Tak­ing the fast break

Andrew Bogut is one of the best bas­ket­ballers in the world, cur­rently dom­i­nat­ing with the NBA’S Golden State War­riors in San Fran­cisco. What most people don’t know, how­ever, is that he is also an as­tute busi­ness­man and cham­pion of Sil­i­con Val­ley start-ups

Business First - - CONTENTS - by Jonathan Jack­son

When you speak with Andrew Bogut there are two el­e­ments to his char­ac­ter that strike a chord: his will­ing­ness to com­mu­ni­cate and his will­ing­ness to help oth­ers. As one of the best bas­ket­ballers in the world, he could be for­given for be­ing a lit­tle de­tached, but he is far from it. He is gen­er­ous with his time for the kids who at­tend his bas­ket­ball school in the South East sub­urbs of Mel­bourne, to the clients in­volved with sports man­age­ment com­pany One Man­age­ment Group and Con­sult­ing (OMGC).

No mat­ter whether he is deal­ing with those clients, or the kids, or whether he is on court for the four or five times a week dur­ing the stren­u­ous, of­ten bru­tal, NBL sched­ule, tak­ing that time means he is liv­ing by his own ethic of de­liv­er­ing one per cen­ters.

“Ev­ery­thing I do, I con­cen­trate on the one per cen­ters. I want things to be per­fect. On or off court, life is all about cus­tomer ser­vice and re­la­tion­ships.” Andrew says.

This at­ti­tude in­forms the way OMGC is run.

“I would rather lose one huge deal to gain ten good deals with great people to work with and form long term re­la­tion­ships with them. If you give people at­ten­tion and the time of day and build an en­vi­ron­ment that they can come and en­joy, it makes life eas­ier and people re­spect that.”

Andrew’s busi­ness part­ner is Bruce Kaider, who looks af­ter OMGC op­er­a­tions while Andrew is play­ing. Bruce was Andrew’s man­ager for over seven years and the pair has a mu­tual be­lief in the im­por­tance of re­la­tion­ship build­ing and giv­ing their clients the best op­por­tu­nity to suc­ceed. While many sports man­age­ment com­pa­nies deal with only the on-field com­mit­ments, OMGC take a holis­tic ap­proach to the growth of the ath­lete.

“We thought we could build an agency based on val­ues and cul­ture; we wanted to of­fer clients a gen­uine ser­vice that helped them in plan­ning their life af­ter sport,” Bruce says. “For us it was about look­ing at life from the ath­lete’s per­spec­tive. There are alarm­ing sta­tis­tics that show 60% of NBA play­ers are broke three years af­ter re­tir­ing from sport. So it’s im­por­tant to fo­cus on set­ting a struc­ture of pro­fes­sional people around these ath­letes. They need to be in­formed about how to best use their money whether it be in res­i­den­tial or commercial property or shares. We build a net­work of ad­vi­sors for ath­letes that in­clude lawyers and fi­nan­cial plan­ners. We send them to Open Uni­ver­si­ties. We look af­ter them with tu­tors. We don’t want them liv­ing on sav­ings, we want to cre­ate other rev­enue sources. We want to make sure they have good ed­u­ca­tion. Ed­u­ca­tion is re­ally im­por­tant and al­lows them to get a bet­ter job.”

Andrew un­der­stands the value of ed­u­ca­tion. He is a learner by na­ture.

“It was daunt­ing when I first came to the US. I didn’t know the first thing about in­vest­ment – who I should trust or what I should do with my money. So I asked a lot of ques­tions. I hired a fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor. I slowly asked more and more ques­tions so that I could be­come self-suf­fi­cient and that’s what we want to pro­vide at OMGC. I have made heaps of mis­takes with busi­ness and in­vest­ment, but noth­ing that has hurt me, be­cause I learnt ev­ery­thing my­self. I am an avid lis­tener and had op­por­tu­ni­ties to lis­ten to people high up in the fi­nan­cial world.”

Part of the suc­cess of OMGC is due to the ethics of the com­pany. This was no overnight set-up. There was a five-year plan in place that took nine months to put to­gether, poli­cies and strate­gies that would set the com­pany apart from com­peti­tors.

Bruce had been in im­port/ex­port and worked with pro­fes­sional sports people. He too had made mis­takes along the way, but his busi­ness skills learned over a 16-year ca­reer, com­bined with Andrew’s one per cen­ter at­ti­tude and skills that he’d learnt were the per­fect fit.

“For us it was very much about life out­side the sport,” Bruce says. “We don’t see any­one as a di­rect com­peti­tor, be­cause we fo­cus on what we be­lieve in and our val­ues. The rest will take care of it­self.”

Val­ues are highly im­por­tant in any or­gan­i­sa­tion and in­deed in any sport­ing team and OMGC will not be

“For Andrew per­son­ally, he still has sev­eral years on court left of a stel­lar bas­ket­ball ca­reer, but in the mean­time he will con­tinue to learn.”

com­pro­mised on what they be­lieve.

“If we have the chance to take an ath­lete who would be a huge earner, but we don’t feel they fit into our code of con­duct, it is un­likely we will take them,” Andrew says. “We don’t want guys do­ing silly things who will hurt the other ath­letes. In busi­ness that is rare.”

This com­mit­ment to the client and to cus­tomer ser­vice and val­ues has al­lowed OMGC to grow quite quickly and ex­pand the busi­ness of­fer­ing. Andrew’s po­si­tion­ing also helps. In fact these days, OMGC has Face­book, Google and Twit­ter on its doorstep.

This has come about due to the ex­pan­sion of OMGC and its im­ple­men­ta­tion of busi­ness tours. It be­gan with the Cal­i­for­nia Dream­ing Sports & Busi­ness Tour in Fe­bru­ary 2013, One Man­age­ment Group & Con­sult­ing (OMGC) and has con­tin­ued this year with re­cently com­pleted ‘2014 Big Time’ Tour.

The tour con­nects Aus­tralian star­tups to Sil­i­con Val­ley ex­perts and an­gel in­vestors, while also in­cor­po­rat­ing a lit­tle fun with tick­ets to the bas­ket­ball and exclusive VIP din­ner with Andrew, along with signed mer­chan­dise, a be­hind the scenes tour of the LA Lak­ers and Golden State War­riors train­ing fa­cil­ity and guided tours of some of the big­gest brands in the Sil­i­con Val­ley.

“You will meet people, have the op­por­tu­nity to net­work, and if you have a start up com­pany, this is a great op­por­tu­nity,” Andrew says. “We had a tech com­pany from Ade­laide that was picked up by an an­gel in­vestor. Any­one who wants to come out here and see how things are started can come. Money can’t buy ex­pe­ri­ence, but the people we have a net­work through can pro­vide an enor­mous ben­e­fit.”

Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion has been a boon for the OMGC busi­ness and what they can of­fer.

“We have mul­ti­ple di­vi­sions of the com­pany by de­sign,” Bruce says. “It means that one di­vi­sion is not re­liant on any other, how­ever there are cross­over and com­ple­men­tary fac­tors. We use our strengths to ad­van­tage. Andrew is based in San Fran­cisco, so we use his pro­file and con­tacts in that tech and en­tre­pre­neur space. There are a lot of Aus­tralian com­pa­nies, look­ing to raise money and set up busi­ness in the US, so we use our net­work to help them ex­pand. Again, it comes back to build­ing re­la­tion­ships.”

OMGC will con­tinue to fo­cus on build­ing the busi­ness. Bruce says they are nowhere near what they want to achieve, al­though they are ahead of the busi­ness plan and look­ing to ex­pand the range of ser­vices as well as the ge­o­graphic lo­ca­tion.

For Andrew per­son­ally, he still has sev­eral years on court left of a stel­lar bas­ket­ball ca­reer, but in the mean­time he will con­tinue to learn.

“I am con­tin­u­ously learn­ing. The best thing about be­ing in San Fran­cisco is that I can ask ques­tions, fol­low up with emails and seek ad­vice. You are never smart enough.”

These are great lessons to learn from some­one who is a canny sports star and as stated an as­tute busi­ness­man, who can of­fer a lot in the way of ad­vice and men­tor­ship and who val­ues help­ing oth­ers achieve their best.

A tour of the War­riors’ fa­cil­i­ties.

The Sil­i­con Val­ley start-ups.

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