With the launch of the U.S. Pro Athlete Enterprises, CEO Carl George thinks he has a viable solution.
, a sports and marketing business built around ex-athletes from the NBA
, NFL, NHL
and MLB, is an opportunity for now-retired athletes to continue their involvement in the sports world in different, unique ways.
Its goal, as George
said, is "to extend the careers of professional athletes."
One particular method of doing this is the USPA Extension Basketball League
, which is set to launch in the summer of 2014.
The league will be home to former NBA players who are one to four years removed from the sport, and will give those players a chance to not only keep doing what they love, but stay connected with fans, the community, and increase their own profile in the process.
has a relationship with the NBA Players Association as well as the Retired Players Association
There's no direct connection with the NBA
expects 5,000-6,000 fans at a home game in a city like New York, which will play its games at locations such as St. John's and Rutgers
The key to that attendance?
Besides guys like Starks on the sidelines, George
says it's the affordability ($25 per ticket), and the possibilities for a really interactive fan experience.
"We'll do a shoot-around with the kids who are under the age of 15 before the game," he
"Of the top 200 markets, 30 cities have NBA
The age spectrum is wide and George
is doing everything in his
efforts to hit every aspect of it.
"We've age matched different events, different opportunities, whether it's a former NBA player coming out to a fantasy basketball convention or a former NFL or MLB player taking part in a charity golf outing, there are many non-sports based marketing events where fans can get access on a wider basis, especially the markets with no teams," George