In 2001, Brian Murphy founded Athletes First with partner David Dunn and currently serves as the firm’s President. As such, Brian is responsible for ensuring that the Athletes First experience is second to none in terms of negotiating, maintenance, marketing and charity work. During his tenure, Athletes First has grown into the most powerful independent football agency in the country. The Athletes First brand has become synonymous with family, loyalty, and the utmost care for our clients. Brian has helped negotiate the largest contract in NFL history on three separate occasions and numerous stunning veteran contracts in recent years. Brian was also instrumental in launching the annual Athletes First Classic, which has raised millions of dollars for Orangewood Children’s Foundation over the last decade.
Due to his commitment to charity, Brian received two recent “Man of the Year” awards from Project Access and the Thomas House. He is also actively involved in the Southern California Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization, serving as the Education Chair.
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- He left his job as a lawyer in Boston to be a sports agent… Jerry Maguire was filmed in his office
- He sacrificed everything to be a sports agent
- “I wanted to create a culture where we put athletes first”
- Their company started and was sued for their first five years…
- He kept signing players regardless… How? “When you have burdens, you have to try harder.”
- How to build a sports agency?
- “You can’t just hire great recruiters.”
- Hire the best people, best negotiators, best lawyers, MBAs, and own an exclusive training facility
- With players?
- “Make them be the best person and players that they can be.”
- “Give 100% of yourself to them.”
- It’s about so much more than the contracts of their players…
- Hire givers… People who care.
- “If you give and give and give… The universe will provide.”
- Negotiation – Working for an optimal result for both parties. You have to educate the player. Know the market. Define the optimal result.
- Know your goal
- Be more prepared than the opponent
- Don’t compare players to other players
- For the corporate person:
- Be 100% transparent
- Give the other side a reason to do the deal
- Take your ego out of it… “I have hired numerous agents that are better than me.”
- “Keep your stars and develop your young talent.”
- Todd France left CAA and joined Athletes First
- Be curious and CARE. Be part of a team.
- Sustained excellence =
- Great listening ability
- Know your people
- Have to continually get better
- Plan for the future by empowering others
- “Your job is to make the team happy.”
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