Chris Gear (Blackfin Sports Group) stops by to chat about his amazing 25 years as a Sports Executive! From his first sports client (PGA-Air Canada Championship) to his time on the organizing committee for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to Assistant General Manager for the Vancouver Canucks, Chris has almost done it all! Now, Chris has launched Blackfin Sports Group in Vancouver and talks all about it.
What does Chris “DO?”
How “DID” he do it?
What “WILL” he do next?
Sports law and agent work with a focus on Blackfin Sports Group. 0:00
- Chris Gear shares his incredible career journey in sports and entertainment, from leading a law firm to founding Blackfin Sports Group, a comprehensive sports partnership agency, offering legal services and endorsements for athletes and teams.
- Sports agency and negotiation strategies. 5:18
- Brent asks Chris about his preference between working with a lawyer or a non-lawyer agent, to which Chris replies that the standard player contract is agreed upon between the league and the Players Association, with the main negotiation being the term and amount of the deal.
- Chris discusses his experience working with the Canucks and how it prepared them for starting their own sports agency.
- Sports industry growth in Vancouver, Canada. 12:12
- Chris says Vancouver’s momentum is building with new events and businesses, and the new mayor is pushing for more involvement.
- Trevor Linden and James Conrad are mentioned as key figures in the speaker’s journey in the sports industry.
- Career progression in sports law. 17:50
- Chris offers to take over a colleague’s sponsorship work for PGA and attends meetings at Northview Golf Course, soaking up knowledge from professionals in the sports business.
- Chris is excited to be chosen as a community contributor to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic bid and represents Blake’s law firm, with senior partners guiding as needed.
- Legal aspects of hosting the Olympics, including contracts and brand protection. 23:03
- Host city must navigate complex commercial agreements for Olympic events.
- VANOC had to negotiate and manage a large volume of agreements with various stakeholders, including sponsors, construction companies, hotels, bus providers, and more.
- The organization faced numerous legal challenges, including lawsuits over trademark enforcement, discrimination against female ski jumpers, and an inquest following an accident during the games.
- Olympic experiences and NHL team management. 27:14
- Chris received a phone call from the Canucks offering a General Counsel role shortly after the Olympics, which started a 12-year career there.
- Chris reflects on his 12-year tenure with the Vancouver Canucks, highlighting the team’s successes and setbacks, including a prolonged down cycle and eventual organizational changes.
- Career path and leadership roles in sports management. 34:05
- Chris discussed his experience as an assistant general manager of an NHL team, mentioning their role as a dealmaker and advisor.
- Chris managed the budget, logistics, and contracts for the team, while also helping with legal matters
- Starting a sports consulting firm in Vancouver. 39:58
- Blackfin have a team of experienced professionals, including Olympic gold medalist Christine Nesbitt, and is open to new opportunities and growth.
- Chris hopes Blackfin will become a leading sporting entertainment consulting firm in the Northwest, providing employment opportunities and giving back to the community through initiatives like supporting the Orca population.
- Speaker 2’s excitement for Blackfin has been tempered by the challenges of starting a business, but they believe it will move into the number one position in their rankings over time.
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