The last few days, with the incredible achievements of Man Utd and England footballer Marcus Rashford, have really highlighted what can be done by a Star when they use their platform to drive awareness of something that really matters to them. Having already supported & promoted charities throughout the Coronavirus lockdown, in less than 48 hours he managed to get the UK Government to u-turn on their decision to stop meals for kids through the summer holidays.
At 22 years old and with the Premier League season about to restart, Marcus could easily have decided to focus on his game and not rock the boat. But he didn’t, he stuck his head above the parapet and has made live immeasurably better for thousands of families.
We have seen over the last few years, in particular, that politics is an area which can easily be hijacked by self-interest. This leads to large numbers of citizens becoming disillusioned and opting out of participating or using their influence because they feel it will make no difference. In just two days, Marcus has shown people that they DO have a voice.
As we return to a new normal, we believe that it is actually Stars with influence and Entrepreneurs who are in the best position to make the world a better place. Sports and Entertainment Stars in particular, have a real advantage over politicians.
Firstly, they are much more ‘of the people’ than a lot of the people serving in the Government today. The majority of them come from working class backgrounds and they don’t forget their roots. They have had to work really hard for what they have achieved – you can say what you want about the salaries in football especially, but the fact is that to get to be in that 1% of earners in the beautiful game, it takes an immense amount of training, dedication and sacrifice (as well as raw talent). These Stars have acquired a following because of their skill and their performance, their supporters want them to do well and want to hear what they have to say.
We can see from the examples both with Coronavirus messages about handwashing and staying at home, and the more recent Black Lives Matter messages, that Stars have a huge power to circulate key information to a wide and receptive audience. They are their own media channel and they can completely control how the message is positioned.
All of this is why we created AxisStars, a private and professional network for Sports and Entertainment Stars.
The first priority of the community is to ensure that these, often transient and isolated individuals, have the support and information that they need to be secure in both their first and second careers.
We acknowledge that not all Stars want to change the world, but they are all role models to an extent as soon as they hit the public eye. So, we want to make sure that they have the right infrastructure around them. It can be hard to know who to surround yourself with when you are having to give so much focus to building and developing your talent. Our aim is to reduce the horrifying stat that 50% of Stars go bankrupt or suffer financial hardship within 5 years of retiring.
Secondly, the AxisStars community provides strength in numbers so that for Stars who do want to speak out on things that matter to them such as racism, the environment, poverty etc, can do so with the right support behind them.
We’re so excited by the power and potential of this community and are thrilled to see it growing with so many fantastic people from a wide range of sports and entertainment disciplines.
We will soon be raising funds through Seedrs to enable us to develop the platform even further. The majority of investors will be the Stars themselves, so that they can ensure the community develops in the way that they need. But we are keen to work with other individuals and entrepreneurs who support this mission. If you would like to find out more, you can pre-register for information here