Mega law firm Robinson & Cole recently announced its intention to enter the sports agent business in Connecticut. Robinson & Cole, a national firm with offices in Hartford, Stamford, Boston, White Plains, New York, New London, Sarasota and Albany, confirmed rumors on Wednesday that they are considering an attempt to enter the sports agent business.
The Connecticut Law Tribune first broke the story on July 17, 2008, in an article about former University of Connecticut women’s basketball player Brittany Hunter. Robinson & Cole reportedly was recruiting Hunter as part of a plan to build a sports agency. While Hunter recently accepted a position on Temple’s coaching staff, it appears that Robinson & Cole is still eager to enter the sports agent business. Eric Daniels, managing partner of Robinson & Cole, confirmed the rumors:
“Even though this has gone in a different direction because of Brittany’s coaching career, the idea is more prominent on our radar screen.”
It appears that everything is in line for Robinson & Cole to have success in the industry. First, the firm clearly has the resources to enter the sports agent business, one problem most new sports agencies face. Furthermore, in recent years the University of Connecticut has been a hotbed for professional basketball players. Recently, the men’s program has produced NBA players such as Marcus Williams, Ray Allen, Caron Butler, Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor and Charlie Villanueva. On the women’s side, the program has produced WNBA players Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Nykesha Sales and Swin Cash. More recently, the school’s football program has produced NFL players such as Dan Orlovsky and Alfred Fincher. Any sports agency would kill to have that roster of clients. Finally, Connecticut is lacking high-profile firms and agents. Combine these factors and the firm has a realistic shot at excelling in the sports agent business.
But what does this mean for all of the boutique agencies and agents in the area. If Robinson & Cole does enter the business, this would without a doubt make life harder on these agents, due to the resources and connections the firm has established in the state. Yet those who believe that Robinson & Cole would take over the sports agent business in Connecticut, Branford-based NFL agent Joe Litna has proven that there is a place for small agencies and agents in the state. Litna has built a successful firm in the state, and recently landed a major client in Joe Flacco. If Robinson & Cole does enter the industry, the rich will get richer.