AGM was founded in 1996 by Brant Feldman, as a company that could take on projects as a way to outsource the roles of a full time employee without the burden of keeping them on once the project was completed. Over time, we have evolved to take on certain clients on a perpetual basis as well as maintaining our initial role.
In 2005, we added exclusive athlete representation to this along with maintaining marketing relationships with other outside agencies who represent athletes as well. What we saw was that companies could utilize the value of a sports sponsorship for a fraction of the cost of a team sponsorship by targeting the athlete with a consumer product or promotion. The consumer identifies with the face of a team more than they do with a logo of a team. At the same time, we can work with a brand to place the right current or retired athlete with a team sponsorship to give the identity of that team sponsorship in the creative of the campaign.
In 2011, AGM added broadcasting representation as part of our portfolio when one of our athletes retired and knew that this was a direction that they wanted to go towards in Canada. Additionally, one of our current athletes was given the opportunity to concurrently work in broadcasting and still play hockey after they won the equivalent to "Dancing With The Stars" on CBC in Canada called "Battle of the Blades". Television doors swung open and we were able to answer the bell for them as well as evaluate the marketplace and make the best decision not for the here and now, but for their post-Career in broadcasting and having sensible building blocks in place to get them where they want to be in the future.
Since the 2014-15 television season to today, two of our clients that are Hockey Canada alumni from the Women's Olympic ice hockey team have been working in Canada on TSN's "SportsCentre" as an anchor as well as their specialized NHL highlight shows and Rogers Sportsnet as a co-host of "Rogers Hometown Hockey" as well as another of our Curling clients' who has begun her odyssey into broadcast with Rogers Sportsnet "Provincial Curling" coverage while still playing herself on the professional circuit.
Mr. Feldman is a native of Washington, DC and has a degree in Political Science from California State University, Northridge. He has been a resident of Los Angeles, the past 20+ years, but still manages to use his Washington Redskins season tickets on occasion. Prior to founding AGM, he has been the Coordinating Producer for the Los Angeles Dodgers & UCLA Bruins with AM 1150 Sports Radio Los Angeles and has worked on a project basis for the National Hockey League in Fan Development (IIHF In-LIne Hockey World Championship as well as NHL Breakout) and for many years prior and during his time with AGM on their NHL All Star Game Weekend. Mr Feldman also worked for the Anschutz Corporation and Los Angeles Kings to create high school hockey as a fan development initiative in Southern California. At the league's height over 36 high schools played from Santa Barbara to San Diego County and the league's championship game was held at the STAPLES Center.
In 1996, I saw an opportunity in Southern California to become a piece to a greater puzzle. It was then that American Group Management was born. My vision was that AGM would become an instrument that could help organize promotions, marketing, advertising, research, media programming and event planning; providing a service many companies didn’t have the time or the resources for on a constant basis.
Sports marketing and athletic properties have been a large piece to much of what AGM has worked on since inception. We also came to see that within many companies, they were in awe of athletes and let their personal feelings about an athlete guide them to a choice as opposed to what the right fit for the program would be. We have been able to compare and contrast this for them to help guide them towards a more educated answer.
This same opportunity that I saw in Southern California became apparent throughout most of North America. There is a niche to get things accomplished with part-time staffing with high quality results.
Fortunately, we have had a lot of repeat business, but finding new clients that have a similar need we want to help as well.
Via my background working with my mentor, Pat Brisson (now of CAA Hockey) as well as various sports related projects, in 2005, I added a full time Olympic athlete representation practice to supplement what we were already doing. Olympic athletes in general do not get the proper respect and attention that they deserve and we wanted to help.
It all began with our first Olympic athlete, Natalie Darwitz of the US Women's Hockey Team for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games which then led to us working with 3 other American athletes (bobsled, hockey & speedskating) in Torino. Our job was clear, bring to light the personal stories about each of the athletes we would work with and let advertisers as well as the national media know their stories. Olympic hopeful athletes are a tremendous breed of person who is striving to reach the ultimate platform for their love of country and for their personal goals of showcasing that they are truly the best in the world.
AGM was able to expand into additional Olympic sports for the Summer and Winter Games after being on the corporate side during Beijing 2008, where AGM planned the Olympic strategy for Crocs and did not represent any athletes at that event. After the Games, we ultimately grew into representing athletes from Canada and Switzerland via word of mouth and recommendations from others who had worked with us on a corporate and national olympic committee side.
Since prior to Vancouver 2010, we have had the opportunity to work with athletes in:
Men's & Women's Bobsled (US & Canada)
Men's & Women's Hockey (US & Canada)
Women's Curling (Canada)
Men's Fencing (US)
Women's Field Hockey (US)
Women's Shooting (US)
Women's Skiing (US & Canada)
Women's Soccer (Canada)
Men's Speedskating (US)
Men's & Women's Swimming (CANADA, Switzerland & US)
Men's Water Polo (US)
In May of 2015, we added our first paralympic athlete April Holmes and have subsequently added Oksana Masters and Joe Berenyi in:
Men's Para Cycling (Road & Track) (US)
Women's Track (US)
Women's Cross Country Nordic Skiing, Biathlon, Rowing & Road Cycling (US)
It has both been an honor and a privilege to represent these remarkable athletes in their quest for personal achievement and national glory. We also understand when these athletes are done with their respective sports that we should try and help them with the next phase of their lives and offer suggestions along the way to try and help them with their next part of their careers. While these athletes have the attention, you need to try and capture contacts that might some day be your peers or employers. It is important to try and identify areas with the athlete during the peak periods just as they are attempting to achieve their goals of winning. We try and do this.
In our 20 years in business, we have had the good fortune to work with great partners and companies that have brought us in from horse racing to the wine business to entertainment travel planning in addition to local, regional and Fortune 500 companies in Canada, Europe and the United States.
Reach out to us and we can discuss what you have going on and see how we can seamlessly fit into the project you need assistance with or with a project that you want to do but keep putting off.
HOW DID OUR NAME AND LOGO EVOLVE?
As an individual, Mr Feldman was fortunate to come into contact with Hockey Hall of Famer Paul Coffey during his stint with the Los Angeles Kings as he was represented by my mentor Pat Brisson. Paul coined the nickname of AGM (assistant general manager) on me and players throughout the National Hockey League as is customary would call you by the nickname as opposed to your real name.
For many years, though folks knew who or what my real name was called me AGM and that is how the company got it’s name.
Our logo reflects that while we are based in the United States that we have many partners and friends in Canada and we all are part of the greater North American continent. In the future, if we forge into Mexico for instance we would add green to the G.
STRATEGIC ALLIANCE - CANADA
In 2008, AGM had a chance run-in with NKPR founder Natasha Koifman during the Toronto International Film Festival with their charitable creation the “IT LOUNGE”. It was during this time, where the beginnings of our strategic alliance was formed.
NKPR’s knowledge of the Canadian market would make a lot of sense for the Canadian female athletes that AGM would represent. AGM would provide to NKPR access to our athletes as well as our contacts in the entertainment industry in the United States.
Collaborative efforts have benefited both sides since then including NKPR's relationship with Sony Pictures Classics and their OSCAR nominated film "WHIPLASH" at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. AGM connected NKPR with SPC and worked on their film promotion in Canada and after party at the Thompson Hotel Toronto.
NKPR has shown a great willingness to use AGM's athletes in their initiatives and showcase their value to many entities in Corporate Canada as well as place them in PSA campaigns. www.NKPR.net