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Pando Pooling: Taking the Financial Risk Out of Professional Sports


It can be difficult to make it as a successful professional athlete, no matter how driven or talented a person is. Being drafted does not guarantee success as many players spend time in the minor league system hoping for the call to join the major league team. Playing in the minor league means also receiving a smaller salary. While the MLB league minimum salary is $545,000 a year, a minor league player is paid significantly less.


Enter Pando Pooling, a startup company created to reduce the financial risk for baseball players aiming to make it big. Pando, which has a KN+S client on the Board of Directors, aims to give players "a secure financial future and the right to choose their risk tolerance." Here is how it works: once a player is drafted, they sign with Pando Pooling and are matched with a small pool of comparable players. Each person must agree on the pool they are placed in and then be approved by a majority of the existing players in the pool. Pando will then take a fixed portion of the player’s salary once they have earned at least $1.6 million in the MLB and put it towards the pool (Pando’s fee is 10% of the pool). The maximum a player will be required to contribute is $20 million. According to Pando’s website, the average player has a 95.7% chance of making money or breaking even by joining the pool and most players would more than double their MLB earnings by joining a pool.


Pando Pooling already has 150 players who have joined. They began with pools of players from the MLB and are expanding to the NFL. The company has garnered media attention. Co-founders Eric Lax and Charlie Olson were also named to Forbes 30 under 30 for 2019. They have also been mentioned in Sports Illustrated (read the article here). To learn more about Pando Pooling, check out their website: https://www.pandopooling.com/.

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