Sports Industry Mogul Darren Heitner Teaches Us How To Play The Game – Forbes

When Cuba Gooding Jr. got Tom Cruise to scream the words, “Show Me The Money!” during his Oscar winning performance in Jerry Maguire, he coined a phrase that would not only become synonymous with the business of sports for decades to come, but go on to inspire millions to try and enter the world of athlete representation and sports marketing.

Some two decades later, renowned sports and entertainment attorney Darren Heitner is once again out to inspire the masses to pursue their dreams of becoming the next great sports business success story with his new book, How To Play The Game. At just 29, Heitner has achieved more in the business of sports than many twice his age and has firmly entrenched himself as one of the foremost experts on the business of sports and entertainment.

How To Play The Game provides an inside look at the ultra-competitive sports industry. More specifically, it tackles the glamorized life of a sports agent head on, exploring issues involving intellectual property, obtaining certification, and antitrust issues. The book is geared towards future and current practitioners who are attempting to implement sports law into their practice by providing an instructive analysis of the industry.

Heitner, is himself a former sport agent who practiced during the beginning of his career as CEO of Dynasty Athlete Representation (which has been converted into a consulting company, Dynasty Dealings). A graduate from The University of Florida Levin College of Law, Darren also has a well-versed background in entertainment, intellectual property, commercial litigation, and transactional work. Darren’s expertise can be consumed on his celebrated website, Sports Agent Blog, which is devoted to the world of sports agency. In addition to his practice in the sports legal field, Darren is a prodigious contributor to Forbes Magazine as well as many other sports publications.


How To Play The Game is creatively laid out for not only an experienced attorney who is seeking some guidance in regards to sports lawyering, but also for an avid sports fan who is simply intrigued by the ins and outs of sports law. Real life examples are fruitfully provided to assist the reader on how to apply what was divulged in the previous sections to real life scenarios.

The book begins with an overview of Collective Bargaining Agreements, the NFL concussion litigation, lockouts, and the baseball arbitration system. Readers are provided an in depth look at the mandatory subjects within the bargaining process that the leagues and players association consider when collective bargaining. Heitner also explains how each side respectively argues their positions when attempting to procure a favorable collective bargaining agreement. How To Play The Game covers numerous other important subjects that will provide the reader with a 360-degree look into all issues a sports lawyer must be prepared for and knowledgeable about.

An ABA (American Bar Association) sponsored publication, How To Play The Game is at the forefront of an exploding industry and is a prime piece of literature for people interested in learning all that there is about the day to day life of a sports agent and attorney. The book is truly something that lawyers and non-lawyers alike will undoubtedly enjoy, and most importantly find tough to put down once Heitner begins to show them the money.

Jason Belzer is Founder of GAME, Inc.  and a Professor of Organizational Behavior and Sports Law at Rutgers University. Follow him on Twitter @JasonBelzer.


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