Agent Spotlight: Jason Levien
Jason Levien has a lot of things going for him. He goes after orange and blue blood (that means UF players, for you non-Gators), he lives in Miami, and he recently broke away from Greenberg Traurig to start up his own agency, Levien Sports Representation (LSR). It has not always been peaches and cream for Mr. Levien, though.
A few years ago, Levien represented a basketball player named Mario Austin in court (not with on-the-court contracts) while he was working for Greenberg Traurig. Austin’s actual agent was Jamie Knox. Anyway, Levien’s battle was against Bill Duffy and his lawyer, Gary Hall. The whole thing was a mess (I’ll let you read about it here if you are interested), but in the end, Levien seemed to have made an enemy out of one of the biggest basketball agents in the United States.
Fast forward to 2007, and you would not have even known that there was ever a battle between the superstar agent Duffy and the up-and-coming Levien. He went from representing Mario Austin in the court of law to representing Udonis Haslem in negotiations with Pat Riley and Randy Pfund of the Miami Heat. Levien is now 36-years-old, has been an NBA agent for 7 years, and is getting ready for the next NBA Draft, which will occur on June 28th. This year, he represents UVA guard JR Reynolds, Ohio State guard Ron Lewis, Ukraine center Kyrylo Fesenko, who is 20-years old.
Wendell Maxey Jr. was able to get a great quote recently out of Levien:
“I never want to get to the point where I lose my “Brand”. Part of my “Brand” is giving that individual attention and commitment to the client.” [NBA Agent Jason Levien Feels A Draft]
I have always believed that there is a lot to say about branding in any industry. No matter what business you are in, the most important brand should be your own name. If your brand is strong and your product is the best in its class, then there is no reason for a customer to go elsewhere. Part of Levien’s brand is to not let all customers have access to his product (representation), or else his brand loses its value. I like this theory.
So it seems like Levien has a good head on his shoulders. He is a graduate of Pomona College and earned a law degree at the University of Michigan. He will have much more success in the NBA in years to come.
If you have the time and would like to read more about Levien and his journey through the 2006 NBA draft (especially concerning client Yotam Halperin), I suggest reading through this article [From Tel Aviv to the Space Needle, by Way of Slovenia (With Stops in Treviso, Miami and Salt Lake City)].