The following interview is with Ryan Gleichowski a certified MLBPA contract advisor and Co-Founder of Sports One Athlete Management, Inc. Connect with Ryan on Twitter.
Ryan Gleichowski is a graduate of the University of Florida where he played Division 1 baseball for the Gators. He played alongside David Eckstein, David Ross, and Brad Wilkerson to name a few. After graduating in 3 years, Ryan took a major risk to chase his dream of becoming an MLBPA certified agent. In 1999, he and his partner Marc Pollack founded Sports One Athlete Management, Inc. Since that time Sports One has thrived in the competitive baseball market. Over the past 18 months alone, the firm has grossed over $70 million in baseball contracts, and it represents some of the best young talent in the MLB.
1. When did you decide to become an MLBPA agent?
I decided in college, while playing baseball at the University of Florida, that this was the career path that I wanted to take. As far back as I can remember I was always interested in player contracts, negotiations, and the business of baseball. Beyond the education in college, I took advantage of multiple opportunities to work and learn in the industry. That practical experience and knowledge was invaluable to my career leap. I was also extremely fortunate that one of my teammates at Florida, David Ross, believed in me and gave me an opportunity to represent him.
2. Why did you decide to establish Sports One Athlete Management, instead of joining an existing agency?
Marc Pollack and I established Sports One in 1999 with a vision of building a full service agency that would cater to a unique type of player. Our goal was to represent athletes that possessed the same level of character, integrity and work ethic that we expected of each other. In 2009, we were excited to have Doug Rogalski join our team. Doug, being a former scout, college coach and agent brought a valuable and unique background to Sports One.
3. What players have you previously represented and what players are you currently representing?
I’ve been fortunate to represent players like David Eckstein and Scott Podsednik, among many others, who’ve had successful Major League careers. Eck was also a teammate of mine at Florida so it was really neat to be part of what he was able to accomplish being a 2-time All-Star and the 2006 World Series MVP. Currently, our agency represents about 30 players including Ian Desmond (SS, Nationals), Anthony Rizzo (1B, Cubs), Jonathan Lucroy (C, Brewers), David Ross (C, Red Sox), and AJ Ramos (RHP, Marlins).
4. How has your agency’s core values shaped your recruitment of players?
Our core values have a huge impact on the type of players we recruit and add to our agency. We spend a significant amount of time doing our homework to determine the best clients for our agency. We have been tremendously blessed over the years to represent some outstanding players, that are also very special people and I am thankful for that.
5. You have represented numerous MLB World Series Champions and other talented players. What is your pitch and how has it been so successful? Has it changed over time?
That’s a great question. Well, a majority of our client acquisition come from referrals from our current and past clients as well as others in the game. Our clients appreciate the work that we do on their behalf, our services and the stability that our agency provides. Marc and I started this agency nearly 15 years ago and our core structure remains the same. As you know, there is a lot of movement and change in this business so I think our clients appreciate the continuity.
6. How has your previous experience as a Division 1 baseball player at the University of Florida contributed to your success?
My experience at the University of Florida has certainly contributed to my success. I was very fortunate to make connections with not only talented players but also outstanding coaches who have guided and supported me over the years. I have very fond memories of my time at Florida and the relationships formed there. I continue to value those relationships today on both a professional and personal level.
7. As a veteran agent, what challenges do you still face to compete in the agency market?
This business is very competitive and we are well aware of that. We focus our efforts on what we can control, which is serving our clients and giving them quality representation.
8. What advice do you have for a student pursuing a career as a sports agent and does Sports One currently have internship opportunities for students?
I would say Persistence. Be as professionally persistent as possible in looking for opportunities to get your foot in the door. Try to learn something from everyone you interact with which will ultimately help in shaping your core values. Also, appreciate the people that come into your life and value those relationships.
We currently do not have internship opportunities available. However, I do believe that internship opportunities in the sports world are extremely valuable.
On behalf of SportsAgentBlog.com and all of our readers, I would like to thank Ryan Gleichowski for taking the time out of his busy schedule to share his experience as an MLBPA agent.