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NFL Agent Inspires Professional Athletes To Make A Difference

Eugene Lee, president of MBK Sports Management, shares his faith and how he works with NFL players to help make a positive impact in the lives of young men. Read Transcript


[MUSIC PLAYING]

Well, when it comes to agents, pro athletes

want someone to show me the money.

Well, Eugene Lee has done that.

He and his agency have negotiated contracts totaling

over one billion dollars, but Eugene's job

isn't to make sure his clients bring in the big bucks.

His job is to be his brother's keeper.

In the cutthroat world of sports management,

it's hard to find someone who isn't in it just for the money.

Meet Eugene Lee.

He left a steady paycheck at a law firm

in New York City for the competitive world of the NFL.

Eugene is known as the powerhouse agent who

conducts business the same way he lives his life, with faith

and integrity.

In his book, "My Brother's Keeper",

Eugene gives us a look at the business side of football

and why he offers his clients something

above and beyond the dotted line.

Eugene Lee is the president of MBK Sports

Management Group and his new book is called,

"My Brother's Keeper", and Eugene,

we welcome you to the 700 Club.

Thank you for having me.

I want to start with your book for a moment

because you have a statement, and it's a little odd,

sometimes in life you just have to tackle Yoda.

[LAUGHING]

Explain that.

When I was in law school, my third year

of law school, my brother and his frat brother

came out to visit for the first Notre Dame game,

for his first Notre Dame game, and we

went to a Halloween party that night

that was sponsored by the law school.

And there was, as I was standing by the dance

floor on the party, I just started to realize,

you know, I don't want to live a conformist life.

I want to be a nonconformist, in a good way.

I want to have the courage to pursue dreams

and to understand God's will for my life.

And on a whim, I just saw Yoda standing by the bar and I said,

you know, how funny would it be if somebody ended up just

tackling Yoda?

And so I ran over and I tackled Yoda.

My brother, I mean there was a look

of incredulity, disbelief--

Did Eugene just do that?

Fear.

Yeah.

[LAUGHING]

Whatever you want to call it.

But you know, it was an analogy of something greater in my life

and Yoda was no worse for the wear.

And I helped him back up to his feet.

Probably didn't feel it.

Exactly.

But from that moment on, you know, I tackle Yoda every day.

When I asked my wonderful wife to marry me,

when I hop on a plane to meet with a recruit

with no guarantee that I will sign that player,

I tackle Yoda.

It's about living a life of no fear filled

with the Lord's perfect love.

You actually got your start because

of a couple of pick-up basketball games at Notre Dame.

How did that happen?

I was in law school.

Again, it's about opportunities that the Lord

puts in your life.

Must be something about law school, Eugene.

Yeah.

It was.

Maybe it's the combination of law school and Notre Dame.

But when I was in law school in Notre Dame

and I always grew up playing basketball

I could play a little ball.

Even nowadays, you know, my older age.

I can still play a little bit.

But playing pickup basketball, I became friends

with some of the guys on the football team.

They asked me to become certified.

They knew I'd accepted a job offer

with a top firm in the city, so I moved out there.

My first four years, I was just representing

Notre Dame players on the side and began to realize,

you know, I was good.

I had an aptitude for it.

My educational background, my training, the experience

I was gaining, was allowing me to excel

in the work I was doing for my clients,

but more importantly, Terry, I realized I love the work.

Yeah.

Working with young men of character.

That's a gift, to love the job that you do, to make a living.

It's a blessing.

Yeah.

Absolutely.

Talk a little bit about the job that you

do because I think most people when they think of agents,

they think of big contracts, and getting the most money,

being sure your guys the guy that comes out on top.

But you say there's a lot more to it than that.

There really is.

The NFL is a cutthroat business.

For sure.

Everyone knows that.

And you need to be a steadfast rock.

You need to be somebody in your client's corner

because it really comes down to us and them at certain times.

And it's having an internal perspective

in the work that we do.

And knowing and understanding that, beyond taking care

of their contracts, making sure they're

handled in procuring endorsements,

it's about understanding that when adversity hits, not

if, but when it hits in the NFL, you were there for your client,

you're going to give him Godly advice,

you're going to have his back, you're

going to be in his corner, and that's one less thing for them

to worry about.

It's more than a business deal.

It's a relationship really.

So your agency, your management group, what sets you apart

from others?

It's the internal perspective that we take.

We are dynamic.

We are cutting edge.

You know, it's a tremendous combination of experience,

then using the context of relationships.

Everything in this world, I believe,

is relationship driven.

The work we do, with the ministry that we have,

it's about building meaningful, authentic relationships

and that's what we pride ourselves

on, in, and around the NFL.

So how do you handle it when you're relationship-driven

and the people that work for you have become a part of that

as well.

And now you're up against an organization, or an individual,

that is very money-driven.

I mean, you said yourself, it's a cutthroat industry.

So how do you contend with that when that's who

you have to do business with?

Good character and faith is good business in my opinion.

And over time, if you continue to do the right thing

in the small moments, and you continue to just stand fast

and excel for your clients and contract negotiations,

even the most hard-minded, money-driven,

and bottom-line individual will at least respect the work

you do for your clients and the manner in which you do it.

And that's where we've gotten with a lot of these NFL teams

looking great.

You talked about getting on a plane

and going out to talk to a player about representing them.

What's involved in all of that?

How do you connect with these people

and how do you become the guy who's your brother's keeper?

We're very fortunate to have the training in terms

of the scouting evaluation on the front end.

I mean, the way the industry works,

you invest in players during the pre-draft period

and you make your commissions, you make the revenues

on the back-end.

So you really want to be diligent in terms of scouting

and evaluating players.

Now once you identify players that

are the right fit, not only for their play on the field,

but for their character and how they handle themselves

off the field, you want to make sure

that it's a player you can trust.

Yeah.

Trust is key.

Trust to make the right decisions on and off the field,

so you can be consistent in your goals,

consistent in your values, and use your time in absolutely

productive pursuits.

That's the key.

You know, if there's one thing, well, there are many things,

but one of the things that stood out to me in your story

is your diligence and ability when you were a young guy,

when most people were at the bar with Yoda,

to look on down the line at what you

wanted to do with your life.

What message would you give to young people about that

because it's so easy to get caught up

in that whole college, university, party atmosphere,

but life happens pretty quickly once

that cap and gown come off?

It does.

It's about balance.

I think balance and faith and understanding.

It's about time management, organizing your day,

handling your business, both in the classroom and, you know,

enjoying your life and enjoying your time as a college student.

You never get that back again.

But understanding that there's a greater goal and the greater

goal that a lot of young people don't see is doing God's will

and allow him to use you for his glory.

You say you were born to do what you're doing.

What do you mean by that?

The combination of the talents and gifts that the Lord has

given me, and the platform that I have been given,

the opportunities that continually arise in my life

day in and day out, starting on the pickup basketball

courts of Notre Dame, all across the NFL

and different college football stadiums across the country,

I'm reminded every single day.

When I see a rookie client play in front of his hometown crowd

with 30 family members and friends

with tears in their eyes, for him to achieve a dream

and knowing that God used me, he used

what he gave to me, to help this young man maximize his ability.

Yeah.

That just resonates within me and I

know that this is what I'm meant to do.

Gave you your dream and now you're

helping others get theirs.

Absolutely.

That's pretty awesome.

What a great way to make a living.

Well, thank you for being here.

It's so great to have you and I want

you to know you can hear more of the details of his stories

by getting the book that Eugene's written.

It's called, "My Brother's Keeper".

I think you'll find it fascinating.

It's available nationwide, plus Eugene also joined our social

media team for an exclusive behind the scenes interview

and you can see that by going to facebook.com/700club.

Bless you.

Thanks.

Great story.

Thank you very much.

God's faithfulness.

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