[quote style=”boxed”]I would recommend “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. “Unbroken” is based on a true story and paints a compelling portrait of the incomparable strength of the human spirit. The book will serve to inspire and motivate you in your daily life.[/quote]
Eugene T. Lee, Esq., is president of ETL Associates, Inc., an up and coming agency in the NFL player representation industry. When Academy Award nominee Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”) was hired to direct an ESPN Films documentary (“The Dotted Line”) about the inside world of sports agents, he chose Eugene T. Lee, Esq. as the NFL agent to be featured. Why? Eugene is quickly making a name for himself as a premier NFL sports agent, and in the words of Spurlock, many expect him to be the next “powerhouse” agent. Nothing has ever been handed to Eugene, who picked up his first sports client while playing pickup basketball in law school at Notre Dame. Eugene is known for never compromising his principles to get ahead. Although the movie will capture what really goes on behind closed doors as Eugene helps his clients navigate the minefield that is professional sports, Eugene’s dynamic and diligent approach to his profession endures beyond the film. In an industry known for its greed, scandals and ruthlessness, Eugene has been able to maintain a sense of integrity and draw strength from his faith while swimming with sharks.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, we are entering the home stretch of recruiting and signing players for next year. We are also in the middle of pitching an NFL-based reality television project to various networks through our sports entertainment division. We are working on some co-branding sponsorships deals for our company and clients with a sport supplement company and a performance sports apparel company. We will also be hosting a Monday Night Football event for one of our clients, Brian Witherspoon (CB/KR, #29, New York Giants) in NYC on November 28th. Finally, I am hosting my own internet radio show called “Enter The League” on the Voice America Sports network.
What does your typical day look like?
I wake up, drink my coffee and head straight to the gym for my morning workout (mixture of cardio and strength training). After my workout, I head to the office, where I review the NFL transaction wire, team injury reports and breaking news and send marketing e-mails and make marketing calls for our free agent clients. My typical day is spent working on potential endorsement and media placements for clients, reviewing the provisions of the new CBA, making recruiting calls to players and parents and fine-tuning our upcoming NFL-based reality television show treatment.
3 trends that excite you?
- The expansive growth and reach of social media;
- The integrative approach to building a company’s brand (mobile application, web site and YouTube account); and
- More and more NFL players coming to the realization that bigger is not necessarily better in terms of agency size (including client lists).
How do you bring ideas to life?
I believe that bringing an idea to life starts with memorializing the idea in a concrete, meaningful format. This starts by outlining and describing the concept on paper. Once the concept is in place, the next step is to outline strategy and chronological steps for implementing the idea. Allocating time and resources at this stage is key. As the idea begins to take shape, the most important step is to follow through and see the idea to fruition through persistence, diligence and hard work.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by God, my wife and my family. Selfless giving and unconditional love are precious qualities and I find myself fueled by my faith and the unwavering support of my wife and family each and every day.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
I made a mistake last year of failing to separate the business aspect of player representation from my own innate trust of people. For years, we did not require our draft-eligible players to sign an expense reimbursement contract if they were to leave our agency before we negotiated their first NFL player contract. This had never happened before and I never thought it would happen to us. As “The Dotted Line” showed, there is a first time for everything and you need to always prepare for an absolute worst-case scenario. I am an Eagle Scout and the old Boy Scout adage applies – always be prepared.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Last month, we became the first NFL agency to develop its own mobile application (ETL’s Play On Sunday – available on iTunes and Android Market). If you’re looking to build your brand (company or personal), a mobile application will tie in very nicely with your existing online presence and help deepen your reach and exposure.
What do you read every day, and why?
I make an effort to read my daily devotions and the Bible each day. I find that scripture helps give me perspective and allows me to approach each day with a Christian outlook in my professional and personal interactions.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
I would recommend “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. “Unbroken” is based on a true story and paints a compelling portrait of the incomparable strength of the human spirit. The book will serve to inspire and motivate you in your daily life.
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
I am a huge fan of my iPad and my Documents To Go app. Documents To Go allows you to sync your iPad to your Microsoft Office documents (on your computer) so you can work on documents while you travel without having to bring your laptop.
Three people we should follow on Twitter, and why?
I would follow @SergioBrown31, @Spoony29 and @EdMcgee16 because they are three of the most interesting and dynamic personalities in the NFL (in addition to being clients of our agency).
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
I would love to see Gretel Going interviewed on IdeaMensch. Gretel is one of the owners of Channel V Media – the visionary multi-media branding company that helped us develop our mobile application.
When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it.
I laughed out loud earlier this morning on a flight back to NYC from a recruiting trip to Ohio. My associate had downloaded an app on his iPad called Face Switch (where you can mix and match features of random people). Some of the doctored headshots were hilarious!
What separates your agency from other NFL agencies?
We offer our clients the “best of both worlds” so to speak where our clients can enjoy access to the same facilities, resources and expertise found at the largest corporate agencies while also enjoying the authentic client-focused, personalized attention that has become a hallmark of ETL representation.
What is your favorite, most inspirational quote?
My favorite quote is from Henry David Thoreau – “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Twitter: @EugeneTLee and @ETLAssociates
Facebook: Eugene Lee and ETL Associates, Inc.
Voice America Sports Network:
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.