One reoccurring theme at the Sport Summit was that “If you stay focused on business, you can have a career in sports.”
Those were the words of Andre Farr, CEO of the Black Sports Agents Association. He discussed the billions of dollars that professional sports leagues make, and spoke about many non-athletes who are major players in the sporting world.
Farr spoke about Bob Myers, Golden State Warriors general manager; Kim Ng, senior vice-president for Baseball Operations with Major League Baseball; and Larry Miller, president of Brand Jordan. None of those individuals played professional sports, but they have all excelled at the highest levels of the sporting industry.
“Follow the numbers,” Farr said a number of times throughout the panel discussions, which featured Calvin Andrews, Sr. Vice President, BDA Sports; Byron Davis, authority marketing and personal brand coach – Paid To Be You; Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic power forward; Ed O’Bannon, UCLA Basketball Hall of Fame; and Olu Green, sports brand marketing expert.
Andrews, who is Gordon’s agent, discussed ways to break into the sports industry. His advice to young people is not to write or send a resume to an agency, because those most likely will be thrown away. He said that it’s all about who you know. If he receives a call from a trusted colleague about a young person that he should give a shot to, he’s more likely to bring that person in.
Green backed up that point, advising the college students in the crowd at UCLA that they should tell everybody that they know what they want to do. He said that is how he landed his first internship. A well connected person within the sports industry heard what he wanted to do with his career, and then introduced him to Bill Duffy, who is one of the premiere sports agents in the nation.
Davis pointed out that to break into the industry, and to be successful once you’re in, a person has to brand themselves, and be able to sell what they do.
The audience was mostly filled with college students. They were able to ask questions of the panelist, and receive valuable information to get them started in the sports industry.