5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became An NFL Agent, With Sean Stellato
“Emotions will be challenged: I have had two Super Bowls with clients from both teams. It is a difficult position knowing that some of my clients will achieve their ultimate goal and others will fall moments, seconds or one play short of their goal. How do you feel elation for one set of clients and at the same time know the disappointment my other clients are feeling?”
I had the pleasure to interview Sean Stellato, a real life Jerry Maguire, and agent for NFL greats like Super Bowl Champion Bryan Braman of the Eagles, Kyle Arrington, Nate Ebner and Ryan Allen of the New England Patriots, Alfred Morris of Dallas Cowboys and Obi Melifonwu of the Raiders.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THIS WITH US! WHAT IS YOUR “BACKSTORY”?
I, Sean Stellato, NFL Agent, have never backed down from a challenge. Some have said I defied naysayers to become a star quarterback at Salem High School during a tumultuous time in the town’s history. I went onto play football/basketball at Marist College, a Division 1 dual athlete and excel in the classroom. After college, I played for the Florida Fire Cats and Louisville Fire in the Arena Football League. In 2013, I left my first job at a mid-sized sports agency and went out on my own to do battle with the titans of the industry. Phil Stacy, Sports Editor compared my “one-on-one” style of personal service of player representation to Jerry Maguire. Today, I represent 15 NFL players as an NFLPA certified sports agent and founder of Stellato Enhanced Sports. My day to day business has me negotiating multi-million dollar contracts for a host of players including Super Bowl Champion Bryan Braman of the Eagles, Kyle Arrington, Nate Ebner and Ryan Allen of the New England Patriots, Alfred Morris of Dallas Cowboys and Obi Melifonwu of the Raiders. I also negotiated endorsement deals with Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, NBC Sports, Mercedes, Breitling and many other top brands. In 2016 I was named to The Boston Business Journal 40 under 40, and the 2017 Greater Boston Ten Young Leaders joining the company of past recipients JFK and Leonard Bernstein. I have been featured on the cover in North Shore Magazine. Additionally, I was inducted in to the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame Massachusetts Chapter and the Salem High School Hall of Fame. As a published author of an award-winning book No Backing Down, The Inspirational Story of 1994 Salem High Football Team. I have appeared at numerous book signings and book discussions at high schools as well as sports organizations across the country. Angelo Pizzo, the talent and creativity behind the classic sports films “Hoosiers,” “Rudy,” and “My All American” is writing the screenplay to bring No Backing Down” to the big screen. My book has a front cover testimonial from Bill Belichick and endorsed by Doug Flutie, Mike Ditka, Adam Schefter, Evander Holyfield, Mark Bavaro and dozens of others. My family and my faith are the foundations of my life. My career takes me away from home for many a day each year. Without my wife Krista in my life I would not be able to live my dream. I spend any free time with my wife Krista and four young daughters, Gianna, Sophia, Giulietta, and the newest member to the Stellato family, Siena. I also donate time supporting organizations close to my heart including; Lifebridge Homeless Shelter, Boston Shriners Children’s Hospital and speaking engagements with schools to promote literacy and the values portrayed in “No Backing Down.”
CAN YOU SHARE THE FUNNIEST OR MOST INTERESTING STORY THAT HAPPENED TO YOU SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR COMPANY?
Much the same as Jerry Maguire, who left with a goldfish and a wide receiver, I left with a pet turtle and an unknown long snapper, Andrew DePaola.
WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES YOUR COMPANY STAND OUT? CAN YOU SHARE A STORY?
Personal service and attention to details are the principles that I embrace every day. The outstanding athletes I choose to represent demonstrate exceptional character, commitment to community service and respect for the game, coaches and fans.
NONE OF US ARE ABLE TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS WITHOUT SOME HELP ALONG THE WAY. IS THERE A PARTICULAR PERSON WHO YOU ARE GRATEFUL TOWARDS WHO HELPED GET YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE? CAN YOU SHARE A STORY?
In the early stage, my family and coach Perrone at Salem High School were the supports that led me to great achievements in the unbelievable backstory found in my book “No Backing Down.” It was their support and encouragement and belief in me that led me to believe in myself and never back down. My dad, mom and late grandmother were my role models as a kid. The work ethic they displayed inspired me to develop a level of drive and grit that would become my greatest assets. In most careers success is often a result of sacrifice. My wife Krista has made many unselfish sacrifices of her time and energy to support me and our family while my career consumes most waking moments of many days. Without Krista I would not have my beautiful life and my daughters. It is also my Christian faith that guides my actions and decisions in what some would say is a rather cut throat business. I remain faithful to my Christian values in my daily life, whether in business operations or personal decisions.
HOW HAVE YOU USED YOUR SUCCESS TO BRING GOODNESS TO THE WORLD?
I have been able to use the popularity of NFL and my player’s brands to engage with children’s organizations, hospitals, and high schools to raise money and awareness for organizations in need. We raise money for Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, individual children and their families who are suffering devastating illnesses such as cancer, Lifebridge; Homeless Service, Plummer Home for Boys, youth sports organizations, St. Jude Hospital, and guest speaker as a supporter of Literacy Education at schools across the country.
WHAT ARE YOUR “5 THINGS I WISH SOMEONE TOLD ME BEFORE I LAUNCHED MY START-UP” AND WHY. PLEASE SHARE A STORY OR EXAMPLE FOR EACH.
1. Learn to be the Flash: Representing players on eight different NFL teams, has me trying to be in as many as eight cities on any given Sunday.
2. Your workouts will be alone in the dark: I have to get up before the world awakes to get my work out and run in because it may be the only time my cell phone is not ringing off the hook.
3. Do not trust everyone: It is difficult at times to know what my word means to me and how that concept differs with individuals.
4. Stay in the moment: While at the Super Bowl I will be fielding calls from clients or prospective clients in different stages of their journey. It is important to stay in the moment when a player is discussing their future and have to divert my attention from my players on the field in the biggest game of their season.
5. Emotions will be challenged: I have had two Super Bowls with clients from both teams. It is a difficult position knowing that some of my clients will achieve their ultimate goal and others will fall moments, seconds or one play short of their goal. How do you feel elation for one set of clients and at the same time know the disappointment my other clients are feeling?
SOME OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN BUSINESS, VC FUNDING, SPORTS, AND ENTERTAINMENT READ THIS COLUMN. IS THERE A PERSON IN THE WORLD, OR IN THE US WHOM YOU WOULD LOVE TO HAVE A PRIVATE BREAKFAST OR LUNCH WITH, AND WHY? HE OR SHE MIGHT SEE THIS. :-)
Peter Gruber from Boston, owner of Golden State Warriors and Mandalay Entertainment is that person. I loved his book “Tell to Win” and would very much enjoy a breakfast or lunch to hear firsthand his insights into his journey of success. “ Peter, let’s trade autographed editions of our books and discuss how our humble upbringings shaped our character, drive for success and passion for sports. You may want the first crack at my screenplay.” I have enjoyed many Mandalay Entertainment films inspired by football stories full of human emotions and overcoming adversity.
THIS WAS VERY INSPIRING. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US!