Balance sport and business

Brice Leverdez wondered what he might do when his playing career ended, but he didn’t wait until retirement to find a new vocation. The eight-time national champion and two-time Olympian decided to set up Leverdez, a high-end fashion label based in his native Paris, as he successfully balanced his position as France’s top-ranked badminton player with becoming a top-end fashion entrepreneur. His best piece of advice? As an elite athlete, you’ve already got exactly what it takes to be successful in business.

  • Brice Leverdez is a two-time Olympian in badminton who founded his own fashion label to supplement his sporting career.
  • Here, Brice offers his top tips for athletes looking to balance sport and business successfully.
  • Read his advice and then kick-start your own entrepreneur journey with the Athlete365 Business Accelerator.

Some businessmen approached me in January 2014 proposing to create a brand using my name. But I didn’t like the concept, so my partner and I agreed to start our own company instead. I was getting older, and I saw it as a good way to move on in my life after my playing career was over. Here are some of things I learned.

Don’t shy away from a challenge

Everything is a challenge. From dealing with your partners to choosing the right strategy to learning about what other people’s jobs entail – these are the challenges of a start-up. You have some skills, but you need to learn so many different things to deal with everything.

Work hard – on and off the field of play

I’m naturally hardworking. I work hard playing badminton, so nothing changed in my mentality when it came to my company. The main thing is working hard, never giving up on anything and being strong when making decisions.

Keep control of your schedule

I no longer practise at the national centre, so my schedule is very flexible. I’m in complete control: I can choose when to focus on badminton and when to focus on my business work. It’s much better that I’m on my own. I take care of all aspects of my training: I organise sparring sessions, I check my coaches’ availability, I book the courts. I then plan my business work around my badminton training.

Take the plunge

If you’re crazy enough to choose a sporting career as an athlete, you can definitely manage an entrepreneurial career. It’s a question of hard work and confidence. Just go for it – it’s fun!

If you’re thinking about setting up a business and looking for a place to start, then we have the perfect tool for you. Go to the Athlete365 Business Accelerator to take a step-by-step online course to develop your own business plan, and then put yourself forward for the opportunity to receive specialist business mentorship and advice.