Wasserman represents Marshawn Lynch, Russell Westbrook, Mia Hamm, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, etc. COO & Vice President of Team Sports Jason Ranne shares about the importance of daily diligence & stoicism while providing an inside look into running a sports agency.
On today’s show, we are interviewing the chief operating officer and the vice president of team sports for one of America’s leading sports agencies and that agency is Wasserman quash them. That’s how you say it actually not, but we’ll keep going. You see, Wasserman represents the NFL star beast mode, Marshawn Lynch, NBA star, Russell Westbrook, the soccer star be a ham quarter for forming the NBA star, Draymond Green, NBA star, Klay Thompson and countless a list professional athletes. Ladies and gentlemen, get this. Today’s guest, Jason Rainey was a very good high school basketball player. Well, when will you tell us the rest of the store we had, he decided to walk on to the number one division one basketball program in the country at the time. Yes, my friends without an invitation, he decided to join the Arizona wildcats as a walk on. He was not offered a scholarship. He was not recruited to be there and yet he works tirelessly until he earned a full scholarship and yet the story gets better.
My main man, Jason Ranne went on to earn a full scholarship. Yes, but he was also named Co captain of a team during his senior year and on today’s show we talk about what it’s like to manage top level athletes, the importance of daily diligence, why there is no substitute for preparation and the value of having a stoic mindset. Why does it, gentlemen, all of this and more on today’s interview with Jason Ranne, the Coo and vice president of team sports for a little company that I like to call. Awesome. You’re saying it weird. Sorry. What? Queer. All of it or do you get off? I just don’t get why you’re saying it that way. Why I’m saying what quartz way? It’s cool. Just just forget it. I will. I will forget.
Yes, yes, yes and yes. Thrive nation. On today’s show, we have an incredible guest, Mister Jason Ranne
Welcome to the thrive time show. How are you sir?
Great. Thanks for having me.
Hey, I am very excited to introduce you to the thrive nation and I, I think some of the listeners out there might be familiar with, with you and what you do. Maybe many are not. Could you share with the listeners out there, uh, what your current day job is?
I’m the chief operating officer and executive vice president of a Wasserman’s talent representation practice. And that’s a sports agency. Um, we’re headquartered in Los Angeles, but a, we’re a global company, uh, with about 800 employees worldwide.
So Jason, the doctors here, if I wanted to make myself eligible for the 2019 NFL draft, could you be the guy that I would, I would contact
for you to handle your pallet level beyond the top players, top players.
And I know you’re not a name dropper, Jason, but I want to make sure the listeners understand the, the width and the depth of, of Wasserman. Could you explain some of the athletes or share the names of some of the athletes that you’re from proudly represents?
Sure. Uh, so we’re in every major sport in the NBA. We’re proud to represent some thunder players. Steven Adams, Russell Westbrook, as well as, um, some non thunder players around the league and Brooke Lopez, Robin Lopez, Derrick Rose Dematha. So bonus, um, we have a pretty good mix there and baseball are our superstars. Jose Ramirez, John Carlos, Stan, uh, you Darvish. Um, some pretty talented young kids and Nick Stenzel, Havi Baez, Nolan Arenado hockey, uh, Connor mcdavid, Austin Matthews, Roman Yossi and women’s sports. We also have a great client lists there, um, across a variety of Olympic sports. Hilary Knight and women’s hockey tour, a bright in snowboarding, um, on the basketball side. Sue Bird, Candace Parker, Diana Taurasi coaches. We were presenting. Luke Walton, Fred Hoiberg, golfers, Jason Day, Ricky Fowler, Tony fee now, um, NFL, Marshawn Lynch, Cameron, Jordan, um, some very top soccer players as well, both on the women’s and men’s side. Women’s, Alex Morgan, Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, uh, on the men’s side, um, retired players like Landon Donovan and, and, uh, existing players in London, us here as well. So
now I want to kind of bridge the gap between where you are now and where are you, where you started. I love this. I love to tell us, I’d like to share with the listeners how our guests started and where they were, their careers began. My understanding is you started off playing basketball in high school at to Bishop Kelly high school and I’d love to ask you on a scale of one to 10 with 10 being the best player in the world and a one being just terrible, 10 being the best, one being the worst, how good were you in in high school?
I would say I was above average. Um, I’m a scale of one to 10. I’d say I was a six or seven. Um, you know, I got recruited five few schools from bad d ones to good d threes and ultimately I’m blocked on at the University of Arizona. Uh, although I, I wasn’t there, you know, Primo selection for that year. I struggled my freshman year there, uh, basketball wise and um, was surrounded by some very, very talented players.
I’d love for you to share with us to go back to your glory days because I know every year since your high school career wrapped up, as you think back and you start to share with maybe your kids and family, you, you become probably better year by year and your mind, those are the high school. Yes. Jack, who is your best game in high school? Uh, that the best game you had?
Uh, I, I, my most memorable game was, I’m probably against bishop McGuinness. I think I was a senior that year and they were nationally ranked and they had some really a high level of recruits, Terrence Crawford and a couple of other players. Um, and my high school team, I still to this day are very close friends with all those players that competed with me. So when we, we played McGuinness that year, it was like the first time we had played a nationally ranked team, um, uh, at Kelly in a while and it was very competitive. I remember us coming out of the gates very strong and, and hanging with them until the fourth quarter. And at the end of the game we, uh, we wanted on a last second shot, passed it to a teammate named Matt Land, made a 15 footer. And then, um, I remember all the fans rushing the court at Kelly, which was the first time that had ever happened to me, which was pretty fun.
Awesome. Uh, walked on at Arizona, is that correct? You walked on in Arizona?
in Arizona at the time, I believe and correct me if I’m wrong, I think Arizona at the time was hovering between a top 10 and top 20 basketball program. Am I correct there?
My freshman year we were pre number one and we were definitely around the top 20 every year during my time.
Oh No. If you don’t like this question, if you hang up on me, but this is what I want to ask you. Come across as a really measured guy. Our mutual, a friend, a business conferences attendee and friend, Calvert speaks very highly of you. Uh, as I’ve Google stock you, it looks as though you’re a very, very sharp guy, measured guy. Did you lose your mind when you decided to walk on in a division one school that was the best in the United States? I mean, what were you thinking man, the odds were against you?
You know, for me, oftentimes in the moment, I don’t think through those kinds of
things. I can say that I was 100% intimidated.
My first practice, I still remember my first practice. They would do preseason, like individual workouts and they would do guards and wings and big sheet of a little group. And I remember my first practice, Richard Jefferson was a sophomore. Um, and maybe it was a junior, I can’t remember, but I had to match up with him. They would do this drill, they pass to the wing one on one and you’d have to have one or two dribbles and score. And Richard got the ball and I was defending him and he took one dribble to the elbow and elevated to shoot a jumper. And I remember his waste being at my eye level
when you’re shooting his jumper. And I remember thinking that after that day that like, okay, this is another level. I have a problem. It’s not professional basketball because I know that that person’s playing professional baseball and this person in me is not,.
Jason Ranne and my oldest son was like all state football. Did you struggle when you left Bishop Kelly? You were kind of the guy, you know, like my son was the guy, if we force core touched the dude, he was the guy and then he walked on at Oklahoma state and he quickly realized, wow, I’m not the guy. And it was a, it was more of an emotional struggle than it was physical to think, you know, he’d never sat on the bench. He had never, he would always been, you know, the leader and everything. And so dealing with that I think must’ve been a struggle for you.
Yeah, I, for me, I’ve never, um, I think, like I said, I pretty quickly realized that I wasn’t going to ever have a huge opportunity there, but it ultimately wasn’t the reason I, I went to University of Arizona wasn’t to become a professional player, be the guy. Um, I had a long history of my family. I was born in Tucson. Both my parents went there and my grandparents were there. So there was an interest to me go to school there in general. And so I didn’t struggle as much emotionally with just, you know, having my opportunity to play, um, as it was, can I compete? I can, I compete on this level given how big of a jump it was, um, to where I, I, you know, had some value to offer them. I just didn’t want to be a throw in all the way, you know, my four years there.
I wanted to be able to contribute in some way that the program, um, and looking back, I do think that that took me at least six months to figure out, if not a whole year. I remember coming back my sophomore year and I lifted weights, I put on weight, I was much stronger. I remember coaches commenting about it and that’s kind of really when I, I I think showed them and the teammates there that I actually had a reason to be there to help this program as opposed to just being a walk on to sit the bench and kid good grades.
No. My understanding is that your junior year you were given, you earned a full scholarship your junior year and you were actually voted as co captain of the entire team. Wow. Your senior year. Uh, walk us through the process of becoming a good, from a walk onto actually earning a full scholarship. What did that feel like to get the full scholarship and then what did it feel like to become the co captain of the team?
Yeah, it blew me away. I mean I, um, Jim Rosborough was the associate head coach there and Lute Olson was the head coach and they had always told me, you know, that, that if I did what I was supposed to do, there may be opportunities for that. When I first started there, I went actually on an academic scholarship, Arizona. And, and so for me thinking I was possible but not actually, I never really believed that that would happen. Um, when it, when it did, it just, it really floored me for about a week on this actually happened and, and I could see my parents and how proud they were and it was a pretty emotional week I think for all of us, um, to, to have that reward. But I use this quote that my high school coach, Danny Lyon’s gave me were it’s luck is where preparation meets opportunity.
And I definitely had luck involved in that because we were such a high level program. We had kids constantly going either transferring or going to the MBA, um, and they couldn’t fill the recruits fast enough in a couple of the years. So there was, you know, in junior year senior there were extra scholarships. I have no doubt they would not have given me that scholarship if the number one prospect in the country said he wanted to come that here. And it didn’t happen. But I also was prepared and as I said, I felt like I really took a step forward my sophomore year going into that junior year to show that I had some meaning to this organization and uh, university and team and they rewarded me with that. It was great. And then, you know, being senior and a captain that also just, it was unbelievable to be voted that even though I wasn’t playing every single day. Um, and have some recognition from your teammates and the program and that you have a role to play and you can help and contribute.
What kinds of things did you do on a break practical on a very specific daily basis? Did allowed you to earn the respect and the confidence of your coaches. What kind of things were you doing on a daily basis to earn that scholarship?
To me, I mean, I think half of life and success is did she show up and do what you say you’re going to do? You know?
Oh Wow. They like in, in our, in our work environment today, we just call people back, you know, come in on time. Do your work called people back, be diligent. And I definitely did all of those things when I was there. Um, you know, I, I did what I was supposed to do in the classroom. I was very good academically for the program and for myself. But then also I, I never missed practice. I was always there. I was always positive. I always played hard. Um, the days that I didn’t play well, um, you know, they didn’t last. It didn’t go into weeks of not doing well. Um, and I always got along with everybody. Um, you know, whether they were more famous, more senior or junior, it doesn’t matter. Uh, always got along with everybody. But I’d also seen a lot in the program by that time, my senior year especially, you know, my freshman year we were pre seasoned number one and then lute Olson’s Bobby passed away of cancer that year and we really struggled as a team and then turned it back around at the end of the season to make the, the championship game.
Um, going into sophomore year, we were, all these players had left to go pro. We were rebuilding. And that was a unique team. And then junior year we were back to being in the top 10 in the country and go on to the lead eight senior year. It was another sort of rebuild kind of thing and trying to overachieve. So I was one of the only ones who had seen so much and all of the ups and downs and then different types of teams that the coaches had put together and the type of system and every day preparation that they wanted. So I was able to be a good conduit of stability for, for an ever changing program.
What made you decide to want to attend the University of Minnesota to study law after graduating from the University of Arizona? Were you attracted to the weather, the rhubarb, the endless references to prince? What drew you to the University of Minnesota to study law?
Uh, I was attracted to my now wife.
Oh, oh, there you go. Boom. There it is.
So she, she uh, we met at University of Arizona. She was a gymnast at the U of a and she was a year younger and graduate in five years. So we were two years apart in terms of school and her family was tremendous Sota. And so, you know, I was smitten. The grand plan was that I would go up to University of Minnesota, which was a good school. I think it was top 20 years, still is at the time. And I would work two years in law school. She would graduate, come up and work her my third year of law school and it would all go well. Um, that was really why I considered it. But I also knew I wanted to go to law school and almost my whole life since eighth grade. So I, I felt like it didn’t ultimately matter where I went. And I actually believe a lot in that of, especially with higher education, it doesn’t really matter where you go, as long as you do what you’re supposed to do, wherever you are, you’re going to have opportunities. Um, and I believe that then and I believe it now and it’s worked out fine for us.
How tall are you?
So you are in a college basketball player. Just give us some context. How much did you weigh? How tall are you? What was your vertical lead? Give us some of the, just give us some of the stats. Yeah.
All right. So in college I came in at like 186, four one 80. By the time I finished I was around six, four, two oh seven and I was managed to keep that in my last couple of years. Junior two oh seven, I’m now down to six, 480 again cause it, it was hard to put that on and keeping on, um, you know, athletically, trust me, I’m not athletic. Whether kids, any of you properly in that room. Um, I wasn’t the regular dunker. Everything I did was smart. I remember teammate of mine, uh, Seleme Stottlemyre you can probably Google this. It was a funny quote. Um, someone in the media asked him one day, you know, about me as a player and what I do for the team. And his quote was, um, man, I don’t know how, but I can never steal the ball from him, but I don’t know how he’s good at anything he does.
Yeah, that’s pretty much it. Another way, coach in the room,
we were warming up one day was you know, preseason hard, no one wants to be there and you had to do these things where you stepped over these hurdles, like track hurdles. Yeah. And you had to step over to start warming up your hips and stuff. And I was very grinding through slowly and I remember the weight coach saying, Jason, be an athlete today. And I still remember that today. I was like, yeah, that’s not why I was successful and ultimately won’t be. I think, um, my, my, uh, my, what I’m known for as far as basketball, but I sleep said no one could ever take the ball away from me and I didn’t make mistakes.
Well, Jason don’t really appreciate that. For instance, you know, I see so many kids, young kids with talent that just, they don’t just show up. Like, for instance, my Alma Mater at Oklahoma state, um, our coach had to dismiss three of our best players this year because the goofy kids allegedly took a BB gun and we’re out in parking lot shooting windows out when they’re there to go to school and, and, and that’s kind of moochers. Yeah, it’s not a move. And so, you know, coaches appreciate guys like you that show up and work hard and like you said, just do what you say you’re going to do. D is it frustrating to you? Do you ever represent kids that come out and have great talent and great possibilities and you see that in them, but yet they just can’t? I mean, does it frustrate you?
Wasserman has never represented an athlete that’s crazy. I’m sure that’s other guys, if you, do you ever see that in general though, Jason ranne, from athletes that are very talented, you ever see that as a different frustrate? You,
um, squander the moments that they have. You know, there’s a few moments in time that they haven’t chance to take it to the next level. The capitalized in all their careers are very short in this chemo of life compared to us. So the rest of us. So yes. And does it frustrate me? You know, I, in this role and what we do here, we are their advisors where their fiduciary, where their support group. Um, and really ultimately we don’t get frustrated by it. We just have to keep fighting through to, to support them and protect them. But it is, you know, I would say sometimes disappointing or shocking and if you can’t reach them over multiple times, you know, if you see it’s going one way and you try to correct it and you try to support and you do everything but over time, you know, they keep making the same mistakes and it looks like it’s self destructive. Um, that’s just very, you know, it’s sad and I have a lot of empathy for those situations.
Now, Jason, you are now the chief operating officer and executive vice president of the teams sports division, the team sports division, or for, for Wasserman, one of the top agencies on the planet. How did you first get started there? Were they impressed with your ability to keep the ball away from people or how did you get hired them?
Um, when I was finishing law school, I was really wanting to be a lawyer and, and, and I was close to accepting a position at a affirm and Phoenix and Jim Rosborough who is the associate head coach at Arizona called and said, hey, aren’t telling wants to meet you. I think it goes back 2006, I think the winter of 2006. And I knew who Ron was. If you Google them, Google them today, you know, he’s probably the most transcendent sports agent that has ever lived and Scott, Boris is up there, but Scott only did one sport and I was like done one sport arm did multiple and was very influential in both. Um, so I said sure, I’ll take the interview. Went out there. I didn’t want to be an agent initially. I really went to law school to be a lawyer. And um, after the interview and talking with our and more, he was gracious enough to create a position that was a, a legal position. I Wasserman when it was really just launching, aren’t just sold his business to, to Wasserman. And he let me grow in that role and learn pretty much all the back office legal operational stuff there is to know about doing a sports agency in multiple sports. And that gave me a great foundation to then grow from there.
Be careful with this question and see, be careful. Show me the money. If you ever had anybody say that to you.
Not Seriously. Everyone repeated that line.
Calf kidding. Half kidding. I could say. But yes,
it has occurred in my life.
Wasserman, did you ever work directly with the big time athletes like Derrick rose or what kind of work were you doing for Wasserman during your first stint with the company?
Um, yes, so I was in a legal role, but I also, you know, was a jack of all trade and we were very much like a startup at the time. Um, and with a lot of different opportunities. So I sold marketing. I remember trying to pitch, um, the, uh, North Carolina Peanut Farmers Association on a deal for Sean May at the time he was just coming out of University of North Carolina. We did client service, you know, day to day logistics with them and their families. I was recruiting clients myself, represented my own, but I also did all the operational budgeting, planning, legal stuff across every sport we had. And um, that’s been soccer, baseball, golf, basketball, mixed martial arts, action, uh, done a lot of that stuff.
Now my understanding is after your first hit with Wasserman, how long, how long did you work at Wasserman before the Oklahoma City thunder called you?
So five years. And then what, who called you on the thunder and what did they want you to do with that organization?
I think the president now, and I know he’s got the GM title, but he’s been there a long time and very successful. So he called me out of the blue to say you wanted to talk about a client of mine name Deontay Garrett. And then at the time I was naive and I didn’t realize that, you know, Sam Presti doesn’t really fly to La to meet with me about Deontae Garrett who was good but not, he was a third point guard for the NBA. Yeah. So we went to breakfast and he told me that rob, and again who was assistant GM at the time there, it was taking you Orlando Magic GM job and then he had this opening is front office and he wanted me to consider it, but that he wanted to create a role with me. Um, uh, what I wanted to do and what he thought was needed for their organization. So that’s kind of how that started. And we spent some time, months actually trying to figure out what the role would be, how it would be, um, before I ultimately decided to leave a Wasserman, which was a gut-wrenching for me cause I love this place and it was very tied to it as sort of my first opportunity within the sports world.
I think a lot of people say leave jobs the wrong way. Burn a bridge. You are working with Wasserman, you’ve been there for five years and I just want to ask, I want to ask you this, cause this is probably very helpful, very actionable for the listeners out there. Hopefully listeners out there, you’re picking up on the diligence. Uh, this is one thing we’re here. You hear a lot from our successful, uh, guests is to diligence, but also the idea of building lifelong relationships. How did you transition? What was the core of the conversations like and how did you transition? Because ultimately you’re, you’re, you’re back there now, so you must have done it right. How did you do it?
Yes. Um, I think it’s key that you’re open with your, your superior, whoever that is your boss at the time and that you, you explain that you’re considering new opportunity and you explained for the right reasons. I’ve never leveraged one for the other, so I’ve never went to earn or Casey at that time and said, hey, if you don’t give me this, I’m going to Oklahoma City. And when I left Oklahoma City, the, you know, this time to come back to Wasserman. Um, and same thing with Sam. So I always explain it very openly and personally on why I’m even looking at it and why it’s relevant to me. So doing that with our, and, and Casey at the time and talking about, hey, I, I grew up in Tulsa, my family’s close to Oklahoma City and I’m a one year old son and I love Oklahoma and always will.
And this is a unique thing for me, you know, and then we talk about what if I stay and everything I was doing and what that would look like. And then you just got to make a, but I always feel like if you give people an opportunity to weigh in, be part of your decision and you do it in an authentic way where they really are part of your decision. If they end up being on the wrong side of that decision, I think they feel valued. Even if they feel, you know, a little scorned and they didn’t, you didn’t go with them. I do think that they feel valued and whether it’s a week later, a day later, a month later, you can always call back and, and know that you did it right and that they respect you for that. So I think it’s important. You communicate, you’re authentic, you’re open, you’re honest and you and you don’t treat people like, uh, they’re just an opportunity to leverage a moment in time because we all have moments in time to do that. But over many moments in time, if you treat people to where you’re just trying to squeeze the dollar out of them or as if it’s a transaction, you will lose out I think over over time.
Uh, three years.
And what kinds of daily activities did you do?
Um, I was the director of strategic planning for them on the basketball side and a lot of that focus was on planning our roster out multiple years in advance using the trade deadline free agency and the draft to build our roster and try to maximize each position from a performance standpoint and a financial standpoint, um, for the club. So we would create a plan. We literally created a strategic plan over that time trying to look at when our stars were becoming free agents and maximize those opportunities before that and then, uh, hopefully retain them in the end. So
would become a guy who could score,
you know, I wasn’t there at the time when the thunder traded him to Houston, but I can tell you, I remember when I was at Washington, we recruited James, um, as a client. So I remember going to a lot of college games watching him. And even in the NCA tournament, he wasn’t good. It wasn’t very good. I mean that he’s not bad and that he would have been an NBA player rotation player, um, fine and have a great career. But the idea of him being this transcendent, um, no, it was not there. I do remember though, the funder did a lot for him as far as working on some of his limitations. As you know, he used to only jump off two feet for example. And you watch what he does now with the ball and everything. This one foot and very controlled, strong core, strong country, uh, hands. Um, a lot of that started with, you know, identifying the issue and making him better. And I think the funder are known for that is player development and finding ways to turn you into something that a, you maybe even didn’t know you could be.
It goes back, you jump. Let’s see, you jumped z one migrant group. Jason doctors, these a 50 year old man, he’s an optometrist who has great cabs. Does that, does that help at all? Yeah, I got to work on my core though. Yeah, your course. It’s obviously, it’s of course goes back to Clark told you that claim. Now, Jason, I want to ask you this. When did you decide it was time to go back to Wasserman? When did you decide, okay, it’s time to go back. They realize I’m coming back.
Know I didn’t even think about it until, uh, Casey Wasserman and Mike Watch is there precedent here called and said we’d be interested in having you back. Um, Arn tellem head, uh, left washroom in Nicco become the chairman of the Pistons. And, um, they called and said, hey, if you have interest in this job, we’d love to talk to you about it. And I did what I did though, every time I went to Sam and I said, hey, this is what happened. I want to look at it for these reasons, but you know, I’m doesn’t mean I’m taking it and I just need you to support while I look at it and spend a lot of time talking about what it’s like on the agency side versus the team side and where Wasserman was and where it could be going into the future. Um, and ultimately, you know, the first decision was a blend of my family and being an Oklahoma again and career and, and this decision, we like la, but I would rather live in Oklahoma. So this was much more about, um, career for me and having a chance to build something of our own here in multiple sports, um, over a long period of time to see where it goes.
A lot of my friends who have moved to La. How old are you right now? How old are you?
I’ll be 38 in August.
Okay, so you and I are basically the same age here. Okay. So we’re both about the same age here. A lot of my buddies, Paul, I’ve seen it, they moved to La, Oklahoma Boys. They moved to La and all of a sudden the, well it’s cause it’s the music industry or it’s the film that can think and all of a sudden the pants get really tight, like vacuum packed, tight, tight pants, really tight. Sandy jeans, skinny jeans, and they got the Bieber shirts going on. Oh yeah. And they’re always wearing the new Jordans with an Arrow, tie the laces and they start to get interesting hair cuts. Has that happened to you, Jason?
Nope. Just Oklahoma cell phone numbers. So that tells you it’s sort of still there. But yeah, I do have to do a little more la about my life. I would say food, especially food nutrition has permeated my life between all those things.
Everything else is mostly the same. No. Do you find yourself reading esoteric poetry during the day while being oddly casual at everything? I do not.
You guys should come out. You should spend some time out. I mean it. Manhattan beach. See what you think. Do a show for a month.
Two. It pulls on you a little bit. I promise if you’ll sit down with me to do a show, I will come out and interview you. I make that a commitment here on the show. You’ll sit down with me. I will come out here to interview you and we’ll sip coffee in a cafe for two hours for lunch. That, and we’ll use the word
bro, bro, bro, bro, bro, bro, Bro. Right? Jason? Jason Brown. Your firm now represents some just awesome like athletes and Steph, Draymond green, Klay Thompson, Russell Westbrook, Rickie Fowler, Marshawn Lynch, just huge names. What is the most fun or enjoyable aspect of working with people like this on a daily basis?
Oh, to me it’s the, it’s the connection with them and I love building the relationships with them and their families, but also the careers. I mean if we really partner with the world’s best athletes and brands and properties, um, to transform their careers as they go through, uh, the life cycle of an athlete or a company, so that when you look back and you see some of the successes that we’ve had as a company and our clients have had with us, it’s very rewarding to have that track record. I also think it’s, you know, every day is different. It can be stressful because everyday is different and it’s hard to plan, but it also, um, gives you, uh, something to look forward to each day. Something that inspires you or keeps your mind going. Um, so you never get into override.
We’ve interviewed, uh, uh, uh, Marshawn Lynch’s, former teammate and cow Justin Forsett on the shell and he was a great, a great interview and he was telling us all sorts of great things about Marshawn Lynch and his mindset. And, uh, I’d love to, I’d love to get your take on what makes Russell Westbrook and Marshawn lynch, these incredible athletes kind of behind the scenes, these sort of character traits. Let’s go with a Russell Westbrook here. What, what makes him so good on the court? And he just looks so intense. It’s like a laser.
Yeah. I mean I always tell people Russell is like no other. He has this inner energy and passion and drive that is extremely rare. Being a professional athlete, I’m a highest, highest levels is really hard and it, it has to do every day you have to wake up and do the same thing at extreme high level. No matter what else is going on. And very few athletes are able to do that over a 10 year period. They have to have the same level of pursuit to be the best for that long. Um, and when you compare these top 1.1% and Russell type athletes, it’s really to me other worldly and what they’re able to do without, you know, major injury without exhaustion, without, um, you know, huge performance swings it takes, I don’t have it. I can tell you that. I know I have days where I’m tired even with my kids going home at night. Like it takes this unbelievable focus, drive energy to do that.
Well, the only way that you’re going to build to get that energy is to eat as much Kale as you can out there, bro. Yeah. Wow. So is marsh. I can play with the Raiders next, next year and we know that. We know can even talk about that.
Is that, does that I go there painted into a corner. Wow. Okay. That was aggressive. It was an aggressive question. Jason, do you want to take a quick break or do you want me to keep going or we give them good or keep going for now and we’re back. Okay. It’s got unbelievable energy by the way. This hard tail. It’s putting positive energy each baby. It’s doing good. Now on a very practical level, what does Wasserman do to solve problems for athletes? What, what kind of problems do you solve? What kind of services do you offer? Tell us about the Wasserman difference.
Well, I think we’ve, we’ve, we’ve tried to do almost anything and everything for them. You know, the classic agent role is negotiating team contracts and marketing deals and commercializing their name. And likeness. But we also are essentially a day to day business manager. We support them and their families logistically. So housing, immigration, travel, nutrition. In today’s world we also manage their usage of new media, like social and digital and content. Um, we have, uh, performance support that we offer, whether it’s a physical therapist on staff or we have a gym Angeles where a lot of our MBA guys train in the off season. Um, I’d say that, you know, for us this is a very specialized field. It’s almost like a patent lawyer. To me on the legal side, it’s very specialized field where we are experts in that field. We have seen a lot of different challenges and outcomes and solutions for athletes. Um, and we support them on a high level as they perform, you know, with their on court stuff and they’re off court stuff and their families.
But what was the craziest thing, here we go again. What was the craziest request that an athlete has made? Um, you know, like in their contractors or, or something of that nature?
Oh Man. Contracts. Um,
I don’t know if, I mean, it’s interesting, I think you’d be surprised that a lot of our, a lot of the team contracts and even marketing stuff is somewhat system ties. Do you know it’s, it’s, there’s, there’s not too much out of the box you can do other than massive dollars, um, or things that, that support them in performance or marketing or those kinds of things. So I think, you know, you’ve probably heard of a lot of them. You could Google them and look up sweets on the road or uh, hiring friends and family,
private jets. Those kinds of things I think are not routine, but I’ve definitely seen some unusual deals that, that support these, these clients.
And how do you handle that conversation when you’re talking with an athlete who thinks they’re worth x but you think they’re only worth why I didn’t really start in high school, but I would like 80 million. Oh, that’s what I’m like, I, my private jets cupboard. Do you ever, I mean, how do you have that? How does that look like?
I mean, you’ve got to educate them on, on the market. And the way it operates, you know, you, you have to start early and teach them how a system works, whether it’s NBA, MLB, NFL, they all have different salaries, systems and compensation mechanisms. So the earlier you can start educating them on that process as they enter the draft and then after the draft, as they enter salary arbitration in baseball for example, or free agency and in the sport, and you show them how it works, you show them why the system set up like it is, you show them comparables on performance. So market what we call market comps. And then as you get closer, you show them a landscape. You know, this is what teams x, Y, and z have on their roster. They have available financially. Um, and from there they should have everything they need to get a better sense of why and how they’re valued. And it’s not, it’s not me or any other agent telling them, this is what you’re worth. It’s now that you know all the facts, what do you think you’re worth? And most of the time they get there on their own. Uh, and then it’s about executing on the band of the low end of that range and the high end of that. Right.
Those kind of conversations. Jason and we were ahead of the candles or is it pretty much, is it pretty much just a no, it’s not emotional. It’s pretty just here, here, here’s the data, here’s what you’re worth. I mean, is that Kinda how it goes?
No, it’s definitely emotional.
That’s where the education comes in almost every night. My wife hates me for it at times
after the game’s finished, you know, that’s when all the agents in this company started getting phone calls about how it went or didn’t go or the coach to this or my teammates did this. Um, it’s, it’s very commonplace, but that’s where the education goes. You know, it’s, if you try to make it opinion based and completely subjective, it’s hard to, uh, get to an outcome that both parties agree is fair.
I want to, I want to ask you this. This is a business size business. He kind of things, I think a lot of people aren’t aware of the economics. And I’m not asking for your particular cut that your agency makes per athlete or anything like that. I’m just saying on a broad level, just introduced the thrive nation to how that works. So let’s say a guy makes $1 million a year, does, does an agency get 1%? Is it standard 3% five. What’s, what’s 10? I mean, what’s, what’s the standard rate that agencies will receive as part of the contract to do all these services that you provide your athletes?
It depends on the sport. Um, each, uh, I would say stick and ball sport, that’s sort of the major us sports has a union and the union regulates the agents and they set the fee percentages. So for example, um, major league baseball, it’s usually 5% an MBA. It’s usually 4%. Uh, hockey is 4%. Um, so down the line they’re all kind of around that as far as team contracts go. And, um, you know, if, if the union changes it, they change it. If they don’t, they don’t. So
now I have three final questions for you and I know that that Paul has a question for you. I know that z does, so I’ll go fast. Rapid fire. So here we go. Is there a, is there a book that you would recommend for the listeners out there? You say, Hey, you know, you’re come across as a well read guy. Is there a certain book that you’d say, Hey, this is, this is a book that everybody out there should read d that’s maybe impacted you in a positive way.
You know, I, I, I’m sad to say I don’t actually read too many books. I read a lot of News, opinion pieces and research article, got an explore online. Um, I like to see where things come from, how they work. I really slowed down in my reading of actual tangible books after law school. Got It. Um, but I would say I love entrepreneurial things and I love the simplicity of famous quotes that come from business people, inventors, politicians, activists, coaches. And I also really like podcasts. I like how I built this podcast. Um, the southwest airlines one herb actually just passed away I think. Yeah. Um, the Atari Chuck e cheese one, which I thought was a fascinating combination. The same guy who invented the tire invented Chuckie cheese and then a yup. And then the new Belgian brewery. Um, or my three favorite from how I built this podcast.
I’m a chase it down, Nolan Bushnell right now, if you’re out there, Nolan, come to buttheads, come to the, come to the hill and come to be known. I’m reaching out to no one. I know. I’ve put it out there in the universe. It’s coming back here. Okay. No one will be, we’ll be on our show. I can tell. I can feel it. Say it’s going to happen. I know you called it out. There’s like so many rejections. One can have before you book Nolan Bushnell. Now my next, my next question is, you’re a structured guy lot going on family. How many kids do you have? How many kids are in, in the, uh, rainy clan?
Two boys. So what time are you waking up now? Every day. How do you spend those? First four hours of your typical day.
You don’t mind? My kids usually wake up at six and then we try to convince them to stay in their rooms until seven to something quiet. Um, while my wife and I kind of start to get ourselves ready and then I usually get them out of their rooms at six 45 or seven. I make them breakfast, make their lunches on school days, make my lunch, I eat breakfast and then my, by that time it’s usually showered and dressed and downstairs and we high five between the kitchen and while I go up and I get dressed and leave and go to work and then, you know, she takes care of the rest during the day. I’m pretty fortunate before I come home at night and I hoped as best as I can not to be home for dinner with them on most nights and read to my kids that are around eight before they go to sleep. Um, that’s a important thing for me. One other at this age and they value those kinds of things. Cause I’m sure from everyone I’ve talked to, by the time they’re in middle school and high school, they probably will be hoping that I’m not home at night and they can do whatever they want to do,
get paid and to get good contracts as a result of your big three. You have this intense preparation. You have the experience, you’ve been doing this forever. You’re, your firm has a lot of experience to draw upon. But this third super move that I love is you, um, kind of take the emotion out of it. You know, you’re, you come across as a very stoic guy, which is why I’m a big fan of what you’re doing over there. Can you talk about the importance of bringing kind of a, a lack of emotion and not fanning the flames of people getting emotional? Because I think in your business you are, if you’re a super emotional, nonstick person, bad things could happen probably very quickly.
Yeah, for sure. I think if you are intensely prepared than someone can’t be more prepared to you and you can’t just lose out because you didn’t do the leg work to get there. And if you’ve seen a lot to your experience, then you can’t lose out because you just hadn’t seen something before. I think that emotion piece is the wildcard there of if you allow a negotiation to become emotional, um, you lose focus on what’s objective and rational and, and all that preparation and that experience that you had before, it starts to become biased. And that’s where I think you risk and outcome that is emotion based. And ultimately, whether you’re, let’s say that you’re not getting the high number you want and you become emotional about it and you walk away and you lose out on that deal and there’s not another one, um, or they’re offering, you know, too low and instead of realizing that you’re in a negotiation and the reason they’re low is because you’re in a negotiation and you’re instead insulted by it, um, your risk really injuring your, the outcome in your client and that have a RN used to say this to me.
It was a funny line and I love it and I still use it to this day. Um, he would say, and I’m not saying he was totally on emotional because at times, you know, he would get a rather aggressive, but he used to say when people were like, all right, I’m assaulted, insulted. He said, I’m insulted that you’re insulted. And that was a great thing that I agree.
of, don’t be emotional. If, if someone’s insulted, it means that they’re taking this personally. You got to bring them back to, this isn’t personal. We’re just to get a deal done.
I’m insulted that you are insulted. I love, I love, I love that. I get the Andrew get ready for me to drop that on you every day. All Day. I was just taking notes here. Why would you say that to me? Paul, what is your final hot question for Mister Jason Ranne before we let him get back to his, uh, west coast living his life. His Kale is life of skinny jeans. Before we let him get back to that, my friend, what’s your final question you have for
Jason? So as a CPA at hood CPAS, we, we specialize in helping our clients make good financial decisions. Um, I’m assuming that you guys have platforms or processes that, that you help these young athletes that are coming out, you know, and I don’t care whether they’re athletes or not, we don’t teach people how to make good young, young people to make good financial decisions. I’m assuming you guys play a role in that. Is that correct? I mean, you, uh, I know it’s their money. Um, but the, the short lifetime or their careers typically necessitates them saving a significant amount of their money today?
No, we don’t do the financial offerings where the tax offerings here at our agency, we view it as a conflict of interest to have both of that in house and have us as a service provider and also manage their money. So we do often times sit in on meetings. Um, we often asked, get asked for introductions to people that our clients work with. Um, and it is extremely, if you’re talking about the stool and the legs on the stool that support their career, that financial side of it is as important as the agent side of it and as important as the performance side of it. Um, and there are many, many horror stories you hear about athletes getting taken advantage of, whether it’s around taxes or investments. In fact, I’m sure you guys read ESPN over the weekend. You would as Lonzo ball and his family were taken advantage of by someone, um, around their business when he came out of college, Ucla and was drafted by the Lakers.
So it’s just the most recent story, but you know, there’s 10 of them a year. Um, so yes, and I’ve seen, it’s interesting, most recently I’ve seen more companies come into the space that aren’t trying to represent or advise financially or attack, but are actually just trying to be, um, people who can do some background on the advisors in the space. There’s a company, I’m plugging them now, but not really because that’s not my intent. But just as an example, there’s a company called bright lights, um, that is founded by a former sec investigator who now if you call him up and ask him to look into the five financial advisors are accounts that you’re about to meet with the higher, he will look into them and give you a full report and tell you, hey, yeah, these are good to go. Um, I don’t think that the everyday person needs kind of audit or advice, uh, to look at who they’re choosing from for. Definitely for these athletes who are easy targets for um, predators who are trying to take advantage of them. I think it’s an important thing for them to at least consider
who’s going to win it all expert in the arena. Who’s winning?
I I like Gonzaga.
Now you’re a west coast. We actually
just having a discussion comes or Gonzaga. I don’t know
you guys. What do you guys think? But that’s who I like. We’re get ready for the NFL draft we’ve got, if you can be an agent for any kid coming out of college football right now and any kid come out of college basketball, who would be the two you’d grab?
Oh man, come on. That’s a tough one. Football and basketball in football because he went to Oklahoma. I think Kyler Marie’s representing him, he may not be the best player in the draft and he may not have the best NFL career of all the guys. Cause there’s very talented players, especially defensively in this year’s draft. Yes. But just the experience of going through, Hey, he was drafted on the baseball side, considered that play Heisman going into NFL size. That’s what I look for in my own personal enjoyment of representing athletes is just the diversity of it. And that’s something that will probably not happen again. I mean it’s going to be very rare in my lifetime to see, you know, a drafted baseball player become a Heisman and then switch over and do the NFL and see how that goes. And then if that doesn’t go well, have the opportunity to then switch back to baseball. That would be fascinating. And very, yeah,
it’s pretty cool. That’s a good answer.
You know? Um, that’s a tougher conversation I think for me. Uh, cause we are, we, you know, we’re in that business and I’m personally in that business, so I probably prefer, right?
Yeah, yeah. Let me do that. So we just let me real quick. So people that he’s going after, he has got some great people and who are we to paint you into a corner on this fat and fantastic show. We need to hang up on ourselves. Uh, Jason, I appreciate you so much for being on the show, for really setting an example for so many people and a for uncut, demystifying the path of becoming a professional sports agent and he’s a, he’s a home guy. That’s tens. Awesome. That’s what’s so fun. I left season Oklahoma. Yeah, he’s a dosing and he’s told you that there’s a chance. There’s a chance. There’s a chance I got to work on my core. It is. I’ll, I’ll, I’ll get, I’ll get my list of things going to work. One legged jumping, but high hacks. I got an MVP. I hacked into Jason’s computer Z and you’re at the top of his do not draft list. He said this 54 year old optometrist. I, I wouldn’t know him after him.
I wanted to sign him an undiscovered jewel. These deeper, deep. Well, Jason, I appreciate you so much my friend and I hope you have a blessed day. Yup. Thank you. Thanks. Thanks for being on the show, buddy. Hey Dude, why can’t we talk whore about horseman? If you are out there today and you’re saying, how can I implement what I’ve learned today? How can I apply what I’ve learned? I believe the core message that I picked up on today’s show and in just a having interviewed Jason and then having known a person who knows him very, very well, a coach Calvert who was one of his coaches, uh, as he was gaining skills in the game of basketball, Jason ranne above all else, it was a very diligent person. He’s a very diligent person. Will diligence means the steady application of effort. So I would ask you to rate yourself on a scale of one to 10 today.
And the area of diligence. If diligence is you, if it, if a 10 means that you always do what you’re supposed to do, even when you don’t feel like it, if you always work hard, even when you don’t feel like it, do you always do what you’re supposed to do? Even on the sick days, that would be a 10. Now if you’re somebody who only works hard on the days where you feel good, that would be a zero. I’d encourage you to rate yourself on the diligence scale because I believe in you, but nothing works unless you do. My friend Maya Angelou, the best selling author of the poet, the actress, she said, nothing works unless you do it. My question I’d have for you today is, are you working as unto the Lord? Are you putting forth your best effort on daily basis? And if that’s the case, then you’re going to do fine, but if not, nothing works and there was any further. I do break one. Whoa.
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