GREENVILLE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Employers aiming to win the war on talent have a new “A” team to tap into: college and professional athletes. Today, Game Plan, the leader in total athlete development, announced the upcoming fall launch of its most extensive career development program to date: Game Plan Academies (GPA). Through alliances with world-class employers, like New York Life and Staffmark, Game Plan will deliver crucial eLearning content, virtual events, and networking opportunities to current athletes and alumni at Game Plan partner athletic organizations. This program aims to prepare athletes for their transition into life after sports and will be formally introduced to schools across the nation this fall.
“Working with nearly 900 athletics organizations has taught us that true growth comes down to education, career preparation, and analytics,” said Vin McCaffrey, Game Plan CEO and former athlete. “Game Plan Academies hits all three for the 200,000 former athletes entering the job market each year, solving a critical challenge employers face with emerging professionals.”
Hiring of new college grads is expected to grow 26% this year, but only 13% of U.S. adults say college grads are prepared for the workplace. This carries short- and long-term consequences for employers. Two-thirds of college graduates stay at their first career jobs for one year or less, costing employers time and money. It takes 8-12 weeks to replace a knowledge worker at a cost of more than $6,000 per hire.
GPA’s first-of-its-kind athlete upskilling program consists of a two-phase curriculum focusing on management training and business to business (B2B) sales, lasting two to four weeks. Phase One introduces key concepts related to a particular career path through Game Plan’s innovative eLearning platform. Phase Two introduces select industry employer partners to provide insight into the industry, day to day responsibilities, career paths, work expectations and cultures – all while networking directly with GPA participants. Upon completion, participants receive a digital certification that will be available via Game Plan as well as other career networking sites.
“I am very excited about the partnership with Game Plan,” said Stacey Lane, CEO of Staffmark Group. “We are a people-centered business, and our mission is to help people. Our partnership with Game Plan will help us add student athletes to our team as we grow and scale for the future. Student-athletes have characteristics such as drive, initiative, and perseverance that will provide a foundation of growth, success, and belonging at Staffmark Group.”
GPA fills a critical gap for schools eager to put together more holistic development programs for their athletes. Since each GPA partnership is category-exclusive, they also gain a competitive advantage in their industries among a highly desirable employee pipeline.
“We’ve been waiting for something like this for a long time,” said Tommy Powell, Assistant Provost at Syracuse University. “Finally, we can match athletes’ winning character traits with the tangible skills they need to be effective contributors from day one. We look forward to engaging this group more deeply than we ever have.”
Game Plan’s industry partners include leading employers from athletics, business services, consumer products, financial services, healthcare, retail, staffing, and technology. GPA provides interested employers with measurable, one-on-one connections with athletes through this innovative new “pipeline as a service” offering at scale.
GPA is the latest offering from Game Plan’s rapidly growing portfolio of development tools. Its mix of free and subscription-based resources cover practical areas such as financial literacy, investment education, responsible gaming, NIL, mental health, brand building, and social justice. In the past 12 months, athletes have completed over 240,000 eLearning courses on the topics outlined above, as well as additional tailored content.
Next year, Game Plan will expand its reach into every NCAA athletics department through unique content collaborations with subject-matter thought leaders at no cost to the schools. Game Plan’s elite platform currently reaches hundreds of thousands of athletes from high school all the way to every major US professional league.
“Our alumni have utilized Game Plan as a way of kick-starting their post-sports careers and exploring their options as they transition away from sports,” said Glenn Healy, President and Executive Director of the NHL Alumni Association. “They’ve spent their lives competing at the highest level of hockey, which is why they recognize how much of an advantage this gives them in a highly-competitive job marketplace.”
Information about Game Plan’s full lineup of offerings for athletes, athletics organizations, and employers can be found at https://wearegameplan.com/.
About Game Plan
Game Plan is a pioneer in the intersection of education, sports, and technology. Since 2008, it has been dedicated to guiding 100% of athletes through 100% of their journey. For more information, visit https://wearegameplan.com/.