One of the speakers for the MSBA program was Lewis Howes, CEO and Founder of sportsnetworker.com. He challenged us to reach out to three c-level sports business professionals, and try to obtain video interviews. To add to the challenge, he informed us that he’s spoken at numerous conferences giving this same challenge, but has never had a student been able to complete it.
I’m proud to say, that I was one of two MSBA students to complete this challenge. Originally published on Sports Networker, below is my interview with Executive Director of the NFL Players Association, DeMaurice Smith.
Prior to his work with the NFL Players AssInterview with DeMaurice Smithociation, Smith was a trial lawyer and litigation partner in the Washington, D.C. offices of Latham & Watkins and Patton Boggs. Smith has also represented numerous Fortune 500 companies. He earned such a high reputation in the legal community that he was given the job with the NFL Players Association despite very little sports legal background. Most importantly, Smith played a major role in helping the players and NFL owners come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement.
DeMaurice Smith is known for reaching an agreement with the National Football League, but his legacy will be for instilling in players of the National Football League the importance of integrity, faith, and honor. As he said in the interview, “they are going to touch far more people by the things that they do off the field than they ever will on the field.” DeMaurice Smith’s goal is to take professional athletes, and make them men of character.
During the interview, we discussed:
- Smith’s undergraduate time at Cedarville University, and how it prepared him for his career
- How he became Executive Director of the NFL Players Association from being a Corporate Attorney
- About faith and courage, and why those are the most important traits
- Further detail about the NFL Lockout and what it looked like from the inside
- What moment of his career he is proudest of
- His priorities and goals as Executive Director of the NFL Players Association
- His advice for those looking to enter the Sports Business Industry