Often referred to as the "real-life Jerry Maguire", Leigh Steinberg is the pre-eminent sports agent and sports attorney in the nation. Leigh has represented the Number 1 pick in the NFL draft a record eight times, in addition to representing over 60 other first round draft picks in the NFL. During his extensive career, his esteemed client list has included hundreds of premier professional athletes in football, baseball, basketball, golf, boxing, volleyball, and Olympic sports including Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, Kordell Stewart, Ben Roethlisberger, Ricky Williams, Howie Long, Eric Karros, Dusty Baker, Lennox Lewis, Oscar de la Hoya and John Starks.
Steinberg pioneered the convergence of the sports and entertainment industries, and is credited as the real life inspiration of the sports agent "Jerry Maguire" from the Cameron Crowe film of the same name. He is frequently sought out as a consultant on tv and film projects, most notably "For Love of the Game," "Any Given Sunday" as well as the HBO series "Arli$$". His new endeavor, Steinberg Sports and Entertainment, is poised to become a premier full service boutique agency spanning the vast market of athlete representation as well as promoting several platforms such as sustainability, league and team development, concussion research, youth sports and family development, and philanthropy.
Steinberg has distinguished himself within his profession by encouraging athletes to make a positive contribution to society and his holistic approach to representation makes him one of the most sought after industry figures. Steinberg insists every player negotiated contract include "give-back" clauses that require the athlete to retrace their roots and contribute to their hometown, high school, university or national charities and foundations. Leigh challenges his players to find a cause they feel passionate about and to be the change that they would like to see in that cause. According to Steinberg, these programs allow athletes to develop their character and leadership skills while functioning as positive role models. Steinberg's clients, as a result, have donated over $600 million to hundreds of charities and scholarships nationwide.
Steinberg's holistic approach to representation makes him one of the most sought after figures in the industry. He has been rated the #6 Most Powerful Person in the NFL according to "Football Digest," the #16 Most Powerful Person in Sports according to "Sporting News," and was recently named the #9 Most Powerful NFL Agent according to the "Bleacher Report". He instills the belief in his clients that a career in sports is just the foundation from which their secondary careers and charitable contributions can grow.
Steinberg also contributes his time and efforts to a variety of humanitarian causes. He has actively been involved with the Human Relations Commission, Children Now, Children's Miracle Network, CORO Fellows Program and the Starlight Foundation. He founded and underwrites the Steinberg Leadership Institute, a nationwide program run by the Anti-Defamation League preparing students to fight racism and inequality throughout the world. He has donated time and resources to organizations such as Special Olympics, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and Junior Achievement.
An accomplished speaker, Steinberg has traveled the world addressing topics he is passionate about ranging from sports and entertainment, concussion prevention, the environment, to political and economic issues.
The Business of Sports
The sports industry is always growing and changing. Fully understanding the current landscape and how we have gotten there is essential to generate future success. Leigh will explain the current landscape while sharing anecdotes and stories from his illustrious career.
Leigh has over 40 years of unrivaled success in the sports industry. This speech starts with an account of how he got his start and what sets him apart from his peers. His father’s core values of cherishing relationships, especially family, and making a positive impact in the world and help people who can’t help themselves have pushed him to success. Leigh encourages his clients to serve as role models and retrace roots to high school, collegiate and professional communities establishing programs, scholarships and foundations to make a meaningful difference in the world.
Leigh also discusses the field of agentry and, more generally, sports, and how it has grown and evolved. The growth of TV has triggered higher fees, which has led to skyrocketing revenues and increased marketing. He discusses the entrepreneurial opportunities that this growth has created and how to capitalize on those opportunities. An examples of his own success is his role as a creative consultant for sports motion pictures. Leigh’s involvement in the movies Jerry McGuire, Any Given Sunday, and For the Love of the Game. Leigh shares anecdotes and lessons from involvement in these projects that are equal parts entertaining and informative.
Leigh will also address the most commonly asked questions to agents while providing personal anecdotes and experiences throughout his career as the greatest agent of all time, representing 62 1st Rd NFL Draft Picks, including 8 first picks overall and 8 players in Pro Football Hall of Fame. Listeners get a first hand account of how to succeed in sports from someone who has been shaping the industry for decades.
Shaping Future Leaders
Being able to separate yourself from the pack is an essential skill in sports that every young person should know and understand. Leigh gives specific advice on career exploration, skill development, how to obtain a job in the sports industry, and how to succeed in it.
There are more hurdles and obstacles to enter into the sports industry than ever before. In this talk, Leigh discusses these obstacles and offers unique insight on how to navigate and overcome them. He reflects on his early career and discusses the current landscape of the sports industry and where the opportunities for careers are. This includes working for leagues, teams, conferences, broadcasting, and many more.
Leigh arms listeners with the tools to be able to develop the proper skills that help differentiate people in this hyper-competitive industry. He also discusses the most important skill of all; Listening. Careful listening enables you to understand someone’s deepest anxieties and wildest dreams. Only then can you fully serve client and properly help them reach their full potential.
With those tools, he coaches listeners on how to separate themselves and execute on opportunities when they become available. The goals are to be unique and to avoid being just another resume in a never ending stack. Leigh provides insight on how to obtain an internship and how to actually succeed as an intern. He teaches how to get in the head of your supervisor and how to become irreplaceable to them. Leigh gives actual practical advice when most schools and courses are only lecturing on theory and principles. Listeners come away with a much deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, and a plan of attack to follow their passions in sports.
The Art of Negotiating
Negotiating is about introspection, preparation, and getting into the heart and mind of your counterpart in order to obtain a win-win result. Leigh teaches his skills and tactics on how to successfully negotiate in all aspects of life.
All of life involves negotiation. Whether it is buying a home or just deciding where to get dinner, negotiating is integrated into our daily lives. Parents negotiate with kids, husbands and wives negotiate, and we negotiate on behalf of our clients. Without the proper road map, negotiating can be an intimidating and sometimes daunting task. In this speech, Leigh reflects on his vast experience negotiating deals for his 300+ pro athlete clients and successfully securing over $3 billion for them. While discussing many of the principles from Leigh’s best selling book on non-confrontational negotiation, Winning with Integrity, Leigh gives a personalized step-by-step plan to preparing for, executing, and closing a successful negotiation in any field of business
These steps include identifying your own goals and diligent research. Mastering the industry trends, the economics of the business, and even the trends, tactics, and goals of the individuals you will be negotiating with will result in a much more successful negotiation. The key is being able to get yourself into the heart and mind of your counterpart to truly understand their mindset and position. Leigh also discusses the need to establish a paradigm of cooperation, understand timing, and preserve the dignity and reputation of the other side.
A mock negotiation exercise is also available. This allows for a more hands-on approach to learning. Through this exercise, Leigh’s method can be put into action in order to identify one’s own weaknesses in negotiating. This enables listeners to learn about themselves and how they react in a practical negotiation situation. This all leads to personal growth and the development of new skills that can be brought back and implemented in any industry immediately.
Making a Difference
It is possible for one person to make an impact in the world and to truly help people. Leigh is living proof of that. He gives insight on exactly how he was able to facilitate over $1 billion dollars to charities around the world and what kinds of things you can do to make a difference.
One person can make a big difference in the world, and Leigh is going to teach the listeners of this talk how they can do it. Throughout his career, Leigh has played an instrumental role in creating and facilitating more than $1 billion to various charities around the world. He has a true passion for giving to those less fortunate and he is on an endless campaign to make our world a better place.
He has received commendations from Congress, State Senate, State Legislature, the Los Angeles City Council, the Orange County Board of Supervisors, President Reagan, President Bush and President Clinton. Leigh has been named Man of the Year over a dozen times by a variety of groups including the March of Dimes, Cedars-Sinai, the Southern California Boy, Scouts, the Orange County and Los Angeles Human Relations Commissions, the Orange County and Los Angeles divisions of the Anti-Defamation League, Junior Achievement, and several other professional and charitable organizations.
Leigh’s father had two core values. The first is to treasure relationships, especially family, and the second is to make a positive impact in the world and help people who can’t help themselves. For Leigh, representation of professional athletes willing to serve as role models has enabled him to retrace their roots to high school, collegiate and professional communities and establish programs, scholarships and foundations to make a meaningful difference in the world. Leigh provides details on several of the specific programs that he constructed and created with his clients. Through branding and marketing any philanthropic cause and initiative can be successful and make a real change in the world. Leigh teaches how to stimulate community involvement and to use influence to dramatize a cause and help them thrive through events, fundraising, and many other methods.
There is always hope for recovery. Maintaining optimism and focus can lead to a total personal transformation. Leigh’s own account of his comeback inspires and gives a detailed roadmap to people on their own roads to recovery.
Leigh has had a first-hand account of how addiction can tear down someone’s life. After his own personal crash, Leigh has turned his life around. Now, on his 8th year of sobriety, he is on a mission to help as many people as he can get out of the grips of addiction.
In this talk Leigh describes his own personal downfall and all of the factors that pushed him towards alcohol including his marriage ending and his father passing away. He then details how he was able to pull himself out of it, work through the wreckage, and rebuild his life. For Leigh, focusing solely on sobriety and being a good parent enabled him to be able to get sober, restart his practice, and repair his personal relationships. For others, the focuses will be different, but the method will be the same. Identifying and focusing only on your core values and working day by day to rebuild will slowly result in sustainable success and sobriety.
During this talk Leigh explains all of the learning experiences and challenges he encountered on his road to recovery. Through these experiences, he provides advice on how listeners get through their own personal roadblocks in order to fully recover rebuild their lives. Leigh makes specific suggestions of organizations and methods available to assist anyone in recovery. The personal story of someone who was on top of the world, needing to fight back to regain his relationships and his livelihood inspires listeners as they face their own personal journeys to recovery.
Founding Director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation (CSLi) at the University of Texas
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