AtLAS - Athletes as entrepreneurs website

Website launch: AtLAS goes live

AtLAS is a novel European entrepreneurship training for athletes powered by TW1N. This week, the website of the EU-funded project was launched.

Athletes have an outstanding potential to become high-performing business men and women. In their sporting career, they acquire extraordinary skills that are also crucial to entrepreneurial success. In this context, athletes engaging in entrepreneurship is not a novel phenomenon. However, what are their main motivators for this engagement? Research offers the following (not exhaustive) list of crucial motivational aspects:

  • Exploiting the existing athlete brand: Athletes can build on their success by using their name and persona in a business venture.
  • Dealing with uncertainty: Self-employment is appealing as it offers independence and fulfilment during times of transition.
  • Advantage of social capital: Athletes have key resources available to them in terms of knowledge, potential financial resources and influential contacts from their established social, professional and charitable relationships.
  • First-hand experience of gaps: Athletes experience possible gaps in certain markets first-hand and can create novel solutions and change for future generations of athletes.
  • Societal motivations: Some athletes are motivated by the opportunity to create change for minorities, women or the less fortunate by putting the influence they have to good use or give back to their communities.

New website

The compact training of AtLAS offers athletes across Europe the chance to combine high-level sport and top-class entrepreneurship education. AtLAS will be designed in the form of a joint venture of international academics in the field of sport & entrepreneurship and dual career experts coming from 6 different countries. TW1N acts as the consultant of the EU-funded project.

This week, the brand new website of AtLAS was launched. On athletesasentrepreneurs.eu you can find first information on the training which will start run its first course free of charge in October 2021.

References

  • Ali, H. S., Shahid, N., Javed, I. S., & Jawaria, K. (2018): Challenges that Make/Break the Athlete’s quest to become an entrepreneur: A qualitative study about fans’ perceptions
  • Bosma, N., Hessels, J., Schutjens, V. Van Praag, M., & Verheul, I. (2012): Entrepreneurship and role models
  • González-Serrano, M.H., Valantine, I., Crespo-Hervás, J., Pérez-Campos, C. and Calabuig-Moreno, F. (2018): Sports university education and entrepreneurial intentions: a comparison between Spain and Lithuania
  • LoRé, Michael (2019): Dale Moss' Mission To Empower Disadvantaged Entrepreneurs
  • Puyana, M., Gálvez-Ruiz, P., Sánchez-Oliver, A. and Fernández, J. (2019): Intentions of entrepreneurship in sports science higher education: gender the moderator effect
  • Ratten, V., & Miragaia, D. (2020): Entrepreneurial passion amongst female athletes

 


Elite swimmer

New EU project AtLAS - Athletes as Entrepreneurs

AtLAS is a pioneering entrepreneurship training for athletes. An innovative start-up course serves to enhance both the theoretical and practical competences of high-level athletes across Europe who are considering to found their own business; now or at a later stage of life. TW1N is honoured to counsel the strategic development of AtLAS which will run its first training in October 2021.

Athletes make great entrepreneurs

Skills cultivated on any playing field serve athletes beyond their sporting careers, also when it comes to entrepreneurship. AtLAS supports athletes in pursuing their business ambitions. The training approach will offer athletes a most flexible and hands-on study approach to learn new skills and advance their careers.

AtLAS aims to strengthen athletes’ knowledge about starting and running a business, foster entrepreneurial spirit among European athletes and sport governing bodies, connect spheres of higher education and sport to foster dual career pathways of athletes, and, increase the number of well-prepared company creations.

The consortium

AtLAS represents a joint venture of academics in the field of sport and entrepreneurship and dual career practitioners, uniting the following international institutions:

AtLAS logo

Compact, flexible, free of charge

Just as in sport, AtLAS focuses on what is essential to success. Athletes will be provided with the most innovative methods in entrepreneurship. The blended learning concept will consist of obligatory online and optional on-site training. The virtual modules are delivered via a 5-weeks MOOC (massive open online course), freely accessible for athletes across Europe and beyond. The optional on-site courses are held at 6 selected European universities in Austria, Denmark, Italy, The Netherlands, Scotland and Slovenia.

Moreover, an accompanying mentoring programme in cooperation with European business experts will support the participants in further shaping their business ideas. The final AtLAS pitching event in Amsterdam will give an extraordinary stage to the most thrilling business ideas of European athletes.

Graduates of AtLAS will be awarded an EQF 4 certificate. Funded by the European Union, the training is free of charge. The full programme is available to athletes recognized by a sport-governing body, or another accredited body, as competing at minimum national level.

If you are an athlete interested in joining AtLAS, please get in touch with us to register as an early bird.

 

Olympic rings table light

TW1N Masterclass in the NOC*NSF

As the centrepiece of Dutch elite sport, TeamNL unites 29 national sport federations. This week, TW1N was invited to advise their labour market programme TeamNL@work.

While schooling and higher (or adult) education still dominate the European dual career discourse, systematic work-sport solutions and the professional support of athletes' transition into post-athletic life remain subordinate topics. Fortunately, there are exceptions to be found in the EU.

TeamNL@work, implemented by the Dutch Olympic Committee*National Sports Federation (NOC*NSF), aims to target these topics systematically. TW1N is honoured to deliver consulting services for the programme. This week, we conducted a "TW1N Masterclass" on athlete employability and transition support in the National Sports Centre of Papendal.

A bit of dual career philosophy

As dual careers of athletes are complex patterns of movements, transitions and environments, support programmes rely on their ability to see the big picture and get behind systemic interlinkages. In this regard, leaving well-known sport grounds can help.

Philosophical ideas such as those from Søren Kierkegaard, Niklas Luhmann or Martin Buber secretly carry big (athletic) potential. How to de-cypher these ideas and practically relate them to the topics of proactive career development and professional transition support, served as the functional side note of our 2 topical Masterclass modules. 

From work-sport solutions to labour market integration

What is the motivation of organisations to consider elite sport-friendly workplaces? What does it require from a company to include active elite athletes in their staff pool? How can inclusion conditions within the labour organisation be adapted so that the work performance of athletes is connectable to the systemic logic of the free economy AND allows the compatilibility with the systemic logic of elite sport? In the first part of our workshop, these questions took centre stage, while the afternoon was dedicated to the personal dynamics of athletic retirement. How can dual career service providers professionally prepare athletes for their sensitive transition into the job market?

Thank you to the NOC*NSF and its TeamNL@work partner institutions, Stichting Sporttop, de SportMaatschappij, UWV and Fanbased Foundation for your involvement.

NOC*NSF, TeamNL, Masterclass
Wolfgang Stockinger (TW1N) with Wanda Schapendonk and Marjolein Miltenburg (NOC*NSF)