‘real’; we remove the complexity and ego from the financial world and talk to people like people. Just like in sports, the goal is to win the game, and oftentimes you don’t care if it’s a pretty win; you just want to win. That’s our objective. We just want these student- athletes to win financially. The second is helping the student-athletes realize they aren’t one- dimensional. They are more than an athlete, and whether they make it pro or not, they have developed the skills through their years of playing sports to help them be successful outside of sport. They have skills that employers desire, and once they realize how to leverage those skills outside of athletics, the sky’s the limit. Thirdly, we teach them the fundamentals of financial literacy or the financial game they are playing. We give them an easy-to-implement game plan that can be immediately implemented and can ensure long-term financial success.”

Benn said that developing these skills can prevent athletes from becoming damaged goods. He added, “The mental health issues athletes face many times can be caused by financial

problems, and A Must Win can prevent a lot of that. Schachtner said, honestly, this whole movement started with a conversation with a University of North Carolina at Charlotte basketball player and has quickly transformed into a book, full digital coaching program, ability to text questions to an expert, a network of former athletes seeking ways to help each other, future books and partnerships with colleges and most pro-sport leagues.”

Schachtner said, “The amount of support and willingness to help former and current athletes to help spread the word has been remarkable, but also illustrates the underlying need for this. I have not been told ‘no’ yet when it comes to helping with what we’re building.”

Benn and Schachtner both agree that the most exciting part about this new partnership is the ability to change the spectrum and create economic opportunities that will have a generational ripple effect. “Athletes are about action. While many people recognize there is a problem, we are going to fix the problem by working with the next generation of leaders, which to us are current-student athletes. There is only an upside to being financially literate, and that upside is called opportunity,” said Benn.

A Must Win and Schachtner’s program are currently being rolled out among colleges and universities in the Big 10, Big South, Big 12, Conference USA, and is currently set to be rolled out to multiple NCAA Division II and III programs. In February 2021, Schachtner’s first book, Foundation For Financial Excellence: Lessons from the Pros and a Game Plan for the Collegiate Athlete, will be available for student-athletes, graduates, and athletic departments across the nation. Visit for more information.


Ryan Schachtner
Text: 803-879-5204

SOURCE: A Must Win

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