Combining sports management and branding with support from the LGBTQIA + community

If you ask a room full of high school students whether they prefer to be professional athletes or athletic agents, chances are high that most students will answer first. This is not very surprising when you consider the near-instant fame and money that a professional sports star provides and the benefits these benefits can bring to others.

Many people may not realize that the same amount of benefit – if not more – can be done to the representative part of the professional sports industry.

From school to pitching

When I was at the University of Miami Law School in the late 1980s, the college football team dominated the NCAA and won national championships. Needless to say, the best NFL players have been all over our campus.

Since we went to law school and didn’t pursue a career as an athlete, a good friend and I thought it would be a great idea to become agents and represent some of these promising players. It seemed like it would be a very attractive and potentially incredibly profitable way to use my law degree.

However, as many young aspiring entrepreneurs are finding out, responsibility took over at the time. Instead of starting this entrepreneurial venture, my buddy and I got jobs at large law firms to start making a living, which forced us to temporarily abandon our dream.

But after years of working 60-70 + hours a week to make other people money, my friend and I decided it was time to pursue that dream. So we left our firms, hung up the pebbles and started recruiting footballers. At the time, we did this by going to college matches, waiting outside the stadiums, finding parents with the player numbers we were targeting, and doing our presentation.

The thing is, it really worked!

Soon, my friend and I parted ways, introducing several NFL drafts in the 1st round and creating a great agency. After a few years, I personally decided to add baseball to my sports management business, and my partner and I went our separate ways.

Soon after, I hired a former University of Florida baseball player, and we started recruiting baseball players together. He came in with a couple of clients under his belt, one of whom was David Ross (current Chicago Cubs manager), whom we have represented throughout his career.

My business partner and I have been doing this for over 20 years as sports agents for baseball players and together we have created a successful agency. What I didn’t realize during my career in sports management was how important my experience and lessons learned in this industry would be. It gave me the opportunity to influence other people, companies and industries, like the sports philanthropists I mentioned at the beginning of this article.

Family always comes first

How many times have you heard someone say, “Nothing worthwhile is easy”? We were taught from childhood that we can achieve anything, but it’s best to be willing to work hard, stay focused, and stay true to our goal even in the face of fear and failure.

Failure is one of the most valuable teachers you will ever have, because it is through failure that we learn how to succeed. I think no one is afraid of success. Rather, they fear the possibility of failure on the road to success. Success takes time and usually isn’t instantaneous.

These are the lessons that I have always tried to impress my children with while they were growing up. As busy as I have always been, I made it my mission to put my family first and do everything in my power to spend as much time with them as possible.

I think they always knew how much I worked to build my business and really appreciated the time I spent for them despite my crazy schedule. I knew that one day it would all pay off as they grow up, have a career, and start families of their own.

About three years ago, I decided it was time to try to teach my sons, now adults, my business experience, and try to start a business with them. This plan was originally developed with my eldest, Jordin, who is transgender. After much research, we decided we wanted to get into the CBD industry.

We both believed that with a great line of CBD products, we could build a business that helps people. We eventually founded Ziggy’s Naturals, which has since become a recognized and highly respected national CBD company. Since our inception, my other son Jake has joined the business, and now we are all working together to develop our brand.

During our first few years in the business, Jordin, Jake, and I came to see how our products are helping to support so many members of the LGBTQIA + community. We have received so much feedback from our clients in this community that it has helped shape our mission to help people who identify as LGBTQIA +.

We also supported various LGBTQIA + programs across the country and lobbied for LGBTQIA + rights. As a transgender-owned business, we feel like we must do our best to support the community, and having that support coming back to us and our brand has been a very rewarding experience for all of us.

Starting any new venture is inherently daunting, with the potential for failure, but in the years since I left my law job after graduating from college, I have realized the importance of never letting my family suffer from “Because I’m too busy.” It turned out that being with my family and my sons as a father and co-founder of a family business based on the principles of LGBTQIA + only helped me even more to put my family first.

Combining sports management with LGBTQIA + brand engagement

Shortly after we founded Ziggy’s Naturals, I noticed one very important similarity between Ziggy’s Naturals and my sports management agency: both areas very much competitive!

The difference is that although there are a significant number of agents in the sports business, there are not many athletes. While there are many competitors in the CBD space as well, there is almost endless potential to attract more customers.

In the sports business, I realized that in order to be successful, I have to be different. I had to get better, provide better service, treat each client as if they were my only client, and always let them know how important they were. I knew that if we applied the same principles at Ziggy’s, we couldn’t fail.

We know that in order for our customers to feel included in our brand messaging, Ziggy needs members of the LGBTQIA + community to be part of that messaging. When Jordin, Jake, and I discussed how to bring more members of this community to our brand story, we agreed that LGBTQIA + athletes are naturally fit for us because of the many physical and physiological benefits CBD can have for humans. who train hard and work at a high level to maintain their overall fitness. It was a great crossover for me thanks to years of experience working with athletes.

When I created Ziggy’s Naturals with Jordin and Jake, I convinced them of the importance of treating each of our customers, partners and brand representatives like family. By providing them with the best service, offering the best product, always being available and responsive, we can show our clients how important they are to our company and its mission. Thus, we treat everyone like a family. This, in turn, translates into high customer retention and re-business – two things that are critical in almost all industries, but especially CBD!

Final thoughts

For us, the core philosophy of Ziggy’s Naturals is inclusiveness. This means not only a walk, but a conversation. As promoting diversity, fairness, and inclusion has become a more pressing topic for businesses around the world in recent years, one benefit that my son Jordin taught me personally is that the best way to support the LGBTQIA + community is to simply be a part of it. from this.

Speak up and support LGBTQIA + rights. Provide clear, inclusive messaging and branding. Let the LGBTQIA + community know that they are not only welcomebut what are they wanted to… For any brand that wants to be more inclusive, this is where you can bring the most value to both your company and your customers.

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