2012Jan 18

SPAD Speaker Series Presents: Gil Scott, Tim Fleiszer, and Andy Fantuz

SPAD interns and Andy Fantuz, Tim Fleiszer & Gil Scott

By SPAD Blogger Andrew Leach

On Monday, January 16th, the SPAD students at Laurentian University were honoured to welcome esteemed guests, Gil Scott, Tim Fleiszer, and Andy Fantuz, who shared their knowledge and industry experience with staff and students alike. The first of the guests to grace the podium was Tim Fleiszer, a Partner in Gil Scott Sports Management, and a former CFL defensive lineman. Mr. Fleiszer boasts an impressive resume, a Harvard graduate (’98), selected 1st overall in 1998 CFL draft, 4 Grey Cup Championships with 4 different teams, and finally, a business partner in well-respected sports management firm – Gil Scott Sport Management. Mr. Fleiszer was keen to share his experience with the students, and provided excellent insights into how students can gain advantages in the workplace, and help themselves further their careers. One of the tips expressed by Fleiszer was for students to “sell more than you can deliver ”. When new in an industry, hard work and dedication is critical to gaining the trust of partners, and by setting high goals, and striving to succeed, efforts will not go unnoticed. He also emphasized the power of the word “yes”. Tim’s experience has taught him that in order to succeed, one must accept the challenges presented to us, and embrace the opportunities that are presented along with such challenges.

A major focus of Fleiszer’s speech was the emphatic performance of the Interns: Chris Ackroyd, Kyla Csumrik, Meron Tecle, Alannah Della Vedova, and Antoine Ste- Marie. These SPAD students represented Gil Scott Sports Management over the past several months, and according to Mr. Fleiszer, exceeded all expectation. The students were burdened with challenging tasks that came hand in hand with large amounts of responsibility. In true SPAD style, the students did not disappoint, and left a lasting impression in the minds of all those involved in the organization.

Secondly, the students had the privilege of hearing from the smooth talking, charismatic Mr. Gil Scott. As president of Gil Scott Sports Management, Mr. Scott had a wealth of stories and knowledge to share with the staff and students. His engaging, and humorous approach to sharing his knowledge was rejuvenating, and was contrasted by a resume that could only be taken seriously, considering the scale and importance of his feats. Mr. Scott, as an agent representing athletes across North America, successfully negotiated the first million dollar contract for a CFL player, the highest ever (at the time) contract for an NFL kicker, as well as completing over 300 other athletic contracts. Mr. Scott was also keen to emphasize the importance of trust in workplace relationships, and highlighted how trust is paramount to successful salesmanship. Through his stories, it is clear that his ability to develop strong relationships has allowed him establish his stature in the sports industry, and allow him to become a leader in the sports agency industry. Scott also complimented the professionalism of the SPAD students in attendance, and announced their compatibility with those whom work in the NHL. He discussed the differences in dress code when dealing with clients from varying fields. Whereas the NFL and CFL are more relaxed in their approach to self-image, according to Mr. Scott, the NHL was epitomized by suits. This is where the comparison to the SPAD students was drawn, as each of the students came dressed to impress, and represented their program well.

Finally, the highly anticipated Andy Fantuz took to the podium. Fantuz, a former leading receiver in the CFL (2010), and Grey Cup winner, is widely considered as the most marketable player in the Canadian Football League. This was the first occasion where this generation of SPAD students were able to interact with an active professional athlete. Fantuz talked about his business experience as an athletes, especially regarding contracts, as this kept in theme with the two previous speakers. When addressing his agents, Andy mentioned the relationships he had with previous agents, and how he had come to love the attitude and style of Gil Scott Sport Management. He related back to the point of trust in relationships, and expressed his desire for a more personal relationship with his agent, which is what led him to his current contract with Gil and Tim. An interesting topic addressed by Fantuz was his work with First Round Football. This organization, founded by Fantuz , operates 2-3 day football camps to help player development. He incorporates player combines at the camps with his website to act as a database for young players to compare themselves with their competition, as well as promote the athletes to possible scouting agencies through the availability of their statistics. This is a great mission, and it is Andy’s goal to expand this organization to major cities across the country. Both Fantuz, and Fleiszer mentioned the possibility for SPAD students to become involved in helping to achieve this goal.The current SPAD students should not hesitate to consider this option, as it is a promising, and positive organization that would provide an excellent opportunity for students seeking an internship.

On behalf of the SPAD community, we would like to thank our guests for taking the time to visit, and share the wisdom they possess with us. Also, the students would like to extend their gratitude to all the interns whom represented our family with great success, building the relationships that will help maximize the potential of the SPAD brand in years to come.

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