We had the good fortune of connecting with Eddie Kim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eddie, what do you attribute your success to?
A saying I always remembered from my time as an undergrad at University of Southern California, “What you do is so loud, I can’t hear what you are saying.” Your action speaks louder than words as simple as it sounds, keeping that integrity has been one of the major parts of my success. Those lessons were taught to me at a young age as a NCAA Division I student-athlete, a former US Army officer, and currently as a certified pro sports agent. Coming through for your team, your clients, your family, your friends, or your project, having the commitment and the determination for the mission to be completed is one of the biggest characteristics that made me the person I am today.
Have faith in yourself and the decisions you make as an owner or as a leader. Remember the seeds that you plant today will not sprout overnight but later down the line. Another major factor as an owner, confidence in my decision-making skills has definitely contributed to the growth of my brand, whether it is to go into a contingency plan or continuing to push forward. Take that leap of faith because if you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Most people say, when you get pressure, it comes stronger and harder from people closest to you, and if that occurs, stay at the task at hand and complete your mission.
My parents were not your typical “Tiger” Korean parents, they allowed my sister and I to become who we wanted to be, but just do your very best in the Lord. My sister swam and graduated from UC Santa Cruz and obtained her Master’s at Boston University and is now a reporter for the Daily Journal in LA. I, myself, swam NCAA Division I at the US Military Academy at West Point and ended up finishing undergraduate and commissioned via Army ROTC at the University of Southern California. I served for 10 years, but also coached USA Swimming as a club coach and as the head coach at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, which I still do to this day. Attained my Master’s at Central Michigan University and decided to open the agency when I knew it was time for me to move on from my US Army life. The reason why I bring this up, I had the freedom as a child to dream big and say I can be whatever I want to be if I work at it. My parents were huge fans of Cuba Gooding, Jr and Tom Cruise, when we were living in the San Fernando Valley area, we went to the theaters to watch Jerry Maguire, and I was 6-7 at the time, and I knew exactly what Tom Cruise’s character’s job description was.
Ever since then, I always had that dream to be a pro sports agent.
To wrap it up, my father had to go through the typical, “You have to be a doctor or dentist!” all his life because his mother was one of the first female gynecology Doctors after North and South Korea split in Seoul, South Korea, and did not want that for both my sister and myself. My sister and I can not thank both our parents enough for the great parenting.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am a WNBA, FIBA basketball, and a Major League Soccer agent and the owner of @biggamemgmt. The journey of being a certified sports agent has not even been a year, but it has been amazing and exciting. Currently, I have 15 male basketball players, 6 female basketball players, and 1 soccer player, and among them, there are players from Brazil, Latvia, and all over the United States. The journey in itself has been tremendous, and building a special unique relationship with each player has been a blessing. An exciting move with the agency was adding a NBA trainer/Overseas Pro Head Coach/Former NBA G-League Personnel over the summer of 2020.
Being able to relate to the younger generation has been, in my opinion, a huge contribution to the growth of my business. Many of the student-athletes that are in high school today started their education with an iPad or technology which was very different from when I grew up. Understanding the younger generation and also bridging the wisdom of the older generation has been one of my keys to success when building relationships with people from all different age categories and backgrounds.
My journey as a pro sports agent has been less than a year, but it has been a fun and amazing ride during Covid-19. Most importantly for Big Game Management, I am proud to say from recording artist to models to professional athletes, I truly feel that family environment that was created within the agency. One of the biggest characteristics I took from my experiences as a US Army Officer and a high school head swim coach is self-less service. I believe selfless service is the true key to success in a service business such as being a pro sports agent or a music manager, the idea you sacrifice yourself and your time for the betterment of the bigger picture, which are your clients and their goals and endeavors. This is the saying I have been preaching to everyone in BGM, we are going to be coming out swinging post-Covid.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Let’s say I have all my clients from all over the globe come visit LA, post-Covid.
I would have them stay at Hotel Indigo in downtown LA so they can see the home that Kobe built, the Staples Center.
For breakfast, I would take them to the Original Pantry Cafe.
Have them go visit Venice Beach and see what it looks like and maybe even hoop out there.
For lunch part I, I would go to an all-you-can eat Korean BBQ, any of the Moo-Dae Po franchises.
For lunch part II, I would bring them to Long Beach and visit Sura LBC @suralbc, Korean fusion and Korean food that have amazing vegan options for both the Korean fusion and original Korean dishes, (some of my clients are vegan).
Depending on the season, catch either USC basketball or USC football game, and if it is summer, of course, a LA Dodger game at night time!
Catch some Philippe the Original after the game.
If it is a Thursday night, go check out @jslaevents at Mama Lion in Koreatown.
One thing about LA, pre-pandemic, the opportunity to see live music and have concerts was just so plentiful. We in LA do not realize how lucky we are, compared to someone who might live in a state where mainstream concerts cannot just be a regular Tuesday night.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Big Game Management, Inc. @biggamemgmt. All my clients in BGM are who I need to dedicate this shoutout. Whether they are a professional basketball player, recording artist, or model, I have a personal and unique relationship with everyone in @biggamemgmt. One thing I can proudly say with the agency is the family type environment that has been curated.
To all the “Coach Eddie’s swimmers” from 2010-2021, to see many of my former swimmers that I coached at the club level and the high school level, grow into such amazing and successful young adults that are way beyond their peers in education, career planning, and financial prospects made me know that all the sacrifices my staff and I made personally were worth it. I connected with a lot of my past swimmers during the pandemic and to see how every single one that ended up being such a positive and successful member of society outside of the pool made me so proud. Many of my past swimmers in the 562 area are also involved with, planning to intern, or going to be involved with upon completion of their higher education with Big Game Management, as they always knew, I keep it in the family. I still give advice regarding career advice or be their reference as young adults and what many of them tell me is that my staff and I are what helped their mindset be where it is today, and little do they know, that their success outside of the pool and young adults was what made me push myself to the best version of myself in this 2021.
My business partner, Jess, @alazay_official, who has been the big sister figure I have always wanted, and always watches my back at all times.
My little sister, Gina @stfu_its_ginaaa, reporter at the Daily Journal, who at the end of the day, knows the real me and knows what’s best for me.
To my childhood swim teammate, Jose, who helps run my non-profit USA swimming club program and the Director of Soccer for BGM, without him, I would definitely not be able to reach my personal goals, and if there is anyone who is the most loyal and for the ladies, “the Most Likely to Bring Home to Mom” award.
Coach P, @coachpfitness, my fellow US Army officer, best friend, adviser, Director of Football at BGM, if there was anyone who pushed me in 2016 to do this if I had the love for it at age 10, he was the man who kept my inspiration, motivation, and goal-setting always at the highest level.
Last but not least, my father a South Korean foreign exchange student at UC Riverside and my mother an immigrant now turned US citizen, the journey to be a first generation Korean-American in Southern California, it was not easy but the one thing I am thankful to the Lord, that they are my parents.
@gaitersports @arpi_photography @ottn_media