For a lot of of aspiring athletes a career in pro basketball overseas can be as attractive as it is daunting. Sometimes managed by shady agents they venture into a solitary world of different cultures and financial insecurity.
Two Amsterdam based entrepeneurs have come up with a way for pro ballers to take matters into their own hands with Athletes Auction, an online bidding platform for players and clubs. We caught up with co-owner Jaron Reddy, who has extensive experience in sports marketing. ‘We believe it can kickstart young athletes’ careers and can help experienced ballers taking matters into their own hands.’
You mean manage their own careers?
‘Athletes are perfectly capable of negotiating their own deal. Agencies often push prices to earn a buck themselves, but we feel the market has become somewhat disjointed. Sure, there are many trustworthy agents, but shady middle men offering clubs the services of players they do not represent in any way, aren’t helping market transparency. And players have no idea how hard their agent is actually trying to make things happen for them. They depend heavily on the efforts of their agent. With Athletes Auction clubs interact directly with pro ballers by bidding for their services. The player is in total control and decides when a deal is accceptable.’
But what happens when a deal is made, do you offer players any back up, once they’re overseas?
‘Sure, we offer the same services as any other agency; officially approved paperwork and professional back up. We are FIBA certified and can represent players in any dispute concerning their deal.’
Seems like quite a change from how business is managed traditionally…
‘To have clubs interact directly and put out bids is quite a revolution, but we believe it’s the new thing. If people are buying property online, why not land a contract? We’ve got NBA veteran Sharone Wright supporting us and many other people have shown their interest. To make it work we need to trigger the interest of all the major European programs. And to make that happen, we need quality profiles up on our site.’
If you have any ambition to play overseas, sign up directly: http://athletesauction.com/signup.aspx