Point Park Globe

Top sports and entertainment agents visit campus

Written By Meghan Macioce

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Two talent agents of the world’s top agency for sports and entertainment spoke to Point Park students about their experiences representing major league athletes.

The Pittsburgh Center for Sports Media and Marketing hosted Creative Artists Agency (CAA) sports television and marketing agents David Koonin and Matt Kramer in Student Center 701 on Feb. 22, where they shared their day-to-day duties with their clientele.

CAA consists of four departments: motion picture, sports, television and music. Within the departments, agents represent talent, brand, property, and owners in the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, FIFA, UFC and Broadcasting.

The agency represents several Pittsburgh athletes including Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin. T.J. Watt, Ryan Shazier and Bud Dupree. The duo also shared advice with students on how to get their foot in the sports industry.

“There’s a lot of different ways to be a sports media talent,” Koonin said while explaining how the CAA protects stadium logo rights, professional teams or players, and broadcast talent.

He also said not to wait to get an agent when achieving success as talent.

“Talent is the cherry on top,” Koonin said. “Get an agent as soon as you can.”

Kramer chimed in saying the best time to get an agent is when talent gets uncomfortable negotiating their salary.

The two continued by giving general advice on getting involved in the sports industry in any job field.

“Expect it to be tough and to update your resume everyday,” Koonin said.

Koonin graduated from the University of Georgia in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Telecommunication and went onto to complete his Master’s Degree in Sports Administration from Ohio University in 2015.

While at the University of Georgia, Koonin worked in the athletic department as a sports communication assistant where he would set up coaches meetings, write press releases, and help with live broadcasts on ESPN, CBS and Fox Sports. Coordinating other people’s wants and schedules helped Koonin succeed as an agent today.

“The sports world is vast with agencies, leagues, and networks,” Kramer said.

Kramer graduated from the University of Michigan in 2004 and worked for various NFL teams in public relations departments before finding his way to the CAA. His main focus is securing contracts for broadcasters, setting up endorsements, crossover opportunities and appearances.

The duo offered advice for current students and how they could improve their skills to make it in the industry.

“I wish people would’ve told me to not put so much pressure on myself in my professional life to make all the right job decisions,” Kramer said. “It’s going to take time to get to the level that you want to get too and with perseverance you can get there.”

CAA does take interns throughout the year and the two shared what sets the exceptional interns apart from the average ones.

“The interns who are organized, can speak the language and can anticipate what needs to be done from me for a client are the ones who will make it in this field,” Kramer said.

After the presentation, Aaron Becker, a sophomore Broadcast Reporting major reflected on the advice from the agents and what he will do with it in his professional career.

“There’s a lot of different platforms in sports media than I realized,” Becker said. “There’s a lot of possibilities to cross over and you never know who could be representing you or who you could end up representing.”

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