Branden Greenberg is an NFLPA certified Contract Advisor with Worldwide Sports Entertainment Collective. He is a graduate of The University of Alabama (magna cum laude) and a recent graduate of The University of Alabama School of Law. In his first year as an agent, Greenberg has signed five players to SRAs with multiple having positive draft outlooks. He is a rising star in the industry, and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to interview Branden during this busy pre-draft period.
SAB: What made you decide to take the leap and become a certified Contract Advisor?
BG: This has been a dream that has been a long time in the making. Like many of us in the industry, I played a lot of sports growing up. It was always just my thing. Loved the competition, loved the grind. Besides my playing days, I really started out being an absolute recruiting junkie in the college ranks. As an Alabama fan, Nick Saban escalated that for me. I was always drawn toward the business and professional side to recruiting. I consumed rankings and Hudle tapes on an hourly basis.
I saw some things as an intern and while in Law School that I thought were done very well. I also saw some huge untapped opportunities. I think the game needs new blood. At the end of the day, it’s a young person’s industry. Relationships and media should be the foundation for the future. No more guessing, we have the data, let’s put it to use.
As I got older and continued to excel in school/public speaking, I gravitated towards the Agent world. My Father and Grandfather are car salesmen. I figured if I could combine what I learned from them in sales with my knowledge from Law School I could really make a splash in this industry. Bottomline, I’m extremely grateful to be fulfilling a lifelong dream and goal. The opportunity is a blessing, really, and I’m hungry to take full advantage of it.
Tell us about your experience attempting to break into the industry?
This should be the question advertised to all young men and women embarking on the same journey I set sail for. Get used to “No”. Relish the “No”. This is an absolutely BRUTAL industry to make headway in. You see a lot of nepotism. You see a lot of incredibly qualified people never make it. You have to have the right mindset. You gotta be ready to feel like you’re coming up short at times. A lot of questioning of your worth. Wanting it is not enough. A traditional mindset has to be thrown out the window. Make-up excuses and opportunities to wind up in an agency’s city, and try your damndest to casually finesse a meeting. When you’ve called the same person five times in seven days; take heart in knowing I called them 14 times in that same amount of time. When you’ve sent 100 emails in one month; take heart in knowing I sent 100 but followed up with each person four times in that same timespan. Get ready to humble yourself. I like to think of myself as a starved, caged animal chomping at the lock to get out. I finally made it out. I plan to eat and eat often.
How was your first NFL Draft recruiting cycle?
I learned a lot in my first year. Being from the great state of Alabama and making it out of The University of Alabama with two degrees and a lot of connections, I thought I would have an easier time in my own backyard. I quickly realized that Rome was not built in a day. I stayed true to my southern network and hammered the areas I knew best. I made countless drives as far as my car would take me within a 10hr radius. Recruiting to me is all about how bad you want it and what kind of value you can bring to the table. I knew going in that I would lose way more than I would win. Boy was that true. But the wins I did have made everything worthwhile tenfold.
As a young agent in an ultra-competitive industry, how do you separate yourself from the super agents out there?
Throughout my journey, I think the most important thing I learned is that you have to bring VALUE to these guys’ lives. If you were certified by the PA then you were deemed quality enough to negotiate and handle contracts with the NFL. I love the dirty recruiting tactic, “Oh that kid; who is he? He has no experience. He can’t negotiate a contract.” I went to a top Law School. I passed my exam. I’ve done the grunt work in the past as an intern. I was made for this moment, but at the end of the day, we all do the same thing in that regard. So, if you are out there selling contracts, I think you are missing the point. You have to bring true original value. First, I can promise you no one wants it more. If you want doughnuts at 4 AM I’ll be waiting at the gym at 2:45 AM for you with coffee and a dozen. I’m not married. I don’t have kids. All of my minutes awake are spent concentrating on my guys. Second, I understand the value of technology and marketing. My firm specializes in a proprietary technology that taps into data and analytics to formulate the true dollar value of marketing. Third, I invest a lot of time in community outreach and get to know people. Ask any young man I recruited. I ask them all the same question, “What good is your fame if you can’t give back to the foundation that made you?” That is and will always be a priority of mine. Finally, I relate to these guys. I’m young and I was not supposed to make it this far. They are attempting to be the 1% of football players who play for the NFL shield. That’s a lifelong dream. Being an agent was mine. I know the long hours I spent to get here. The crafting and knowledge I consumed. The debt my family and I endured. This was a sacrifice. Just like them. If you want to stand out. Don’t be some old rich man. Be the guy fighting for his livelihood to make it just as every player does to make a 53.
What are your goals for the 2020 Draft?
Of course, I want all of my guys drafted. Realistically, I think all of them have shots to make teams. I think I’ll definitely have a draft pick. That was the goal day one. Have a draft pick your first year. I think it’s possible I could have two.
My biggest goal: Make sure my guys leave it all out there. No stone unturned. We truly gave it everything we had and we let the cards fall where they may. I plan to network like crazy at the combine. Really can’t wait.
Wow. Why? Short answer: They believed in me. They gave me a shot when it wasn’t a popular decision. Worldwide Sports Entertainment Collective is a first-year company that is a brain trust of several industry veterans that have had illustrious careers. They saw mistakes being made at large and came together to fix them as one. They incorporated data backed analytics to prove the precise dollar amount each player is worth in marketing and in playing contracts. No more guessing. The proof is in the pudding. You can’t argue with numbers. This company is set up for a massive future. I’m lucky to be a part of it. They treat each team member as equals and all opinions are valued. No one has a true title. We are a collective. No job is too small or too big for one person. In that regard, WSEC is like no other firm I’ve encountered.
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