Six Questions With Storm Kirschenbaum, Founder Of Metis Sports Management
1) What made you realize that being a sports agent was the right career choice for you?
During my collegiate baseball career I had realized that not many MLB teams were interested in a 5’7 Jew with limited arm strength. I knew early on while attending undergrad that being an agent was a career goal of mine, so I used my contacts to enter into this industry via internships and mentorships with other agents. My father, Dr. Stuart Kirschenbaum, was the Boxing Commissioner of Michigan and also managed professional boxers. Having access to his experiences, while in another sport, drove me to take my knowledge of baseball and open up my own agency so I could advise baseball players on creating a successful path both on and off the field during their careers. During my first year in law school I opened Storm Sports & Entertainment, LLC and began representing some of my former teammates. This opened the door for me when I graduated law school and I was hired by a sports agency to run their baseball division. After four years with my previous firm, I again saw an opportunity to open my own firm and established Metis Sports Management, LLC in July of 2007. I knew being an agent was the right career choice the minute I opened Metis. We have become a leader in the baseball representation industry and have created a niche market placing players overseas in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
2) What is an average day in the life of Storm Kirschenbaum?
Every agent will tell you no day is ever the same or predictable. That is extremely accurate. Agents deal with issues. We are always receiving calls from our clients, whether it’s asking for equipment, personal matters, legal counseling, tax matters, you name it, we’ve dealt with it. The variables that enter into your every day work place is what makes being an agent exciting and prepared for whatever crosses your desk.
3) What is MSM’s approach to recruiting clients? Do you focus on any specific type of baseball player? (Latin, Prospect, etc)
We are 100% referrals at Metis. It is very rewarding to know that our clients think so highly of our representation skills and abilities that they refer their teammates to our agency. We take great pride in how we are completely transparent in our operations, act with integrity and remain above board in all of our recruiting endeavors. We have a prime focus on the latin market and also players that are seeking to play overseas in Japan, Korea or Taiwan. Our agency has done a tremendous job earning the respect of teams in the Asian marketplace and have negotiated millions of dollars of contracts overseas.
4) How does MSM separate themselves from other agencies?
Our approach at Metis is to offer every service any big name agency can offer, but with the emphasis on personalized attention for each client. We are confident in our abilities as agents and our network of contacts can match any agency in the world. We put our clients first. While a decision may better our agency financially, if it doesn’t suit our client’s wishes, we never allow our self-gain to interfere from what a client’s objectives are for his career path. It’s important that agents understand that your client has one career. You are obligated and have a duty to make sure your client receives the best representation during his playing days and thereafter.
5) Do you think your law degree has helped you become a successful agent?
Absolutely. Law school teaches you how to be prepared, analyze from all angles and present your argument in a structured and organized fashion. I strongly encourage people seeking to enter the world of athlete representation to work as an attorney to build your skills in the court room and learn how to think and operate as an attorney. Having a law background certainly helps when going through the arbitration process and understanding the inner workings of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
6) Can you describe the internship program at MSM? How often has it led to employment upon completion of the internship?
We have had a very successful internship and externship program at Mets since our inception. Over the course of the year we will have 6-10 interns and externs work for our company. It is a non-paying job, but we involve each intern in our day to day activities. I believe that to know if this industry is right for you, working at an agency is the only way to really understand how this industry operates. For those people interested in our internship program they need to visit our website for details on how to apply at www.metissports.com. We have a very extensive track record in placing our interns either in great post graduate universities, law firms and professional teams. We continue working relationships with many of our former interns and some have been hired by our firm.
Bonus Question: What advice would you give aspiring agents? Would you recommend the business?
If you are looking to make money in sports and think that being an agent will get you there soon, think again. This business take an incredible amount of time and capital to make a living. We have been fortunate to become an agency that allows me and others to make a living, but many aspiring agents and younger agents, fall out of this industry within the first 1-3 years. It takes money to make money in this business. The only way to achieve success immediately is if your brother or cousin is a first rounder and allows you to represent him with no experience….which believe me your brother will sign with another agent if he sees what experienced agencies can do for him during his career.
This business is a very rewarding industry. There’s nothing like seeing your clients get a “call-up” to the big leagues or sign that first big contract that sets him up for life. There’s a lot of heart and soul that goes into each client during our relationships, and seeing them succeed is a special moment for the agent.