Brockmeyer's minor investment may pay off majorly

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Bell City native Nick Brockmeyer always had an idea he would be a lawyer some day.

"I knew I was going to be an attorney because my dad was an attorney," Brockmeyer said.

While in law school at St. Louis University, Brockmeyer decided to combine his loves for law and sports. A labor of love was born.

"I took a sports law class with a guy who was an agent," said Brockmeyer, a 2001 Southeast Missouri State graduate.

Not long after taking the sports law class and while still in school, Brockmeyer decided to launch his own business. He created Platinum Sports & Entertainment Management LLC. Today, Brockmeyer's firm represents more than 50 professional baseball players.

It wasn't easy getting started.

"We were doing everything," Brockmeyer said, "a lot of weird stuff. We had no focus at all."

One of his early clients was Sam Solovey, a colorful contestant from the first year of "The Apprentice".

It dawned on Brockmeyer that representing reality show contestants may not be the way to go. "It really is 15 minutes of fame," said Brockmeyer, a 1996 Bell City graduate.

Brockmeyer credits his wife for giving focus to his firm. "It was driving my wife nuts. She was like, 'What do you know about representing reality show contestants?' I realized, not a lot."

He shifted gears and focused exclusively on baseball.

"I went to baseball because that's the sport I liked the most," Brockmeyer said. "That's the sport I know the most about.

The first baseball player he signed was former Southeast Missouri State pitcher Brad Purcell.

"We ran into him down at Jeremiah's in Cape," says Brockmeyer, whose company is based in St. Charles, Mo.

The signing of Purcell, an Australian native who's pitched in independent leagues and in Taiwan, opened the door to "The Land Down Under."

"I've never been to Australia. I don't know anything about Australia," Brockmeyer admitted. "But since then, we probably represent more Australian players than any other agency in the country night now."

Another Brockmeyer client is former Southeast player Justin Christian. He's currently playing Class AA baseball for the Trenton Thunder in the Yankees farm system and leading the Eastern League in stolen bases.

The firm -- Southeast grad and SLU law school alum Bert Fulk is Brockmeyer's partner -- also represents John Urick, Whitey Herzog's grandson who now is playing Class A baseball for the Phillies.

None of Brockmeyer's clients are currently in the big leagues. But he knows it's just a matter of time.

"People always ask that," Brockmeyer said. "My answer is always the same. It won't be all of them. But it won't be zero."

If the firm signs a player before he's drafted, agents can make money from the player's signing bonus. Otherwise, until a player gets to the big leagues, the agent doesn't see a dime.

"It's like an investment," says Brockmeyer. "What I tell the players when they sign -- it's risk free."

Minor league players can still keep an agent busy.

"It's a lot of hand holding, baby-sitting," Brockmeyer said. "We do everything from if they have a problem with their landlord to making sure their car movers get their car to the next city when they're moving. We talk guys through slumps."

Brockmeyer also does criminal defense work to generate income while he waits for this long-term investment to pay off.

When asked where he hopes to see the company in five years, Brockmeyer smiled and said: "A lot of guys in the big leagues making a lot of money."

Mike Mitchell's sportsblog appears on www.semissour-ian.com, the Web site of the Southeast Missourian.

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