I am a licensed attorney and player representative for KMG Sports Management located here in Cincinnati, Ohio. KMG is a full service sports agency that has handled the careers of over 500 premiere athletes in the NBA, NFL, international basketball and several NCAA Division 1 head coaches including Bob Huggins (West Virginia University), Frank Martin (University of South Carolina), and Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss). A few months ago I was asked by the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council (“GCWAC”) to meet with a fellow attorney and sports representative, Mr. Khalid Kasem, from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Mr. Kasem was interested in discussing American sports and athlete management.
I was unsure what to expect from the meeting, as I have never participated in such an exchange. After our initial introduction and formalities, we immersed ourselves in casual conversation over American football, basketball, baseball, and soccer/European football. For the next 2 hours we spoke about anything and everything, finding common ground on various subject matters.
At the conclusion of the meeting we exchanged business cards and I asked him to let me know how the rest of his trip to the States goes. He had a few stops left before heading back to The Netherlands, which included a meeting with the University of Cincinnati’s soccer coach to discuss the program and the way it trains its student athletes.
We had kept in frequent contact over the months following, discussing everything from World Cup to current events. Our casual conversations culminated in a joint business venture whereby KMG Sports and Mr. Kasem’s player management company, The 12th Man, would work together in reciprocal efforts to bring European soccer talent to the MLS, NASL, and USL PRO Clubs while also sending America’s premiere soccer talent to Europe; the birth of KMG Soccer. With the ever-growing globalization of American business, the sports industry is no exception. The international exchange of talent is found on every level of every sport and America’s demand for soccer to be a more prominent, mainstream sport makes this new venture even more ideal.
It is imperative as a business and a society to acknowledge the international influence in everyday business. The opportunity to meet and connect with individuals from other countries can prove to be not only a lucrative business endeavor but also a fun, life-enhancing experience. Having travelled quite a bit, both socially and professionally, I have always appreciated learning about other cultures and hearing the opinions of diverse people.
Needless to say, my experience would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the GCWAC. They provided me with detailed background information of the visitor, a list of suggested talking points, a detailed itinerary of when I could expect Mr. Kasem on the day of our meeting, and they coordinated all transportation and scheduling necessary for it to go smoothly.
With a little effort, open-mindedness, and genuine interest, anyone and everyone can benefit from such an experience. Whether you are interested in learning about new cultures, interested in discussing global politics, interested in current events, interested in global business, interested in international sports, or just interested in meeting new people, this program can benefit you. I have discovered that there is ALWAYS someone from a different country with a different perspective who is just as eager to exchange his or her experiences.
GCWAC can provide you the introduction; the rest is up to you!
By Alex Glandorf
Alex Glandorf is a practicing attorney in the office of Richard L. Katz Attorneys at Law in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition, he is an Associate at KMG Sports Management and the Chief Operating Officer of KMG’s subsidiary company, International Basketball Prospects (IBP).