Delivering Education Reform Through Sports
We don’t just believe sports is one way to deliver financial education. We genuinely believe it’s the ONLY way. We are currently developing content for our flagship course, which will focus on financial markets.
We will guide learners through the following five levels:
Teach Finance Through Sports
NSEI was formed in 2011 with roots in the commercial development of financial instruments at the intersection of sports and finance. Our commercial affiliate developed and operated AllSportsMarket (“ASM”), a real-money sports stock market. The position we always took was that it was not gambling, yet because of enormous political uncertainty, we decided to pivot to another product, SportsRiskIndex (“SRI”), a novel method of valuing sports teams. We met with financial regulators (CFTC) to discuss the SRI, and it appeared that we were on track to market our product, through our exchange partner, United States Future Exchange (“USFE”), under CFTC’s oversight. Then, the 2008 recession happened and USFE shut down its operations.
As a result, the business along with its impressive intellectual property portfolio went dormant. During this quiet time, a couple of volunteers refused to let it go. After a lot of soul searching and surviving on nothing but determination and grit, this core team had an epiphany. The biggest reason behind the recession was financial illiteracy! The fact that a portion of financially literate population abused that education gap to their advantage did not help. Thus, financial education was the only solution. There was also external validation of our hypothesis: On January 29, 2010, the President signed Executive Order 13530, creating the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability (“Council”) to assist the American people in understanding financial matters and making informed financial decisions, and thereby contribute to financial stability.
However, a practical, almost insurmountable, problem remained. Finance was complex and intimidating, and people were staying away from it. To date, while there are a variety of efforts and organizations that have or are trying to advance financial literacy, their effectiveness is widely debated. Do these programs have any impact at all?
We believe that these efforts are useful and have marginal impact, but will never deliver the big impact our country needs. A much bolder approach is needed for real results. Our core team realized right away that we have that bold solution: teaching finance through sports.
A great deal of learning happens through repetition and familiarity. The human brain is very good at grasping a concept, getting familiar and comfortable with it, and then applying it to other situations. However, the starting point of that first learning moment matters a great deal. We don’t just believe sports is one way to deliver financial education. We genuinely believe it is the only way.
More than 50% of all high school students participate in organized sports. Add to that the number of sports fans in the U.S. and it is safe to say that almost all students enjoy, play or consume sports. In addition, communities often congregate around high school sports with Friday nights in many cities now sacred because of high school football. Sports is an inter-generational connector that binds families and communities. It is part of the social fabric that enriches our lives. As a result of all of that, it’s the best entry point into financial literacy.