Favourite franchise/team/ athlete/brand in sport? I would say SEC Football. Not necessarily because I root for the teams, but because of the way that all the teams from those conferences have established a winning tradition and a system that has created not only phenomenal profits but has created incredible programmes and continues to absolutely dominate their sport like no other sport in the world. There’s no conference or division of any sport on any level in the world that wins as consistently as SEC Football.
Entrepreneur, and sports and entertainment attorney Age: 26 Location: New Jersey, USA Education: Double majored at Rutgers University before earning a law degree from Rutgers Law School.
What his nominators said about him: “Jason is far and away one of the most influential people I have met in the industry. I have learned an innumerable number of lessons in the short time that I’ve known him.”
ltra-connected agent Jason Belzer signed his first client at the tender age of 20. The Rutgers law graduate has already co-founded his own company, CSA, which consults top-level college athletic departments on compliance and student-athlete welfare, come to run another, Global Athlete Management Enterprises, and been asked back to Rutgers as an adjunct professor. Belzer is the executive director of the Jewish Coaches Association.
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Landmark moment of your career so far? From a landmark perspective, I think it’s something that repeats itself every year at the end of the College Insider Postseason Tournament, the CIT, that I run. You go through three weeks of craziness to see the final team coming down the nets during the championship game and see the kids up on the ladder crying in happiness for what they’ve achieved. That’s why I’m in the business – to create, not only an incredible event that’s based around sports, but also to provide these types of moments for people to experience. Sports industry idol? It’s more from the entertainment perspective as an agent, but I would say Jerry Weintraub. Because Jerry is another kid from Brooklyn who basically started from nothing with no connections to the entertainment business and was able to hustle his way to the very, very top. It shows that you don’t have to have any kind of resources or relationships or connections, there’s nothing you can’t do yourself, can’t build it out yourself.
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time? The loaded question! I think I see myself out of running my own company and maybe moving into working for another organisation or leading a major player in the college sporting world, whether that’s as a conference commissioner or the head of a larger agency that oversees various aspects of college sports. One piece of advice for someone looking to start out in the industry? In the sport business, or in any industry, nothing prevents you from walking into a room and acting like you have already achieved something in your career, no matter how young you are. And so it’s all about the way you carry yourself and present yourself to people, because you can convince anyone of anything if you know what you’re talking about. iPhone, Blackberry, or Android? iPhone. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or FourSquare? Twitter. Moët or Bud? Neither. Patrón (tequila). One particular line you use to close a deal? I’ve actually used this line from one of my very first sales and I’ve used it since, I tell people, ‘Right now you’re making 100 per cent of nothing, and I’m willing to make you 80 per cent of something. Unless you have money growing on a tree, you can’t afford to say no.’