In a world where “Ballers want to be rappers, and rappers want to be ballers”, the creation of a division of sports management in a music management company doesn’t seem so strange. This month, Milk & Honey Music launched its Sports Management vertical (the aptly named Milk & Honey Sports), and has already lined up 15 NFL players on its client roster, with a shiny, new Dallas office to boot.
According to Lucas Keller, CEO of Milk & Honey, it has always been the vision of the Company to launch into other areas of entertainment management, especially after the company had well established itself. With an impressive roster of music talents and producers behind the hits for Selena Gomez and Post Malone, adding Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Courtland Sutton is another big win for the management company.
This may only be the beginning – and why not? Hip hop mogul Jay-Z founded Roc Nation Sports back in 2013, which now represents some of the biggest names in sports across basketball (Kyrie Irving, the Ball brothers), football (Dez Bryant), and even tennis (Frances Tiafoe).
While Milk & Honey may just be getting started, their proposed model may allow them to get up to speed rather quickly. They plan to identify athletes at the university level and start representing them early on in their careers. Another aspect that Milk & Honey will capitalize on is the fact that not all athletes need to be the most elite in their respective sports to succeed in their personal brand.
With social media, there are several effective ways to market an athlete both on and off the field. Management companies can win even if their athlete may not be at the top of their class. With channels such as Tik Tok continuing to grow in popularity and be more mainstream, and the more established avenues such as Instagram and Facebook maintaining their significance and relevance, the sky is the limit on the types of opportunities that a management company can help their clients create, and the personal branding that these companies can help their clients to craft and hone.
According to Keller, the sports management industry is ripe for some disruption. With the exception of the most outstanding athletes, many talent management companies simply are not putting the right attention and resources to capitalize on their client’s success. Management companies who are willing to take on those individuals who may not be scoring 30 points a night, batting over 0.300 or sitting in the Top 10 world rankings still have intriguing stories to tell that the public will be interested to see.
As technology progresses, and fans begin getting more and more access into the lives of their public figures, there will be opportunities and experiences to take advantage of for all professional athletes, music artists, actors, and other entertainers. Management companies should consider assessing these possibilities, and capitalizing on all of the opportunities that such a world brings, for the company and for their clients.