Since starting this website and my company, Dynasty Athlete Representation, I have tried to answer almost every email that contains a question from an interested reader or future agent. While I have had the great fortune of being published in respectable journals and newspapers, the most joy comes out of helping college/high school students learn more about the industry by honestly answering their questions. Sometimes the questions are presented because a student has to turn in a term paper. Other times, there is just a genuine interest in the industry. These answers never get published; my hope is that those of you that have corresponded with me in this way in the past have learned something and will use it to help you succeed in the future. I was lucky to have great mentors along the way, and I continue to have awesome people who I know I can go to if I ever have a question. I love helping others, as well.
I also surround myself with like-minded people. When I am looking to bring someone new into Dynasty, I look for passion, hunger, intelligence, but also selflessness. Sure, all of us are inherently selfish to an extent, but we can also aim to enable future leaders with the knowledge and power to succeed. There should not be a fear that they will surpass us someday. They will. Acknowledge it now. Once they do, it would be nice if they remember who helped them along the way.
Anyway, I decided to write this post because I was copied on a Q&A between a student at Bradley University and Dynasty baseball agent, Bryan Swalley. Before the student asked his questions, he wrote the following:
Dear Mr. Swalley,
I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions about your job. I am in a sports marketing class at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. We are doing a project over a potential job that we would like to do with our sports marketing degree. I chose Athletic Representation. After searching around my own town I couldn’t really find many sports agents. So I went to the web and emailed out a couple things and your firm was the only one to email me back so I thank you for that. If you can help me with this interview, I will type the questions at the bottom of this page. If not, well thank you anyway for being the only firm for emailing me back!
We were the only firm to respond. And Swalley did not just send one-liners back to the student; he sent in-depth answers. I have copied the final Q&A below:
7. How do you get your firm known around professional sports? What are your advertising strategies?
One of the very first things I do when I get a new client is call their farm director (the person in charge of assigning and development of players) and inform him that I am player X’s agent. I feel communication with the farm director is very critical. If the player is in an organization you haven’t worked with before, it allows you to begin to form a working relationship with them. You also have to keep in mind the farm director is responsible for overseeing 200 players. Speaking with him every so often helps keep your client’s name fresh in his mind. Another element of communication with him is finding out how to better help your player. You are both working toward the same goal; getting your player developed and into the Major Leagues.
Dynasty has a very strong web presence. Darren promotes the company through very popular website he runs, SportsAgentBlog.com. We also promote heavily via social media (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.). As I mentioned before, players are a huge source for marketing. Players in the Minor Leagues talk a lot amongst each other. There are long bus rides and a little downtime in the clubhouse before and after games. I’ve been there, a lot of subjects are talked about, the happiness with an agent or firm is sometimes a subject of discussion.
A lot of people ask me how does one become successful in this industry. I’ll answer with how to become successful in life: When no one else cares, be the only one to respond.