Across many forums, there have been countless discussions about the issues faced by minor league baseball players. From food, to housing, these players have struggled just to maintain basic necessities while trying to get their shot in The Show. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times, described Angels minor league players sleeping in cars, hotels, or sleeping numerous players to a small apartment because of financial restrictions they face as prospective players. Housing is one of the most basic necessities, but seemingly, it can be almost unachievable for some. This can be demoralizing for players, and the agents that represent them.
One startup company has looked to change the way all baseball players obtain housing. At no cost to the player, or the player agent, Clubbie wants to make sure the players needs are being met. Not only is this a beneficial service for the player, but agents as well. Agents can outsource this from their workloads, to focus on revenue generating aspects of their business. Clubbie is sparking something that is attractive to different entities in the sports community.
Jeremy Wolf, Co-Founder & Director of Outreach for More Than Baseball had the following to say about his dealings with Clubbie:
The team at Clubbie reached out to me and More Than Baseball to see if we could join forces to help guys. I love them. These guys are absolutely dedicated to supporting the day to day lives of players. We only partner with people and organizations that share this vision so working with them was an absolute pleasure. This provides us with the perfect partner in assisting professional baseball players with housing. It is so important that we as an organization provide affordable and adequate housing for minor-league baseball players and working with Clubbie was a match made in heaven.
Sports Agent Blog spoke with Clubbie, to hone in on their business model, and why it is a great resource for everyone to utilize.
SAB: How did you come up with the idea for Clubbie?
Clubbie: We want to position ourselves as the champion of the player and understanding the needs of their agents. We came up with the idea for Clubbie while working for a full-service sports agency. The modern agency in 2021 provides a robust set of services for clients that are not revenue producing. We set out to build a business that allows agencies and agents to outsource these non-revenue producing services, so they can focus on recruiting and driving more value into their company. We understand what the players need. So, in these leases, we are able to get some preloaded things that the players would be looking for, such as favorable lease terms. The players rely on us to understand the CBA in the Major League space, what is outlined that will be covered, as well as the trappings of the Minor Leaguers and the financial impediments they face. We also put together a 100% free guide that covers a lot of our industry knowledge with respect to leasing, best practices, recommended housing providers, links to various housing websites so players can understand what is available in their area. We had over 500 minor league baseball players, coaches, and agents download this guide.
SAB: Can you tell us more about the business model?
Clubbie: Certainly! Agencies utilize our website portal to submit housing or endorsement opportunities for their clients. We take those inquiries and shop them against our robust inventory of partners. Once we find a match, we present those options back to the agent to deliver to their client. If the player likes a housing option we’ve shared, we connect the agency to our partner and help win that opportunity. Lastly, we earn our revenues from the supply side of our business, so agencies and players don’t have to pay us a fee for utilizing the service!
SAB: You already have relationships with some agents, and you are gaining traction. Can you tell us why agencies should use your services?
Clubbie: It’s actually very simple. We are a free service for the agents and players to use. We are never going to charge you a direct fee to request housing on Clubbie. As an agent you want to focus your cycles and resources on areas of your business that drive revenue. For an agent that means recruiting new players and signing contracts for eligible clients (arbitration + players in baseball for example). Every hour you spend sourcing housing, shipping cars, finding free products is time that could be better spent driving growth to your business. So why wouldn’t you outsource those non-revenue producing services to our team at Clubbie? Especially when our service is free! We respect the relationships agents have with their clients. We are absolutely not looking to circumvent you as an agent. If you do right by an agent, operate in good faith, you build relationships for years to come.
SAB: What is the hope for Clubbie as business expands? What direction would you like to go in the future?
Clubbie: We have had some great success working in the MLB space with agencies like Wasserman, Alignd Sports, ISE and more. Our growth will continue in baseball, but we are eager to venture into adjacent spaces like the NBA, NFL, and NHL. We have seen a lot of interest from agencies in those spaces and we will continue to drive our message and story across sports. But let’s face it, if you do right by the minor leaguers today, they are going to be the major leaguers of tomorrow, right? So, you are setting all sides up for success.
Sports Agent Blog took some time to touch base with Agent Andy Mota with Wasserman, who gives his experience below.
SAB: How did you first learn about Clubbie?
AM: One of my colleagues connected with them, and sent them to me, so they reached out to me via Instagram DM, and we’ve developed a solid working relationship since. They found a niche and filled it, and have really done a good job in becoming a valuable resource for firms in the client service arena.
SAB: Can you tell me about your experience with their team?
AM: It has been a very good, pleasing experience. They receive/identify a need and get after it right away, and expeditiously provide the clients with housing options. It’s a concise process that comes with clarity and with no BS.
SAB: What would you say is the most beneficial aspect of using Clubbie for your clients?
AM: It takes a load off from us, by not having to dig into multiple sources to provide options for our guys. It simplifies it. Their network and their reach are very efficient in every market that I’ve involved them in.
clubbieservice.com | Follow them on Instagram @clubbie