In an exclusive interview, Tevin Bilgnaut sheds light on his extraordinary beginnings and the impactful strides Pro Sports Center (PSC) is making in the South African sports industry. PSC, a high-performance sports program startup, operates in the Johannesburg West Rand area, focusing on education, empowerment, and entertainment within the sports sector.
Just a background on your business, what kind of sector do you focus on? What’s the name and where do you operate from?
“ The PSC Roster is a high-performance sports program. We are a start-up company that looks to be making an impact in the sports space through education, empowerment, and entertainment. We offer masterclasses, high-performance training, a competitive football program, and access to professional sports support staff for athletes and coaches.
Our objective is to develop financially literate and business literate athletes who understand how to leverage their personal brand to create opportunities for themselves in the sports space and beyond. The PSC project was born as a solution to the poverty pandemic among sports professionals. Sports professionals often go broke due to poor financial literacy and poor decision-making. A study by Sports Illustrated showed that over 60% of athletes who earned professional contracts were broke after just 5 years of retiring from their sport. This is shocking, can you imagine the stats around athletes, coaches, and sports professionals who never earn mega-money deals? As of right now, the PSC is operational within the Johannesburg West Rand area.”
What kind of an impact do you hope your company will have in South Africa?
“The impact PSC will have on South African sports people, is the development and realization of more sports entrepreneurs. Sports Entrepreneurs who have learned how to build and monetize their sports career,through creating products; leveraging their personal brands for career opportunities, marketing, and branding opportunities. The PSC will also have developed sports people who are more financially savvy and understand how to invest in themselves, their career, and their future.”
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a business owner?
“ My biggest obstacle so far, had to have been with the PSC Roster. And the challenges will just keep on coming. I know this because the work we are doing is going to impact and disrupt the industry. We’ve been called rebels and jokers and we’ve been told countless times how the model will not work. But time and time again, we’ve grown as a roster and evolved. I Have evolved and developed leadership traits that I would not have known about if it were not for my experience with PSC. The Roster is still alive and kicking – let that be the biggest obstacle I overcome. We bootstrapped the roster, started out with nothing but a vision and we’ve worked to become a competitive team – finishing as runners-up in both our league and cup fixtures at the back end of 2022. We’ve appointed a head coach, registered at least 16 athletes; and confirmed suppliers for our merchandise. We will continue to push on and see what 2023 has in store for us.”
What aspect of being a business owner do you enjoy the most?
“ My current business has many positives and I’m proud of my involvement – we are actively solving the poverty issue in sports. But what do I enjoy most? Well – I enjoy working with people and seeing how they evolve into business-savvy entrepreneurs. I always thought – that I have good information to share – but I am learning that others have valuable input as well, regardless of what you think you may know about them. Being in sports,you get to see the deeper traits and characteristics of people, especially when things are not going well. I am learning that everybody has value and it’s your role as the leader to cultivate that value, especially in the hard times –because life is real and people are dealing with crazy things. I enjoy this part of my work.”
What do you believe would help your company reach its goals the quickest?
“ This is a really good question. I know the answer but it’s one I am probably most afraid of. Like most businesses, it needs good cash flow or a good cash injection. I think partnering with a venture capitalist might be a great way to tick off some boxes and help take the PSC brand to the next level. We’ve been doing well with leveraging our program, but not as well as we could have if there was sufficient funding to roll out the full extent of the project. We could help more athletes and coaches, and we could do more.”
What advice would you give to someone who would like to start their own business?
“ My answer has always been the same when it comes to questions about sharing advice. I strongly believe that every young entrepreneur or business owner needs a mentor and group of peers who are on a similar journey. A mentor will help you succeed quickly and will help you avoid pitfalls early on in your venture. The group of peers will help celebrate your wins and help you through when you lose. And it’s the quickest way to build a strong and lasting network that could set you up for a lifetime of success.”
This was such an eye opening Exclusive with Tevin Bilgnaut, if you would like to find out more about Tevin and get in contact with him – https://www.linkedin.com/in/tevinblignaut/ Or Visit his Youtube page – https://youtube.com/@prosportscenter