Big Bills Lorenzo Alexander recently joined Avalon Sports as Vice President of Player Engagement.
BUFFALO, NY – During his 16-year career in various roles with the Bills front office, Pat Mathews has met hundreds of professional football players. The Niagara Falls native saw firsthand how they run their careers and where things sometimes fall through the cracks.
“There is the assumption that the agent handles most things, but there is also a very big gap that is not taken into account between the organization and the agent,” he said. at 2 On Your Side.
Mathews got particularly close to Shaq Lason, who went on to play with the Miami Dolphins, and is now with the Houston Texans.
“It took a little bit of conviction to tell Shaq that in addition to what you’re doing on the pitch, we need to build that brand off the pitch and for that brand to start in the community,” he said. .
That sentiment has become the mission of Avalon Sports, Mathew’s new Buffalo-based sports marketing company. He and co-founder Deiver Montes, a former Columbia professional soccer player, launched last fall. Lawson and the current Bill, Running Back Zach Moss, were among their first clients on board.
“A lot of people see these athletes as just a public figure who performs on Sunday, but they don’t really see the backstage behind the athlete, really what’s important to them, their feelings, their interests,” said Montes. .
The formula for Avalon athletes is to make connections in three key areas: the communities where they grew up and played in college, and professionally.
“It starts with what the player wants to do and what is important to him,” said Mathews. “For Shaq, he really reflected on his childhood. So if you make him tell stories about his childhood and he was outside of Clemson selling candy to make money and the various charities that gave him donated and his family to help them survive, these were some of the things he wanted to continue doing. “
The Avalon team also just added a little more star power to the roster. Bills great Lorenzo Alexander recently became the vice president of player engagement.
“It’s the foundation of who I am, and I look forward to making an impact on the next generation,” he told 2 On Your Side.
Alexander says the launch of the pandemic has helped them connect with athletes who have had time to explore opportunities off the pitch during league shutdowns.
“You were faced with a world where you would potentially have no sports around you, and I think a lot of people got a taste of what it would be like to experience in the post-career world.”
When asked if he had ever seen himself working on the player management side after his career, Alexander turned to a different “m” world to define his work with Avalon.
“Mentorship, management, I mean you can put a whole bunch of different headlines around that,” he said. “But at the end of the day, it’s about paying up front and serving people, and at the end of my day that’s what I have a goal for.”