Football icon Marshawn Lynch has a new team. The former NFL star running back has partnered with Endeavor and Overtime to launch the “Level Up” program for athletes pursuing careers in sports and entertainment.
The new athlete accelerator program is designed to diversify the talent pipeline across the industry and increase access for the more than 450,000 student-athletes who decide to pivot from professional sports into an another career path without the exposure to the business world their fellow students received through internships.
“Level Up” is a free two-week virtual course designed to provide current and former athletes with the tools necessary to translate their on-the-field talent and skills into a relevant professional experience to start a career. The program runs from June 20-30 with sessions at 5 p.m. ET.
Program participants will learn about career opportunities that exist in the industry and a variety of topics including, sports as a platform, marketing, financial literacy, mental health, professional development and transferable skills. The lessons will be taught via daily live sessions led by industry experts from Endeavor and Overtime, as well as notable figures across the world of sports and entertainment including Lynch (who has appeared on HBO’s “Westworld” and Netflix’s “Murderville,” among other entertainment endeavors, since hanging up his cleats), Cari Champion, Andrew Hawkins and Terrence J.
“I’ve always said there are a whole lot of life lessons learned thru the game,” Lynch stated. “My business partner, BSheng and I’ve been rockin’ with the Endeavor Summer program the last couple of years. We’ve been kickin’ game about the ins and outs of the industry from our experiences and we’re looking forward to sharing some more ‘isms’ this summer.”
The first session is titled “Sports as a Platform” and will be led by WME Sports co-heads Josh Pyatt and Karen Brodkin and Overtime CEO Dan Porter.
“At our core, Overtime aims to empower next generation athletes and fans to reach for their dreams,” Porter added. “We’re proud to partner with my former colleagues at Endeavor, and Marshawn Lynch, to provide unique access to industry and thought leaders as college athletes prepare to begin their careers.”
“Level Up” is the latest in Endeavor’s lineup of virtual programming, including “Summer Series” and “NXT,” which have welcomed more than 24,000 participants in the past two years, with Endeavor hiring more than 50 participants across their virtual training and education programs to date.
“The prospect for athletes to enter the business side of our industry can be daunting if they don’t already have a big name or established connections,” noted Romola Ratnam, Endeavor SVP, Head of Impact and Inclusion. “Our hope for this course is to aid current and former athletes in developing tools to establish careers in the sports and entertainment industry that they can thrive in long after their playing days.”
More information on the “Level Up” program, including how to register, is available at EndeavorImpact.com.
The full course schedule is below:
“Sports as a Platform”
An overview of the business side of sports and related roles, followed by a deep dive into the sports content business and how it helps amplify athlete’s stories.
Speakers: Josh Pyatt and Karen Brodkin, WME Sports co-heads and Dan Porter, CEO of Overtime
“The Engine that Drives Sports & Entertainment: Marketing 101”
The basics about marketing and how it functions as the engine behind the sports and entertainment industry.
Speakers: Chad Easterling, Co-Founder and CEO of ObsidianWorks, Brandon Rhodes, VP of Business Development, Overtime and Aminah Charles, Head of North American Sports, Beats by Dre
“Managing the Transition from Sports to Corporate: Mental and Physical Health”
Best practices for maintaining physical and mental wellness for athletes during- and beyond the transition from playing sports to the next phase of their careers, led by those who have experienced it first-hand.
Speakers: Andrew Hawkins, Co-Founder and President of StatusPRO, Cari Champion, Journalist and Host of ‘Naked’ with Cari Champion and Lindsey Hamilton, Head of Mental Conditioning at IMG Academy
“Turning Your Presence Into Power: A Conversation on Leadership”
A roundtable discussion about leadership and creating, claiming, and owning your seat at the table with women in sports; hosted on the 50th anniversary of the passing of Title IX.
Speakers: Taylor Rooks, Journalist and Broadcaster at Turner Sports and Shea Dawson, Head of Athlete Relations at Overtime
“Social Capital with Sports Biz Camps”
A discussion with industry pros on how they’ve come to understand social capital: what it is, how to accrue it, and why it’s an important skill that needs to be developed and refined.
Speakers: Alma Angeles, Vice President of Partnerships with the Charlotte Hornets, Mike Taylor, Associate VP, NBA Account Management and Social Impact Lead and Vanessa Taveras, VP of Strategic Partnerships at IMG Academy
“Count It: Understanding, Acquiring, and Maintaining Capital”
An introduction to financial wellness and best practices for maintaining and growing your money.
Speakers: Donald Hawkins, Founder, President and CEO of Kinly and Dr. Melody Wright, Director of Financial Education at Kinly
“Exchange Zone: Bringing Your Experience to the Workplace”
A workshop with HR professionals on how to translate your on-the-field skills into relevant corporate experience and position yourself as a valuable candidate to recruiters.
Speakers: Jeff Brutout, Director of Talent Acquisition, Overtime and Tasmin Plater, Head of Human Resources, Endeavor Content
“The Crossover: Sports in Other Arenas”
We’re exploring careers that are adjacent to the sports industry starting with fashion and entertainment. This two-part session will be led by experts that represent the different industries and vantage points, discussing how they each intersect with sports.
Speakers: Patrick Christopher, Founder and Designer, Sloan and Bennett, Mina White, Director at IMG Models, Tyler Rutstein, VP and General Merchandising Manager at Overtime/Overtime Elite and Brad Slater, Talent Agent and Partner at WME
Thursday, June 30 – “Finding Your Professional Purpose + Owning It”
A discussion on how to find your purpose beyond sport and the keys to maintaining longevity in sports and entertainment.
Speakers: Marshawn Lynch, Former NFL Athlete and CEO of Beastmode and Bryon Sheng, CMO of Beastmode and Jill Smoller, Talent Agent and Partner at WME