WL Insider: Our Man in London

by Editorial

A day in the life of a sports agent with clients at the Olympics isn’t all fun and Games.

By Doug Eldridge

FRIDAY, AUGUST 3 — Busy day today. Looks simple, but it’s actually non-stop and with no breaks in between. After catching up on work until 01:15 this morning, I slept in until 06:30. Here’s how the rest of today will play out:

06:30    Client Work: emails and web work
09:30    Workout (run 6 miles)
10:30    Shower/change clothes
10:45    Get the tube
11:15    Pick up gear
12:15    Get the tube
13:00    Meeting w/ Petty (hotel)
13:30    Get the tube
14:00    Arrive at Olympic Park
14:30    Meeting w/ Prospective Client 1
15:00    Meeting w/ Bobby
16:00    Meeting w/ Prospective Client 2
18:00    Meeting w/ Bobby’s family
19:00    Arrive at Aquatics Center
19:38    Race
21:45    Transport back to hotel
22:30    Dinner
23:00    Client Work
23:45    Prep for Bobby’s racing tomorrow (set wake-up call for 04:30)

In between each of these time entries/appointments, I am also doing client work. I have a UK-issued phone (that looks like a garage door opener) to make calls here in Europe as well as a UK-issued Blackberry (which looks like it’s part of a Fisher Price set) so I can email while walking from one meeting and competition to the next.

There is a perception that while you’re here, it’s nothing but smiles, cheers and hugs. As an agent, I am on the clock the entire time. The cameras catch the smiles and the cheers, but what they don’t catch is me hammering away on the Blackberry or rubbing the bulging bags under my eyes. I’d love to say they’re Vuitton, but in reality, they’re very much Samsonite.

Again, this isn’t complaining — after all, I AM at the Olympics — but this is part of the disconnect between perception and reality that I referenced in a prior entry.

Perception: Doug is in London, hanging out at the Games.

Reality: Doug is in London, watching competition, supporting clients, and burning 18-hour days. Every day.

I have experienced a lot of happy and historic moments at these games, but if you are an agent, and if you have client(s) competing, and if you are developing marketing and media portfolios for these and other clients … trust me, you are on the grind in London. It may be the Olympics, but for agents, it’s not the Games.

Put a pin in it. Literally. The trading of commemorative Olympic pond is massively popular in London. It's a tradition that's gone on for decades with perceived value for a pin driven by a combination of three factors/variables: 1. The age of the pin, 2. Its scarcity and 3. Its intricacy. Some people make "32 pieces of flair" seem mundane.

Even though there are McDonald's and other familiar creature comforts of home, traditional snacks as we know them are quite a bit different here at Olympic Park.

Spirit comes in all forms. This London volunteer exemplifies the spirit and enthusiasm of the UK fans. As volunteers they play an integral role inside the park, ensuring the smooth flow of patrons.

Doug Eldridge is the founding president of DLE Agency, a full-service sports, entertainment and communications firm based in Washington, D.C. A lawyer by trade, Eldridge is a two-time Ironman finisher, and a longtime track and field athlete. His agency represents sports stars across the NBA, NFL, FIFA, UCI and IAAF as well as golf, fighting and motor sports athletes in addition to a Personalities Division, which includes musicians, among others. Eldridge provides mixed media and strategic communication consulting, and is frequently sought after for his sports analysis by various media outlets including NBC, ABC, CNN and Fox. For more updates, follow him on Twitter @DougEldridge and @DLEagency.

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