What can Worldwide Career Management do for you?
Becoming a professional athlete is something that almost everyone dreams about at some point in their youth. The hype, money, and fame involved with this industry is greater than ever before. Many young men and women entering the sports world come from much humbler beginnings where making it to the professional level can offer them the chance to lift up their families and provide for them. And while the money can be big and quick, it can be spent even bigger and go even quicker.
As injuries occur and careers wind down, many athletes begin to wish they had made wiser decisions earlier in their careers. The thrill of being an instant millionaire in your early twenties can have devastating effects on your sense of money. Having a trusted person or team looking after you can mean the difference between a few good years and a lifetime of financial security. That's where the team at Worldwide Career Management (WCM) come into the picture.
WCM is the complete package when it comes to representation. They are known for getting players the best possible exposure to job opportunities and going the extra mile for each of their clients, no matter what level they play at. The team at WCM is a passionate group that considers themselves to be more of a family than agency. The pride they take in their work is unmatched and certainly something you don't see in many other agencies.
The agency was founded by Brian Brundage, a man with over 20 years experience in building and managing successful businesses in multiple industries. In that time, he's learned exactly what it takes to put together a business that is sure to succeed. Brian is a whole story to himself, we could do an entire piece on him and I hope to write that article one day soon.
For this article, I contacted the team at WCM to give us an inside look at the business side of sports. While most people only see and think about their team's game day, this agency is working tirelessly behinds the scene to make sure their players get the opportunity to entertain those crowds, make highlights for ESPN, and earn a paycheck to support their families. The area of sports management and representation is something highly overlooked and undervalued.
Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. Just to give those that haven't heard of the company before, what is Worldwide Career Management and what services do they offer athletes?
WCM is a full service management firm specializing in the marketing and branding of all professionals and athletics. At WCM, we offer elite management to our clients, with an unmatched level of personal service. We specialize in professional athletes and reality TV concepts and production.
WCM and its skillful team of advisors expertly manage contract negotiations, marketing, endorsements and public relations. Additionally, we offer financial planning, money management, tax planning, insurance needs and a variety of legal services.
WCM's unique approach to representation ensures a personal and exclusive relationship with each of our clients. Our focus is on the business and personal aspects of their lives while offering career management and attentiveness to post career challenges. Our goal is to have our clients and athletes set up, enjoying and making money in their 'LAB' (Life After Ball) future well before their playing career is ending.
Let's give people a quick background on WCM. When was the company founded?
Our company was founded approximately three years ago. In the past year and a half we've made significant gains and our foothold in industry has been solidified. Our agency already represents athletes within some of the world's most recognized sports organizations including the New York Yankees and New York Knicks.
There seems to be a fantastic mix of talent on display with your clients. You've got a variety of sports covered from football to basketball, even a bit of boxing! Is there a specialty area within WCM or can any athlete from any sport be represented by you?
We have a really solid team working for WCM which allows us to offer our services to the broad range of sports and entertainment clients. We actually see a huge cross-over value in being involved in all of the different sports from a marketing and networking stand point. We have positioned ourselves as the agency that marketers can turn to for everything they are looking for in their marketing partnerships and endorsement contracts. At the same time, the sports industry is a very inter-connected business so it's convenient to have connections across the sports spectrum.
A player comes to you and wants to be represented by Worldwide Career Management, what's the process that occurs with you from there?
There are a number of things that we look at when it comes to representation:
1. One of the more obvious questions to answer for our agency is: Can our agency help this person? Any time we take on a client, we want to be sure that our resources are able to provide the opportunities that our clients expect and deserve.
2. We also look at the person character. We only want to work with clients that share our hard work attitude and dedication to their career. We are looking for those people that show up early to practice, stay the extra hour after practice ends to keep working on their game, and have a positive attitude each and every day. This industry is highly competitive and this type of mentality can go a long way.
Once we decide to bring the person on as a client we get to work immediately. We get our clients set up in our system and the WCM Team gets to work. Our web team starts building the website, our marketing team designs their social media and promotional items, our graphics team gets to work on artwork, our trainers set them up on proper diet and exercise programs, our admin team makes sure all their paperwork is in order, and our placement team begins promoting them to our connections all over the world. We've got a team of 25+ working to make sure each client is covered from all angles.
Why choose WCM? What do you guys to better than everyone else?
There are a lot of agencies out there that have better name recognition (for the time being) and have big name agents working for them. Athletes may get to meet those big name agents when they sign but a lot of times those agents become hard to reach once the representation agreement is signed.
We see ourselves as a family and our agents are accessible around the clock. We have a strong desire to make sure our clients are presented with the opportunities that they deserve and go above and beyond to make sure they are. We chase opportunities for our clients that often go unexplored by other agencies. Ask any of our clients about their experience with us and we are confident they will tell you that we are unlike any other agency they've ever been with or ever heard of and we aim to keep it that way.
Now I know for a fact that the team are so thorough with their work. Lorenzo Tobin from Client Services is a friend of mine and takes extreme pride in his work. Are these qualities distilled across the whole organisation?
We are fortunate to have a strong team of hard working individuals that are good at what they do. We have a strong belief that people will work harder and do a better job for something they truly enjoy. We see that to be true every day we come into the office. The great thing about this agency is we see the results of our efforts each day when we can present a client with a playing contract or endorsement deal.
You represent a lot of different players from different walks of life and different skill sets. Is service customised for each individual or is it a one size fits all approach when it comes to promotion?
There is never going to be a cookie cutter approach to the way we approach our clients. Each client is different. They all come from different upbringings, different schools, different levels of professional experience and have different goals. We always try to take into account all of these factors when putting together our plan for our clients. It's the only way to make sure we do our jobs effectively.
It is obvious that each client is treated with the same level of support but is there one player or athlete that has been a huge standout success story since being represented by WCM that you are extra pleased with?
WCM athletes have been fortunate to have a lot of great success stories. I'll give you an example of one of our most recent client success stories: Dean Anna. Dean spent the last 5 years playing infielder for the San Diego Padres organization, working his way up their minor league system. He had his breakout season in 2013 where he was the Player of the Year and Hitter of the Year with a .331 batting average. He was also selected as an All-Star at mid-season and in the post-season. Following his season, he went to the Dominican Republic for winter ball. Once he returned back to the US to start preparing for spring training, he got the call that he had been traded to the New York Yankees as part of their 40-man roster.
These are the success stories we love being part of and look forward to going into each day.
Good news is always welcome to an athlete. How would you describe the feeling of going to a client with some exciting news or a new opportunity?
It's always a great feeling to deliver the good news. A lot of our team got into this business specifically because they wanted to help young people achieve their goals and that is exactly what we are helping to do. What I actually feel is one of the cooler things is that even after our player has the contract and is playing with their team, the WCM team is just as excited to watch our clients succeed in those positions. Our staff members tend to be one of the first congratulatory calls or texts to a client following their games. Some of our staff will even stay up late or set an alarm to catch a client play their games in Japan, Taiwan, or other overseas locale.
You are now representing coaches within WCM. This is a pretty big addition to the services list, has there been a huge take up from coaches wanting promotion?
Many coaches are represented by agencies just like the players. There are so many leagues out there across the globe that it would be too tough for an individual to explore all of the opportunities and find a coaching job that matched their coaching profile. Since our agency is already connected with those teams, it made sense for us to also offer those teams coaching options. This is just another way for us to connect with these teams.
If anyone is interested in finding out more about the WCM services how can they get in contact with you guys?
You can find us at our website: www.WorldwideCareerManagement.com
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
And connect with us on social media:
Article and interview by Nathaniel Dedman