A New Zealand study shows about $US14 million ($NZ21 million) is sent back to the Pacific Islands each year from Pasifika athletes.
Massey University researchers commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Aid Division studied the value of remittance money from semi-professional and professional sports people in New Zealand, Australia, France and Japan.
The lead researcher, Rochelle Stewart-Withers, says the figures aren't suprising as there has been a huge increase of Samoan rugby players.
"We actually calculated the growth over the last ten years and there's been a growth in demand of up to 172 percent in terms of demand for the Pacific player."
Ms Stewart-Withers says the next step is a programme to educate families and athletes about the best way to handle remittance money.