Recently when reading that the Creative Artists Agency (“CAA”) closed $5 billion in deals just for sports, it came to mind the principles behind driving success in business. Specifically, in the entertainment, media, and sports space, what makes an agency, law firm, or manager successfully powerful?
In the service industry, the start line and marathon endurance required run and maintain a successful business starts with great clientele. The professional provides the servicing needed to the client. The client provides the talent, consistency, and delivery. From the client’s hard work comes the fanfare, industry recognition, and pay day. Without great clients, there is nothing.
The power of a successful agency, law firm, or manager is in packaging clients with other clients and talent, products, brands, and/or ideas. In today’s age, we have basketball star LeBron James producing content off the court, football legend Tom Brady pushing the Religion of Sports with retired professional sacker Michael Strahan. Kevin Durant is producing and appearing on his own podcast. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is both a WWE and Hollywood movie star. Many athletes like Serena and Venus Williams own and run clothing lines and professional sports franchises alike.
On the entertainment and media side, the same packaging is all important. It is connecting talent with studios, ideas, advertisements, and basically good content that keeps your client motivated, excited, and sells to the consumer. In the end, the clientele today are all the more flexible, multi-faceted, and, well, talented. With a demand for new content delivered immediately, athletes and actors must perform on and off the court and stage constantly expanding their horizons.
Being an agent, attorney, or manager, requires that the vision be there to connect clientele with other people, things, and ideas. Obviously, the greater clientele available the easier it would be to connect.
Resources to recruit, retain, and deliver clients and services. An agent will talk about the pitch. An attorney will talk about the importance of the client interview. A manager will talk about vision and connectors. Resources could be money or contacts. In California, guided by the Talent Agencies Act, Rules of Professional Conduct, the Miller-Ayala Act, Guild rules, business codes, and players unions, service providers are in competition to land the best clients and to deliver services. Money to travel and contacts help to deliver those services.
Green Bay Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said it best, “They are able to connect the dots better than any representation I’ve ever had” referring to his current agency. Relationships are listed last in this article, but they are the most important. The ability to make them, keep them, and utilize them genuinely. Relationships are the driver to meeting clientele, keeping clientele, packaging with other clientele, products, brands, studios, content, and ideas, and producing and generating resources.
In summation, the four R’s of driving success comes down to getting referrals, maintaining great relationships, keeping a wonderful reputation, and taking seriously the representation of your current client’s success as serious if not more than your own success.