On Friday, I’ll be part of a panel at the Fowler School of Law Sports & Entertainment Symposium at Chapman University in Southern California. It’s a big deal, and if you’re in town, I hope you can make it out (and if you do, I hope you grab me and say hi). Here are a few thoughts as I approach this week’s event.
- It’s a little intimidating to be sharing the dais with five agents from four major firms. I don’t mean to sound immodest when I say I study the player-agent recruiting game probably more closely than any non-agent in the business. However, I’ll admit that’s a little different from being in the room with a draft prospect plus his parents, or his girlfriend, or his ‘business manager,’ or his former coach, or anyone else who has influence over him. It’s also different from going toe to toe with an NFL GM.
- I’m always a little out of sorts when it comes to addressing sport management students and/or law students with a sports interest. On one hand, I want to be insightful and genuine, and want to stimulate learning and interest in the business, but I also don’t want to get too focused on the finer points of the agent industry and lose them entirely. I also have a habit of, at times, focusing on the challenges rather than the rewards. If our credo at ITL is really going to be ‘succeeding in football,’ I have to give young people the ammo to do that, or at least not extinguish the flame before it’s even lit.
- I’m kind of on the fence about how I curry favor with the NFL Network’s Rand Getlin, who’s moderating the event. I mean, we’re buddies, but he’s gotta be provocative to stir interest, right? How do I know he’s not going to ask me a question that I respond to with ‘um’ or ‘huh’ or ‘may I be excused?’ Maybe a bribe is in order. But how much? I know Rand is a car guy. Perhaps I dangle the keys to some fancy wheels. Maybe that’s too over the top.
- With every trip I’m taking this year, I’ve set a goal of trying to solidify one relationship and create (at least) one relationship. I want to do this in very intentional ways. For example, I’m having dinner with a relatively new client, Tim Johnson of the accounting firm JLK Rosenberger. Ironically, I met him at the last event where I spoke, the 2015 Sports Financial Advisors Association’s Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., last November. Hopefully, this trip will be equally as productive.
If you’re in Southern California and you’re interested in the business, try to make it out for the symposium. I promise you won’t be sorry.
Tim Johnson said:
Thanks for the mention Neil. I am looking forward to meeting up with you too! Always better to dangle the keys rather than toss on over. Safe travels!