By: DaWon Baker, @dawonbbaker
Front Office Sports is proud to have sat down with D’Bria Bradshaw, a J.D./ MBA in Sports Administration Candidate at St. Thomas University School of Law, located in Miami, Florida. Even as a full time student, D’Bria has a wealth of experience in the sporting industry. Her experiences have ranged from interning with the NCAA, being the personal assistant to Jay Williams, the commentator and former Duke Blue Devil, a law clerk, and assistant editor of the Sport Agent Blog. Busy is an understatement. D’Bria graduated from UCF, where she was in the DeVos Sport Business Management Minor program, where I am currently a graduate student. D’Bria was kind enough to sit down with us at Front Office Sports, and share her story.
You’ve done so many different things in the sporting industry. What has your career trajectory been like? What is your end goal?
I’m an aspiring sports agent, with a focus on MLB and NBA players. As an undergraduate at UCF, I was involved in the DeVos Sports Business Management minor program from sophomore to senior year. I’ve wanted to be a sports agent since my senior year of high school, but DeVos opened my eyes to other career choices. While I was in the program, I volunteered as much as possible in the industry, just to see what I would and wouldn’t like. At the end of the day, I still want to be an agent. I took it upon myself to go to conferences, network outside of DeVos, and I used my different opportunities to help build my brand and take my career to the next level. DeVos was my start.
You started your own foundation, D.E.B.S. Can you tell us a little more about that and how it came to life?
D.E.B.S. started in July 2013, it stands for Defying Every Boundary Scholastically, it’s all about providing programming for students from elementary to college, and we encourage them all to Dream BIG, that is our motto. In the spring, we award high school seniors and current college students scholarships. Throughout the year we do back to school drives, Thanksgiving food drives, Christmas Toy Drives and , we also host a leadership and college readiness panel “A Different World: The College Experience” for organizations that have student based programming.
With so many great experiences, what was the most important step in your journey? Whether that be advice, a specific position, or anything that comes to mind?
As far as advice, my mentor Marcus Sedberry always reminds me to stay humble and stay hungry. I take that with me with everything I do. He also reminds me that a set back can be a set up for a step up. Just because I don’t get a job or position, maybe that means it wasn’t for me in the grand scheme of things and something better is out there for me. Marcus is also a graduate of the Masters program, DeVos Sport Business Management program.
What would you describe as your best quality as a professional?
I believe that by taking initiative and being diligent has gotten me to where I am today. I call it the Olivia Pope theory. It doesn’t matter what’s on my plate, I get things done.
Your end goal is a sports agent, can you describe sport law in one phrase and why?
It’s Everyday Law. It’s everyday situations that just so happens to deal with athletes or a sports franchise. It’s contracts, it’s labor law, it’s intellectual property, it’s anything that you can think of.
What are some important things for young professionals and students to know, who want to get into the industry, do you have any advice for anyone getting into sport law and the sporting industry?
For sports law, I would encourage any young professional to become familiar with the collective bargaining agreement within every league. For anyone wanting to get into the sporting industry now, don’t be afraid to reach out to professionals. Especially students, they may be more willing to help and give you advice while you are in school than when you are taking that next step and trying to find a job. Don’t be afraid to reach out, write letters, use LinkedIn, and do your homework on the professional and the industry. Let them know, ‘hey I’m really interested in this field’ use the specific niche and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
What area of work or expertise has been consistent in your experience working in the sporting industry? In all of your jobs, has anything you’ve done in each come up multiple times?
Customer Service. You have to be able to talk to people. Whether it’s been volunteering with DeVos with their opportunities and projects or something else, you have to be a people person. I think sports are all about being able to not only communicate with athletes, but with fans and colleagues. I think customer service has been in every position I held, you have to be a people person and approachable.
Describe what you think the sporting industry is evolving to, what is very prevalent in your thought of the future of sport?
I think everything is going digital now. People really aren’t going to games as much, when you have options to watch it on TV, your tablet, phone, live updates, etc. Especially with the emergence of social media, where you can have access to almost any player, any league, whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, you have to adapt to the digital age.
You worked for Jay Williams, the former Duke Blue Devil Guard and ESPN commentator. How was that experience?
It was great because a lot of people say that being an agent is just like being a personal assistant or babysitter. I think it’s more of handling their business deals and helping with whatever they need assistance with in their personal lives as well. Being Jay Williams’ personal assistant, it gave me a inside look at how busy one person can be, a look at the media side of the sports industry and how you have to make sure you stay on top of tasks, you realize that you are helping your personal brand and theirs. Those were my main takeaways working with Jay. He was a pleasure to work with and we remain close to this day, he’s family.
Any final parting words of wisdom?
Advice I would’ve given my sophomore self is to not let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. If you have a goal, go after it, no matter the statistic to achieve it or anything like that. If you have something deep down you want to achieve, go after it.
We would like to thank D'Bria for her time and insight and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors!