Interview with AL Jones(@ajones)

Interview with AL Jones(@ajones)

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I went to school at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. My degree was in public relations and sports communications. After I graduated, I received an internship with ESPN but never made it. Instead, I took a job with my former teammate Kylie Irving, who at the time was playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. That job required me to move to Cleveland Ohio where I became a manager/ assistant for the 7-time all-star. After spending 2 years in that role, I moved on to work with 24/7 sport management which was the agency that Kyrie was represented by. From there, I had the opportunity to work with stars like Jayson Tatum. After 2 years of working with 24/7 sports management, I moved on to work with Roc Nation sports. I am now with former NBA champion Mike Miller and Lift sports management.

Can you share the most exciting story that happened to you since you started doing this?

No exciting stories I would like to share.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them thrive and not “burn out”?

1. You will not become an Agent straight away. Don’t expect things to happen overnight. The road to becoming an Agent is a long one. Even if you somehow manage to land a job at an Agency, you will have to prove your worth to make the next step up.

 2. Be prepared to work for little or no money. Most Agents started out with an Internship at an Agency and went from there. Often, Internships are unpaid, so don’t think you should be paid for your work because thousands will gladly take your spot. If you land a job at an Agency, most entry-level positions, such as mailroom or admin, will pay very little.

3. Social media is your friend. Having tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter are an enormous help to network.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is pretty self-explanatory. If you want to know more, invite people in the industry for their stories, pitfalls, etc. This brings me to the next point.

5. Always be learning. You can never know too much. Just because you have a Sports Management degree, don’t think you can start managing clients. Read publications, journals, books, etc., to keep ahead in the industry.

 6. Attend Conferences. As I have previously stated, the sports industry is a unique one. Attending sports business conferences will enable you to learn and network with fellow people who are just as interested. There may even be companies in attendance, and job opportunities provide.

7. Bring something unique to the table. You need to find something that separates you from others wanting to be an Agent. Drive will only get you so far. Maybe you know a few athletes who need representation, or perhaps you have some ideas for generating new revenue streams for clients. Think of something that will make them want you to be part of their team.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a person you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I would definitely have to say Jeff Wechsler from 24/7 sports management. He took a chance on a 23-year-old kid with no experience in the agency business and showed me the ins and outs.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I always try to. I always do right by my clients and tell them what they need to hear and not what they want to hear. I also try to push all my clients to start some type of foundation no matter what; we’re so fortunate to do a job that we love and should never take for granted. I always preach to them to give back.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. This is relevant to me because I haven’t had an easy life growing up. There are so many roadblocks I have to get through every day, just like in any profession. I try not to hang my hat on the past and look forward to the future and what I can do better as a professional.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@Ajones on Instagram

Anything specific you’d like to have mentioned in the article?

Please read this article.