Headline Sports Agents

2015 Sport Business Hot Topics & Emerging Trends (Agents’ Perspective)’s very own Mark Burns recently wrote an article for Forbes asking 85+ sport business professionals 2 questions: 1) What are the trends and hot-button topics to follow in the sports business industry in 2015? 2) How will the different niches within sport — digital, technology, agency, traditional media, sponsorship, athletics and others — change heading into the new calendar year?

Here is what the agents on the list had to say about the industry entering the new year:

“The trend I’m most following into 2015 is the rise of analytics and advanced statistics as it applies to hockey. While puck possession stats like Corsi and Fenwick have become almost mainstream over the last year, there are a number of new advanced statistical concepts on the way. As the NHL opens up to multi-camera computer chip based technology, the data collected from this could revolutionize the way we look at the game.” – Allan Walsh, NHLPA Certified Contract Advisor at Octagon

“I think obviously outside of the day-to-day items you handle for your clients, a big topic going into 2015 in soccer involves the CBA negotiations between the players union and Major League Soccer. Also, free agency and the potential restructuring of the salary cap are on our plate as well. Globally, there are several marquee tournaments this coming year, both on the youth and senior levels. These international events are a perfect platform where athletes can showcase their talent, which could then lead to bigger opportunities.” –  Lyle Yorks, Global Managing Director/FIFA Certified Agent at James Grant Sports

“The thing I’ll be watching the most are athletes who create their own brands like we do with Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. With the power of the web, they have the ability to create a whole new revenue stream. It’s cool to see the athletes that understand the internet, interacting with their fans, running contests and properly using social media to portray a positive image. With bad tweets and athlete privacy becoming a bigger concern, I think there should be proper training for these guys, because they are only one tweet (or text message) away from losing millions of dollars.”- Ryan Totka, President/Celebrity Booking Agent at Athlete Promotions

“Change is constant and in order to be successful, you have to embrace change, especially within the technology age. You have to learn to go digital to survive today’s medium. In 2015, you will see more media outlets (in news, sports and entertainment) use the internet to create more advertising dollars. Broadcasters will need to apply a new strategy in how they grow the business of consumer demand in order to access more content in the digital space and on mobile devices.”- Matthew Kingsley, President/Chief Executive Officer at 3 Kings Entertainment

“1) On the digital side, will we continue to see a rise in ownership of specific-sport verticals by major media outlets in sports? launched a pop culture vertical “Grantland”, launched a NFL vertical “MMQB” and launched a MLB vertical “”…I think the question is who will be next and how will that ownership group define success for the site?

2) I think a younger demographic of Americans will continue to watch more international soccer leagues and competition (EPL, La Liga, Champions League, etc.), and by virtue of that, those property rights will become even more valuable to the networks and advertisers.

3) I’m continuing to keep an eye on the synergy that is starting to exist between some of those ‘national’ sports networks (FOX Sports 1, NBC Sports) and all of their ‘regional’ networks (FOX Sports regionals, Comcast SportsNet’s, etc.). From a talent perspective, there are some tremendous opportunities for the regional networks to be grooming the stars of the future for larger roles on their national networks, and I think we’re starting to see more and more communication and partnerships between national networks and regional networks when it comes to developing and then ultimately, sharing exceptional sports media talent.” – Matt Kramer, Vice President, Broadcasters/New Media Personalities at CSE

“We have to deliver more than reach through our athletes’ social media programs. In 2015, we will continue to find new ideas that drive deeper engagement, authenticity and influence for our partners.”- Steve Astephen, Managing Director, Action Sports/Olympics Division at Wasserman Media Group

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