28 Apr 2011
- Written by Carlee McCullough
Ranked in the top 10 of sports agents, Brothers is definitely about the business, and he comes from a spiritual place as well. This is the first of a two-part conversation.
Carlee McCullough: How did you get started in the sports and entertainment industry?
Raymond Brothers: I worked for this huge firm in New Orleans. On the weekends, I would go to the games and wanted to get into the sports business. So I ended up signing a couple of clients. After I left New Orleans, I went to work for a guy name Michael S. Ovitz, who had a sports and entertainment management firm in Beverly Hills. I worked with him at AMG. Once Ovitz sold his company, I started my own company. Since then, things have gone very well.
C.M.: What’s most rewarding about being at the helm of your own agency?
C.M.: What’s the most challenging part of having your own agency?
R.B.: I get really attached to my clients. I don’t look at it as a business and I take it personally. If some kid decides to put his career in my hands, it consumes me. I say it’s challenging because it consumes so much of my mind, heart and body. It really takes a lot out of me and I have to find some balance. And sometimes that’s very difficult to find balance with everyday life.
C.M.: What would you say are the two important personal qualities that are most responsible for your success?
R.B.: Those qualities originate from my parents. I grew up in Lafayette, La. My parents have been married for 44 years. My father always taught me the value of hard work. And my mother taught me the value in having God in my life, which involves integrity, trust and confidence. I combined what I learned from my mom and dad and put that into everyday life. Those two things have really been my focal points. By hard work and putting God first and through God, is the way I do business and that is very important.
C.M.: What is most unique about IAM Sports & Entertainment Agency?
R.B.: IAM refers to “I am who I am” which means Yahweh. We are definitely a God-first organization. We want to serve. I started IAM because I didn’t like being in the big agencies. I didn’t like clients being numbers. For example, it was all about the bottom line. Can you make money with this kid or that kid? That’s totally opposite of who I am. Sometimes a kid can start out very well in sports or whatever they’re doing. But that’s not the purpose that God has for their life. I look at it as a ministry to help figure out what direction they need to go. I try to help these kids achieve their goals whether it’s through sports or business. It’s more of a business with other guys and more personal with me.
C.M.: How does your firm compete against others, such as Wasserman, CAA, & IMG?
R.B.: I’m ranked in the top ten. I’ll tell you this and I’m not being arrogant. There’s a verse that says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I believe that. I don’t care who I’m going up against. Because I have a lot to offer from a personal, business and spiritual standpoint, I’m not intimidated or bothered by anything. What God has for me, no man can take from me, so I don’t look at them as competition. I look at wherever God leads me as what is going to happen.
C.M.: Years ago, we would hear about the likes of Bill Strickland, C. LaMont Smith and others. You’re very knowledgeable, extremely qualified, and dedicated to your clients. Today, how do we inform young athletes that agents like you are just as good, if not better, than your more noted counterparts?
R.B.: Unfortunately this business is really a small fraternity. You’ve got AAU coaches, tennis shoe companies and college coaches. They can know about me. They can read an article about me. They can go to my website and figure it out. But the bottom line is a lot of these college coaches and the people I just mentioned steer their kids to certain people. It’s about relationships. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t. But I do believe if they were better informed about the potential options for them, they would probably make different decisions. But I give credit and much thanks to Zach Randolph for giving me and my firm a chance and for believing in me. It made a difference.
(For additional information about IAM Sports and Entertainment Agency please visit http://iamsports-ent.com/.)