US Sports Camps and Greenlight Announce Financial Education Partnership

US Sports Camps families can receive three free months when they sign up for Greenlight Max.


Thousands of teenagers play a myriad of sports every year, and there is often a lot of money on the line! A handful will go pro, a chunk will receive college scholarships, and all of them will need to become financially literate to continue playing the sports they love and pass them on to the next generation. To that end, US Sports Camps, which hosts the prestigious Nike Sports Camps, is partnering with Greenlight.

Families that sign up with US Sports Camps can get three months of Greenlight Max for free, which includes debit cards for each child. The Greenlight app allows parents to oversee their children’s spending and set flexible limits. Settings in the app also allow youth to receive rewards for saving rather than spending, receive cash for completing chores, and learn about investing. It is important that children and teens receive this instruction, as they can legally begin to invest in stocks and bonds once they turn 18.

Being financially savvy and investing early pays off big. Through the compounding effect of investing, which is achieved when one automatically reinvests their profits rather than taking the cash, the additional years of investing gained by starting early will net big rewards later in life. $100 invested at age 18 versus 23 will generate much more total profit by age 65 due to five additional years of compounding.  

Youth who attend sports camps away from home at a young age need to learn personal financial management quickly, as they will likely be responsible for paying for their own meals, transportation, and personal items without their parents being present. Whether through club teams or high school teams, many teens take overnight sports trips and need to have the financial discipline not to overspend. Spending apps and debit cards with limits can give children and teens the chance to display their fiscal soundness to parents.

Smart Debit Cards and Apps Help Children Learn Finances

While Greenlight is probably the most popular app and “smart” debit card, meaning it allows parental oversight and control, there are several other options on the market. There are many options, including options for those who use Apple Pay through their smartphones to make purchases. When children and teens go out of town for sports camps and trips, parents can monitor their spending in real-time and either message them about it or utilize controls to restrict it. This is preferable to the previous generation, where a young athlete might spend all of their cash on the first day of a three-day tournament!

For older student-athletes, high schools and colleges can use similar debit cards to provide their per diem food allowances. This eliminates the potential pitfalls of doling out cash and allows cards to be frozen remotely if lost or stolen. If there is an emergency, more money can be added to the cards to allow for necessary purchases. In terms of education, coaches and parents can access the spending from each card and discuss what they notice with the student-athlete, giving praise or caution as needed. With cash, there is little data if the student does not keep paper receipts!

Investing Apps Prepare for a Lifetime of Wealth-Building

Greenlight acts as a debit card and an investing app, but there are several other standalone investment apps for teens younger than 18. These apps allow teens to invest in different stocks with parent approval. This gives teens the incentive to learn more about investing and how stocks work, including financials reported by publicly-traded companies. At a young age, people can learn what information must be reported by corporations and how that info can be used to determine if a company is a good investment.  

While young people at US Sports Camps are investing in their health and athletic ability, they can now invest financially. Both types of investment will pay big dividends in the long run! Success as an adult requires one to maintain both physical and financial health, and it’s never too soon to learn the basics. Hopefully, more partnerships between youth-focused spending and investment apps and sports programs will be coming soon.

About the Author

Owen Rust

Owen Rust teaches AP Economics and AP Government in Texas, and has also taught Personal Financial Literacy, which Texas high schools must now offer! He has a Master's degree in Finance and Economics from West Texas A&M University and is passionate about young people learning how to take charge of their financial and investing goals. Outside of teaching, Owen is also a writer who writes about politics, government, education, economics, and finance and investing.

Last updated on: July 28, 2022