Often the perception of “Blacks in sports” does not create images of executive suites, ownership, or being the agent who drafts and crafts the contracts for multi-millionaire clients. However, there is a group of African American sports agents, who may be small in number, but are large in influence — due to the clients they represent.
Most of these agents are well qualified from an education perspective. They possess advanced degrees in business or law, and are able to multi-task in the operations of their firm. Like many Black business people they often build their businesses from the ground up, as opposed to being second or third generation owners. In today’s information intensive and globally connected society you need to be on top of your game to compete in this space. Areas of engagement include not just contract negotiation, but endorsement deals, multimedia and digital opportunities, television shows, clothing lines, advertising campaigns, and building the brand of the athlete.
According to an article by Jada F. Smith, eleven Black sports agents are creating superstars and paving a path for future legends. And for these agents, the field of play is not the gridiron, but the corporate skybox. Pictured is Bill Strickland, one of the most revered names in sports management, he is the founder and CEO of Blackwave Media Group, a multi-portfolio management company in entertainment, sports, marketing and online media. He was the first black agent to be listed as one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Sports” by The Sporting News, and he has been noted by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful African-Americans in Sports.
As we seek ways to build generational wealth imagine the power of connecting more Black athletes to these bonafide and highly qualified dealmakers. By operating behind the scenes, we can level the playing field and create new images of successful Blacks in sports.
What say you?