We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Raymond and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The Agent business has always been very traditional and duplicated. I have researched, followed, and learned about so many different sports agencies and agents over the years. As I continued to gain experience, build community, and connect with professional athletes, I noticed a similar trend. Massive amounts of athletes either had bad relationships with their agents/managers or were being severely underutilized compared to the star athletes. I have been highly motivated to change that and make sure that every client understands that they have a story to tell and a brand to build. Basketball or not, all athletes are human beings first and should understand the opportunities that business, entrepreneurship, finance, and lifestyle create. Athletes should not grow up thinking if basketball does not work out that their life is over, or their family won’t be cared for. I also wanted to utilize the new generation of social media and networking platforms that are at our fingertips so athletes can brand themselves worldwide. We live in a time where marketing yourself is the easiest it has ever been, and telling your story is something every athlete should accomplish. The old school agents have amazing experience and knowledge about basketball. Still, as the years go by, we are starting to see that tradition of younger, more relatable agents with superstar clients. Agents who keep it real, authentic, and genuine at all times. I want to lead that charge!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Raymond Representation is a sports agency that specializes in Athlete Representation, Business, Marketing, and Lifestyle management. We provide our clients with the highest quality services and consulting. These services include Client Management, Brand Development, Social Media Marketing, Endorsements, & Career Advising. We embrace an entrepreneurial spirit to push our clients to use technology and innovation to develop a strong brand and fanbase. We believe our team, mission, and goals set us apart from the other Athlete Management business out there. It is an honor to have such a wonderful team of marketing experts, lawyers, scouting, video editors, graphic editors, and brand development experts. I am very excited about our future and growth. We have grown so fast over the past 8-10 months, and now that we are branching into the NBA, our sky is the limit. We have continued to build our team, our brand, and our market globally. Now we are looking to sign our first NBA client for either business and marketing management or representation on the court. It was not easy by any means, but the good things in life never are. It is a blessing to have a passion and love for this industry. Everything I do doesn’t feel like work for me. This is all part of my life and the things I love. I have juggled building this company, signing clients, and finishing law school at the University of Miami because I love helping athletes and mentoring them both on and off the court. The relationships are what make this business special. Meeting families, friends and building community through your life and theirs is what gets me out of bed in the morning. What made the juggle of law school and this easier was surrounding myself with a team. At first, you are hesitant because it’s your baby, but you quickly realize that surrounding yourself with positive and like-minded leaders will elevate you. It is one of the best things I have done, and it has really elevated Raymond Representation. I want the world to know that I am here to impact and inspire the next generation. I don’t want to be remembered as an NBA agent or the founder of Raymond Representation. I want to be remembered as someone who made a real and major impact on the world and its people. A true entrepreneur, leader, motivator, and innovator. Raymond Representation will be expanding into many new things once our boots hit the ground for the NBA agent business. We have major plans for our future. At 24, we have already inspired so many young students and proved that you could start an NBA agency that young and while in law school. It is a tough task but something that can be done, and if you work hard towards it could change the lives of many.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
(Most Days) – Walk on Brickell Key – Workout South Beach Pier – Lunch at Smith and Wolensky (Burger is the best) – Relax on the beach – Brickell at night – Drinks at 8th street or Sugar – Dinner at Prime Italian or Rusty Pelican – Brickell Bars (riverside, wharf, batch, etc.) – Cuban coffee for breakfast and repeat Other great spots (Coral Gables Merrick Park) (Key Biscayne Beaches) (Sunny Isles) (Hit a Heat game at the AAA) (Perricone’s for dinner in the grove) (Montys at the grove) (Basketball under the underline) (Run by the Port of Miami) (Jetskis, and paddleboarding) (Eat in little Havana)
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Scott Bukstein deserves the highest praise possible for my success as an entrepreneur, law student, and young leader in the industry. He is someone who mentored me from the very start of my undergraduate career at the University of Central Florida and taught me more than I ever thought possible. Working as a teaching assistant for him, I learned the true values of life, family, health, school, and business. We had many conversations ranging from law school topics, NBA CBA issues, gratitude walks, school projects, etc. Scott is someone who truly cares about all his students and really invests his time and heart into everything he does. He has great attention to detail and is one of the brightest minds in the Sports Business industry. His background in law, athlete representation, teaching, business, and sports management will continue to push him as one of the most influential sports leaders in Orlando and Florida. If you have the pleasure to meet Scott, you can notice really quickly that his most important beliefs are family and health. He is such positive energy in everyone’s life, and it has been an honor to have him in my life. Everything I have accomplished and will accomplish will always fall back on him and my family’s push daily.
Orin Mayers, Ray Allen, Bryce Wasserman, Justin Gray, Jason Brandwein, Raymond Representation, Collars to Cuffs, Beth Raymond, Alan Fertel, Kevin Fertel, Justin Gray, Keaton Veillette, Juan Buitron, Cameron Wright, New Day New Route, Tacko Fall
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