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Agency Spotlight: mgmt one

While the agency de jour is currently Excel Sports Management after recently bringing in Casey Close and Victor Menocal to run its new baseball division and Mark Steinberg to head up its golf division, there is another agency that is quietly putting together a variety of pieces in an effort to make a big splash.  The name of the agency is mgmt one and has quite a collection of superstars heading up its various divisions.

mgmt one is a full service sports and entertainment agency (it prefers to be recognized as a premier lifestyle management company) with offices in New York, Cincinnati, and Los Angeles.  The company’s website, which is currently only a video (albeit an impressive video), displays pictures of a plethora of clients, including Allan Houston, Ken Griffey Jr, Rasheed Wallace, Donte Greene, Andre Smith, Brandon Banks, Chinedum Ndukwe, Frostee Rucker, Tyrese, Eva Pigford, Deborah Cox, Mike Epps, Ciara, and more.  mgmt one’s services also include digital publishing, lifestyle and wealth management, and even insurance.  The pervading slogan throughout is, “This is our DNA.”

mgmt one’s Chairman is James M. Gould, who has more than 25 years of experience in the corporate investment, real estate, sports, and entertainment industries.  He also has roughly 20 years of experience as a founder and Managing Partner of The Walnut Group, a private equity fund, and was a founding member of the now defunct United State Football League.

The company’s Vice Chairman is Brad Tilford, who also serves as the chairman of The Blackwave Group, which has properties in entertainment, sports, marketing, online media, and business-to-business consulting.  Prior to Blackwave Group, Tilford was a founding partner of Blue Equity Sports Television (BEST), which was eventually sold to
Lagardère Unlimited.

The COO/Senior Vice President is Bill Strickland, who is known for his experience in representing professional basketball players.  Strickland was President at BEST for 3.5 years, but also ran his own company, served as President of the Basketball Division at IMG, and was once Chief Operating Officer of ProServ’s Team Sports Division.

The President of the Baseball Division is Brian Goldberg, who represented Ken Griffey, Jr. for his entire 23-year career.  Kim Grillier is the President of the Basketball Division.  Grillier also used to work at BEST.  Jory Zola is the Vice President in the Hockey Division.  He is a young, bright agent who recently merged his start-up firm with mgmt one.  And there are others involved in the company, but you get the point – this looks like it has a lot of potential based on the names involved.

There is one common thread between many of the people working at mgmt one – they have worked with one another in some fashion, particularly at BEST.  As this group becomes more unified and begins to recruit more clientele, I will be sure to share its successes on Sports Agent Blog.

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.