Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Drexel Connection: Michael Lawson

This week the Drexel Connection spotlights Michael Lawson. Michael currently is the CEO and President of 4A Management as well as being a professional sports agent. Some of his more popular and known clients include Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Michael is very relatable to us as college kids because he too started off as an intern somewhere very small. Specifically he started off interning with the Cincinnati Cyclones. From there he went on to work alongside our fellow Drexel SMT Professor Brett Burchette with Nelligan Sports Marketing as the regional director.

One thing Michael has done throughout all this was go to school. Michael stressed the fact that you always want to learn and learning is just going to help you along your career. Michael has taken classes at Notre Dame, Louisville and several others. While he was at Louisville, he met a man by the name of Jonathan Blue who had launched a company known then as Blue Entertainment Sports Television (BEST). Michael ended up working for BEST for about two to three years prior to getting to where he is today.

Today, as I mentioned, he is a sport agent as well as the President of 4A Management. He launched 4A Management in 2010 where he offers counseling and advisor services to agencies and clients. He also teaches an online Globalization class in the graduate program at Drexel University as well as teaching at Vanderbilt. Recently he guest spoke to one of Brett's freshman classes to which I sat in on.

Michael brought a very interesting prospective to the presentation, specifically with his outlook on education and his experience in that regard. After having his undergrad at Indiana State, he has taught at or studied at colleges all over the country and is currently pursuing and almost done getting his pHD in Sport Administration.

When asked why he keeps staying involved in education he responded with, "So many folks when they get done with their last day of classes, go into work environment and adapt. What separates good from great, (you) have to continue to learn. Thats why I have been going to schools my entire life.”

Michael was then asked what advice he would give to anyone looking to get in to the sports industry as a whole and specifically the agent field. Michael broke it down to a couple of points. The first being start now and have a broad scope. He started out interning with the Cincinnati Cyclones as I mentioned which shows that this was exactly what he did when he first started. You have to start somewhere and even the smallest experience in sport can help in the long run.

The second point was developing a story. There has to be something that separates you from everyone else. The number one question he mentioned that he asks people during interviews is just to tell him a little about themselves. He uses this answer to decide whether or not he wants to or would hire him because it separates the average from the good and the good from the great. He mentioned his story on how he got Troy Polamalu as a client. Michael was at an event with Chris Johnson and was being watched by Troy throughout the whole event unknowingly. At the end of the event Troy came up to him and mentioned that family was very important to him and that he noticed the bond Michael had with Chris and wanted to buy him lunch. Just goes to show that a small task and situation can lead to a huge outcome.

His last point was to "be that person that will work endlessly and do whatever it takes." He also mentioned to try and gain 20 contacts a week." He stressed that Sport Management was becoming the fastest growing major in the country and that it is going to be very competitive so you have to make yourself stand out from everyone else.

Lastly he was asked what he loves most about his job to where he answered, "The People, no two days being the same, and never set to do a task but instead something he loves."

We are very proud to have Michael as part of the Drexel Family and the Drexel Connection.


Lindrit Shkodra is originally from Diber, Macedonia but lives in Maple Shade, NJ. He is a sophomore in the Sports Management program and is currently the Treasurer of the Drexel Sport Management Student Union. He currently works for KCB Sports Marketing. In the past, he has work experience with Ron Jaworski's Celebrity Golf Challenge and Ridgewells Catering at the 2013 U.S. Open.  Follow Lindrit on Twitter @LindritShkodra.

Connect with Lindrit Shkodra on LinkedIn

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