In this business, you experience the highs of the highs and the lows of the lows. You hear about it a lot, but don’t know what it is like until you truly feel it.
January 7, 2009. Talk about a rollercoaster of a day. It started off on a high note. I had woken up maybe a half-hour before nine, when a couple of minutes after nine-o’clock, my phone rings. I can always tell when Matthew Watkins, Dynasty‘s Director of Football, has good news. He starts talking fast and his voice has this special tone. Anyway, he was definitely going to provide me with some good, no, great news. Our NFL Draft Prospect just received word that he was headed to the NFL Combine. Holy crap. A guy that we thought had tons of upside when we were recruiting him was finally starting to get noticed. Maybe some of our marketing was paying off. Could the day get any better?
A little bit later, I had a call with a sports apparel and nutrition company. They were interested in sending our prospect some free product and potentially working with him in the future on endorsements. Cool. Sounded great to me.
Next, a call with a television production company that reached out to me only a day earlier. They were interested in hearing more about Dynasty, my background and experiences, our employees, clients, and prospects for the future. They had an idea in mind: creating a new TV series that would look something like The Real Jerry Maguire. Wow, this could be a big tool in building the Dynasty brand and getting our name out there. One thing the company was looking for was conflict. They want to be able to tape the highs and lows of the industry looking through the lens of one company. January 7th would have been a great day to tape.
The next call was with a managing member of a major sports website. We had some great ideas in how we could market our prospect on the site through various video of him training and also following him throughout his combine experience. We ended the conversation on a high note, extremely excited for the future.
Later, I had a conversation with a fabulous individual that was referred to me by a fraternity brother. He is currently in the Minor Leagues and looks to have a very promising future ahead of him. The call went great, and hopefully we sign him soon.
So many great things in one day…I was on Cloud 9. As always, I had to fit my workout in somewhere, so I headed to the gym and could not stop thinking about how lucky I was to be having such success at a young age, I was happy thinking about seeing my girlfriend in a couple of days, and just loving life. I got home after the gym and started to eat some dinner when I got a call from Matthew Watkins.
Remember when I said that I can always tell if Matt has good news or bad news based on the tone and speed of his voice? Well I knew this call was bad news. He was on his way home from Palm Beach, where he had dropped our prospect off the night before to begin his training. Apparently, our prospect was having a rough day, so Matt took a trip up to visit him and calm his nerves. Matt wanted me to know that he left Palm Beach with our prospect relaxed and happy to be with us. Okay, a small blip. Nothing that could not be fixed. Back to dinner.
Three minutes later, our prospect calls. He is a very intelligent individual and a man full of character. But this conversation started off on the wrong foot. It seemed like our prospect was very stressed and nervous. He emphasized that he loved our hunger, passion, and motivation, but was just worried about his situation. Immediately I wondered if someone else had gotten to him. The guy has gone from someone who was looked at as an undrafted priority free agent, to someone who was jumping up draft boards fast and just got invited to the combine that morning. Who was talking to him? Anyway, our prospect and I had an excellent conversation, and in the end he told me that he was going to stick with us until the end, even if he had to ride us to death. I told him I was there for everything and anything. Again, I saw the hurdle and thought we crossed it.
Until five minutes later when I checked my email and saw a message from a family member of the prospect. He was calling Matt out and wanted to speak to me. Very odd, again. Our prospect was very high on Matt one second and one day later, with nothing changing, there was suddenly concern. I tried calling the family member of our prospect, but he was on the phone with Matt, letting him no that Matt would no longer be his NFLPA certified advisor. Wow. This was our man. We spilled our heart and sole into him and believed that we had done a great job with him. But such is the life of being an agent.
The family member of our prospect called me later and we had an excellent conversation. Again, our prospect and his family have amazing character and I am sure that he will be a beast in the NFL in the future. Unfortunately, our prospect had already booked a flight home to California and would be switching agents. However, the family member stressed that he would like to retain me as his marketing agent. After much consideration, I agreed. I could have gotten upset, acted irrationally, and said wrong things. Instead, I apologized that our prospect had the feelings that they expressed and wished them the best.
So a day that started on a high note and kept getting better and better by the minute ended up taking a free fall at the final hour. There is a lot to learn from a day like yesterday. When things are good, be happy for two minutes and then move on. When things go sour, get mad for two minutes, and then realize what is in your power to change and what is out of your control. That which we cannot control is not worth ruminating over. I will get over our loss, Matthew will move on, and Dynasty will prevail. This is been a wonderful lesson and a day that I will never forget. At least I know that our prospect was grateful for everything that we had done for him. I believe that our next NFL Draft Prospect will benefit immensely from the connections that we have made and I look forward to the near future.
7 replies on “A Deep Look At A Day To Remember”
Wow, crazy stuff – really opens my eyes to the sports agent life. Thanks for this and good luck.
I give you a lot of credit for handling it all so well. You are truly a class act.
Daren – if you don’t mind me asking, where do you get the capital to run your agency. Arent law students supposed to be burried in student loans?
Fortunately, I was paid to go to undergrad. Florida gave me a full ride and I received an additional $20k due to being a National Merit scholar. Plus, my county gave me a scholarship to go to UF law. So my school expenses have fortunately been trimmed by my lovely state. Additionally, I ran a promotions company in undergrad and saved up my money instead of spending it. Self-funded and proud of it!
Tough break on Rulon. I had just had a couple of questions regarding the Rulon situation.
1. Will you ask Rulon to reimburse Dynasty for any expenses incurred after he signed with Dynasty. Flight to Florida, hotel accomdations, weekly stipend, training cost, etc..
2. Have you filed a griveance with the NFLPA regarding possbile tampering with a client.
I plan to ask Rulon for reimbursement. No grievance will be filed.
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