We Love Our Clients: TS Sports Management
Meet Thomas Sherzan, Iowa's sports agent. As founder of TS Sports Management, Sherzan has dared to do what few would think possible in a state without any major professional teams--build a full-service sports agency.
Read our Q&A with Thomas to learn how he mixes digital and traditional marketing to give potential clients and everyday sports fans a glimpse into the business side of sports.
Tell people a little about you and your business:
Since 2014, I have been a registered contract advisor through the National Football League Players Association. In simpler terms, I am an NFL sports agent. I assist athletes who are finished with college and wish to play football professionally in some capacity.
There is a long process which starts with recruiting clients to sign with you once they finish with college, and continues with talking to and negotiating with NFL teams in the hopes of getting a client drafted or signed with a team at the conclusion of the NFL draft.
The goal once a client signs with a team is to make sure they stick with the team, or in the event they are cut, to find another opportunity for them.
I am also a husband and a dad, and I live with my wife Kathleen and my son Elliot in Urbandale.
Can you describe TS Sports Management in a nutshell?
TS Sports Management is a sports agency that focuses on assisting and preparing athletes for playing football professionally. I primarily recruit athletes from colleges in Iowa and surrounding states, so my agency definitely has a “Midwest” feel.
My relationship with all my clients and potential clients is based on the integrity, trust, and teamwork. Thus, I take a relaxed, straightforward approach when recruiting potential clients and interacting with my current clients.
I tell my clients what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. If I was doing it any other way, I would not be doing my job.
Technology changes quickly, but how do you see the web and digital marketing influencing your business?
For a sports agent, an effective website and digital presence provides legitimacy to who you are and what you are trying to accomplish.
In today’s world, almost everyone looks to a website or social media to get information about a company or brand. I have a powerful tool to show to potential and currently clients through the website and blog.
You have a very active blog on your site. How has blogging helped with your marketing and overall reputation online?
To me, blogging provides an opportunity to discuss various issues in the sports agent industry and provide insight into an area in which a lot of people do not have a lot of knowledge.
A vast majority of people watch games and enjoy the “entertainment” side of sports, while the “business” side is sort of ancillary and unknown.
By blogging about the industry, I am able to show that I do have the knowledge and experience in my area, and I feel it gives some legitimacy to what I am doing and what I am trying to accomplish.
How do you find topics to blog about?
I try to create categories that people might not understand, but would find interesting to read about. Giving a “behind the scenes” look at the football agent industry is always a good topic, because it is not discussed often and it is the field in which I work.
I also have a “Understanding the Collective Bargaining Agreement” category that I use, which discusses some finer points of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and the league. I have a legal background, so I do have experience in contract negotiation and interpretation.
What’s an average day like for you? How much time do you spend working with clients or doing sales versus digital marketing?
There really is not an “average day,” which makes the job so interesting and challenging at the same time. It really depends on the time of the year.
For example, for most of April, I have been contacting various NFL teams and personnel about my clients through calls and email. The month before, in March, I was as attending client “Pro Days” at their college.
During the fall and college football season, I am calling, recruiting, and meeting potential clients in hopes they will sign with me once their season is over.
When I am in the office, I also have to find time to maintain and update my website, post interesting topics to my social media accounts, and write content for my blog. Overall, there is a lot of variability depending on the time period.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned while in business?
The importance of persistence and ability to hear the word “no.” There are certain days where it just seems all I am doing is either making phone calls or sending countless emails to teams.
In reality, being a sports agent is very similar to a sales position, except instead of selling a product, you are selling yourself and your service.