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Analyzing Q2 Sports & Entertainment’s Internship Program

Ever type Q2 Sports & Entertainment into a LinkedIN search?  I doubt you have, but if you would like to see the results, click here.  195 results.  Quite a few of them have held a (self-employed) former position at Q2 with titles like Intern, Intern Manager, or Coordinator of some type of position.  195 results.

I would understand seeing those numbers from a search of Creative Artists Agency or IMG, but Q2?

In 2007, Todd Crannell, owner of Q2 Sports & Entertainment, left his job a Director of the Sports Division at Irene Marie Management Group to start Q2.  He has had fantastic work experience and has a great educational background.  He started off as a non-paid intern at Irene Marie, so you would figure that he would know the proper structure and operation of an agency internship program.

Interestingly, in his interview with Sports Agent Blog on January 21, 2008, the following exchange took place:

Does your agency provide internships for people looking to break into the industry? Are you looking to hire new agents?

Todd Crannell: We’re good for now, but we always will keep our doors open. Certainly if someone was interested I’d take a look, and at the very least keep things on file, because you never know when something might open up. We might all of a sudden need a lot of help on something, for example. It can happen that quickly, so I would encourage people to apply.

Have a lot of things opened up?  Because based on the amount of Q2 non-paid interns since the date of that interview, it seems like a lot of help has been needed.  On January 7, I received the following email from former Q2 intern, Ernest Firth.

Hello I think it would be good if you removed the Q2 Sports website from your internship page or edited it. The company has 1 full time employee and the rest are all internsTodd has at minimum 60 interns working for him & adds new ones dailyThe interns are doing the work that full time employees should be doing.

I started when he only had a handful of interns [July 2008] and handed him my good friend Glen Coffee who was his premier client & only NFL guy & he never put him on his website… To my knowledge he also doesn’t talk to Glen anymore with post career endeavors.

I started as an intern and was really enjoying it and gained valuable experience. He then offered me an opportunity to move into a project manager position in which I oversaw 25 interns on a weekly basis… This role began in January 2010 & I never had anymore contact with him regarding this position until Summer 2010 in which he asked why I wasn’t volunteering for any projects & my answer was because I was to be assigned a group of interns & I was never assigned any. I accepted this role mainly to get an inside look at what was going on & only worked in this position for a short time (what I thought was going on was proven)… He offered me an entertainment sales position in which I was contacting nightclubs for the entertainment clients. We would split the deals I negotiated 50/50 the database he gave me was obviously not reviewed over by him because it included strip clubs, hotels, hole in the wall bars which weren’t real opportunities for our clients… The internship is only a semester usually & I remained for 2 years

I also asked him to write & submit a letter of rec for grad school in which he had someone else write who he says writes his letters of rec & he never submitted it.

He sent me with Glen to the Rookie Premiere which was a tremendous experience & he gave me $500 which was half of my expenses out there. Although Glen & I have a personal relationship you send an intern to represent your company?

Another former Q2 intern wrote the following to me in an email on October 22, 2009:

I started working with Todd [Crannell] and we took on so many interns that it got a little out of control but that’s how things get done over there and it seems to work for him and the way he likes to operate.

Many former interns have come forward and expressed how displeased they were with their experience as Q2 interns.  And from someone who looks at resumes from individuals hoping to get internship experience with Dynasty, I can tell you that every time we read a resume that has Q2 listed under experience, I laugh.  I laugh because I can’t tell you how many applicants have listed Q2 Sports & Entertainment Intern on their resumes.  Dynasty’s Human Resources Director throws many of those resumes away immediately.  Other agents are also aware of the issue.  On July 24, 2010, Harold Bicknell tweeted, “Has anyone noticed there are a ton of people who interned for Q2 sports?”

Why am I writing this?  I don’t get any personal benefit out of publishing this post and Dynasty gains nothing at all from this becoming public.  Crannell has never done anything to me to make me write this out of vengeance.  I am doing it because I feel bad for young people who have a dream of entering the sports agent business and feel like they got cheated.  I have absolutely no grudges against Q2 or Todd Crannell, and while he may be displeased with me for writing this post, it would not have been written had I not received multiple messages from former interns.  One of the purposes of this website has been and will always be to reveal information about the sports agent business and make it much more transparent than it was prior to December 31, 2005.

And I believe that Crannell should be able to tell his side of the story as well.  He has been a hustler since high school, never the top of his class, but always pushing it to the limit to be the best amongst his peers.  He has good intentions with his internship program; he wants everyone interested in the world of sports agency to have the same opportunities that he created for himself (with the help of others).  For all the Q2 haters, there are certainly many interns who feel rewarded by their internship experiences with Crannell.  Thus, we will keep the Q2 internship information up on our Internships page.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

18 replies on “Analyzing Q2 Sports & Entertainment’s Internship Program”

This is very illegal – I researched intern use for a company I was going to form and found that the labor department does crack down on interns doing “full-time” work. This guy better be careful because I know for a fact that if one employment/labor attorney hears about this, his whole operation could be headed for a lawsuit.

While I also have no intention of trashing anyone, I have to completely agree with the article. The Q2 internship (if you can even call it an internship) is a complete joke – I know from first hand experience. Thanks for the great content on the site and keep up the good work!

I am a little confused by Ernest Firth’s issues with his internship experience at Q2 Sports & Entertainment… Ernest is upset because he was – Offered a full-time job after his internship was over and he was flown out to a VIP event on company dime? I don’t get it… Sounds like a good internship experience to me. What did Ernest expect?

He was given $500 and tickets to the Rookie Premiere? The Rookie Premiere is a 2-3 day red carpet event that features the top rookies in the current draft class. Ernest was basically given money to party with NFL players…. How is that a bad thing?

Did Ernest have to go to this VIP event with a bunch of NFL players? I am sure he gladly accepted the tickets to the NFL Rookie Premiere and the $500 … And I am sure Todd would have had a long line of interns wanting to go in replace of Ernest if Ernest declined. Sounds like a fun time, but most importantly, a great networking event for the intern that is trying to break into the business.

The fact that you/Dynasty would laugh and immediately throw out people’s resumes for interning at Q2 reflects more negatively on you and your company than it does on Q2. The interns have obviously put in the work drafting/editing prospect letters, researching player statistics etc. Just because there were 60 interns instead of employees should not discount their work experience. Everyone has to start somewhere and most of the interns are no doubt doing the work part-time during school instead of goofing off, which should be applauded. While your article is certainly helpful in pointing out what any half-way intelligent intern no doubt figured out for himself, that the intership is certainly not exclusive, that Todd is a one-man show and that no one should expect a future with his company, I believe you are off-base with your “holier-than-thou” attitude that you would throw out someone’s resume simply because they interned for him. If anything, I would give them extra points for being able to successfully deal with Todd’s nonsense.

“And from someone who looks at resumes from individuals hoping to get internship experience with Dynasty, I can tell you that every time we read a resume that has Q2 listed under experience, I laugh. I laugh because I can’t tell you how many applicants have listed Q2 Sports & Entertainment Intern on their resumes. Dynasty’s Human Resources Director throws most of those resumes away immediately.”

I can of course speak to this point. Seeing so many resumes from Q2 interns, it became a bit ridiculous and we knew something weird was going on. Hence, every time we saw another one, we laughed at the absurdity of the whole situation. As to throwing out resumes of past Q2 interns, as Darren noted, this happens MOST the time but of course not always.

Having Q2 on your resume does not mean it is thrown out, however, if that is your only industry experience, your chance of receiving an internship is unlikely. We would never throw out a resume simply because they worked for Q2, however, I cannot say I weigh a Q2 internship the same as one from a more reputable internship program.

This article in now way is an attack on former Q2 interns and I think that should have been clear.

If the Q2 internship is supposed to be similar to a college class – which Todd tells his interns from the start – how is having just one person in the class or a ton of people in the class make the learning experience any less valuable? In other words, he is teaching us (interns) about the business… So I don’t see how the message is watered down if 1 person or 100 people are listening to him speak or reading his emails (which updates us on his agent work). Furthermore, Todd must be doing something right if all of these college kids are staying on board. In terms of me… I enjoyed the internship because it gave me exposure to the ‘day in the life’ of being a sports agent, which is valuable information to know if I am thinking about pursuing a career in the business. For example, I learned that a sport agent only spends a small fraction of their time negotiating contracts and a lot of time recruiting… Plus, their is a lot of client services work… These are just some of the things that I learned.

I would have to agree with this comment over the others…I wrote for SAB and interned for Q2 in 2008..even have a poorly photo shopped picture on the website under some ludicrous title..BUT I did indeed get to see what went into the day to day of an agent as well as gained experience “managing” other interns which I found to be helpful down the line. I think Todd is essentially a teacher not an employer and does take some advantage of young people looking for an in to the business…in the end he teaches a valuable lesson that things arent always what they seem and hopefully people who have gone through it are more mindful in their future dealings. He was always available to answer questions as well even though it would take a few times for something I said to get through to him. If someone was to join the Q2 program today I would say to them only do it for school credit and for no longer than 3 months.

I couldn’t disagree with Ernest more. I’ve been working for Todd for a while now, and I’ve got to say its been a great experience. What confuses me most is the “work that full time employees should be doing” argument Earnest makes. What do you think an internship is? It’s an opportunity to get hands on experience in an industry. I’ve rarely, if ever, been asked to do a task that I didn’t think was a beneficial experience in the long run. Also, why does it matter if he has a large number of interns compared to other companies? Does his message get diluted because he may send a email to you and to other people? Additionally, how many agencies do you know where you speak to and learn from the president of the company on a weekly (if not daily) basis? Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but I would definitely recommend this internship to anyone who wants to get a good hands on introduction to the industry.

I also worked for Q2 for a little while. I don’t want to say it was a worthless internship because I got a lot from it in terms of learning about the industry and it was a really convenient way to get experience. However, I do agree that something’s just not right with the way the business is run. I quit because things starting getting a little too shady for me and it wasn’t the type of company I could see myself working with any longer. I started getting boilerplate mass mailings that I could tell were going to a lot of different people from “Mr. Crannell’s Assistant” who I thought didn’t even exist at the time (probably because I knew there wasn’t anybody actually being hired/paid by the agency). Then I was delegated the responsibility of overseeing other interns and sending out emails that looked just like the one’s I had been getting. I felt like my work didn’t mean much to the agency because the same assignment was going out to 10+ other interns and it was just being read by another intern, who would send it to another intern, and eventually it would get back to Mr. Crannell. I understand the nature of the industry makes it really difficult to start a brand new agency and I concede that student interns are an easy way to get cheap/free labor. But, at some point it just gets to be too exploiting. I feel like the company was a bit misleading to me and other interns. I also believed they were misrepresenting themselves to clients. Interns were listed on his website as full time employees with titles like Marketing or Client Managers and bio’s that would lead someone to believe they had a lot of work experience and college degrees, giving the players the idea that they had a legitimate operation going on. The faces are even photoshopped (rather poorly) onto stock pictures of business people. We also would have to draft letters for contacting potential clients in ways that I later found out probably weren’t the most kosher according to industry regulations. Now I know this is small picture stuff compared to the corruption that goes on in the agent business, but still- I couldn’t see myself working for them anymore, especially if I wasn’t getting recognition or respect for my work anymore.

So my advice for people looking to intern with Q2: If you want to get easy, convenient experience- it doesn’t hurt to try it out as long as you can deal with what I would call unethical practices. Maybe it’s not the best thing to include on your resume but you still might learn a thing or two.

Hi there,
I interned with Todd, it was BS, total BS…
The reason I say this was, it was mediocre work and I did not learn nothing, worked as a PA more than anything…

The guy is all over the place and has no system of what’s going on.
I’m speaking on behalf of a few others too. He promised me a reference letter which was a year and a half ago…

Anyway, things didn’t end well, but I used my brain, took all the details I had of him and all the sensitive information that he gave me access to and I use that now for myself.

hi there

I recently became aware of this article. I too was a victim of this so-called internship at the q2 agency.
Sorry, it was not an internship, as a internship you learn something.
My only role was to be a email secretary and be cheap labour
This should not be called an internship, this should be called cheap labour.
I founded myself working more than 30 hours a week, this is like full time work. He tries to make you feel part of the team by asking for your bio and picture.

I hope and prey the current interns WAKE UP and smell the coffee because your are nothing but short term labour.
He’s a test and step up to him and ask him after dedicating a long time of free work, ask him to be rewarded with a part time position, watch the answer and the subject will be changed.
Don’t fall for the trick of a company email address and emails they send, your not part of the team sorry to say people.

The only person who will profit from this is your boss.

I too will be looking to report this matter on using interns as labour to get work done, as this is unethical practice. I highly encourage all the interns who have had a bad time to report this somebody at least, as this can put off people working in the sports agent business.

Since I was treated like and no rewards or thank you was given, I too too an advantage of the situation for my benefits, as there were no respect and no high regards to anyone.

I was a fool then and now I have learnt my lesson and every time I think of the interns sweating at for their internship, all I see is a bunch of tom and jerry’s. I hope you all wise up and please do something about this because to me it is worthless.

First off… I harbor no ill-will towards Todd or Q2. But it is important to explain to potential Q2 “interns” the situation. I’m glad Darren took the time to post this. I was an intern at Q2 a few years ago while a student at Miami for about a year or so.

1. I really didn’t learn anything, except to be more judicial about the kind of experiences I would look for in the future. The recruitment process of clients seemed inconsequential at the time, and probably would not fly in the eyes of the NCAA.

2. Todd made a lot of empty promises, like writing letters of recommendation to employers/schools. He even said that he would sign off on anything that I would ghostwrite in his name (of which I completely disagreed). Of course, when the time came to have him put in for a recommendation, he never responded. Of course, I do realize he’s busy and that he’s running a one-man show.

3. Employers ARE catching on to the whole Q2 fiasco when it comes to their internship programs. Friends at CAA, IMG & other highly-regarded agencies tell me that they often get submissions from Q2 and hear the same lies about their experience with the firm.

4. Todd works closely with a guy named Ben Brucato – a so called “entertainment” manager. He’s a coat-tail rider of D-list celebrities and is constantly hounding them on social media sites like twitter. Although it may dispel my credibility that I won’t name names–I have spoken to a few of the entertainers & models he’s worked with, and they all say that he “misrepresents” his connection with them. Yet another Long Island guy putting a bad name to the industry.

For those who don’t want to read the whole novel above…here’s the tl;dr-

In life, there’s no such thing as an easy way to the top. Sure, you can put you worked for this guy on your resume and receive 3 credits for school. But if you want to have an actual intern experience where you’re learning on the job and making key contacts, go to a real firm.

I’m sure that Todd is a good guy, but I would suggest to all prospective interns to go another route.

@twitter-156709178:disqus and @darren_heitner So is it even worth it to put Q2 on a resume? I worked for a football team and am involved with Sports and Entertainment law programs at my law school and if an internship at Q2 is not looked fondly, is it better to keep it off?

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