This High-Flying Sports Agent Recently Closed the Largest Deal in Red Sox History. Here Are His Top 2 Success Tips.
The head of baseball at agency REP1 details his pillars of achievement.
Over the past seven years, the agency REP1 has grown from a boutique football athlete representation firm into one of the largest multi-sport agencies in the world, including an ascent to the top of the baseball industry. On January 11, 2023, the Boston Red Sox announced its largest-ever deal, signing client Rafael Devers to an extension worth $331 million — the sixth-largest deal in North American sports history and the largest third-baseman contract in baseball history. With it, Devers is now the highest-earning Dominican-born athlete ever.
The head of REP1 Baseball, Chris Koras, sat on the podium alongside Devers as Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy expressed his appreciation of the innovation and leadership Koras and his team applied to make the day possible.
In the six years Koras has been at the helm of the agency, it has grown from working with five MLB players to more than 65, including five All-Stars in 2022 and a number of both leagues' biggest stars and top prospects. Koras credits his success to these two tips.
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Make the pursuit of knowledge constant
When Koras assumed the role of REP1 baseball head, one of his first steps was absorbing wide-ranging field knowledge, including taking an extensive trip to the Dominican Republic.
"In order to understand baseball inside out from their perspective," he recalls, "I had our partner down there take me to almost every square inch of the country, meeting with little league instructors, advanced trainers, bankers, players, families and almost anyone else who had a vested interest in baseball and was willing to educate me."
Gathering that information before making decisions on what's next for his company was, Koras added, "the single most valuable action I have completed in my tenure. I wanted to understand the people I would be working with, and about whom I am still learning every day."
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Own who you are, whoever that may be
When Koras found out that his wife was pregnant, he started writing down "every lesson I could think of that I would want to teach my son whenever life presented a challenge."
At the top of that list was staying true to himself and having conviction in his beliefs, particularly in the face of adversity.
"In business, each member of our team brings a unique perspective born from an accumulation of their beliefs and unique experiences," Koras says. "I encourage [REP1 staff members] to strongly voice their opinion, whether it aligns with my own or not, as we pursue the collective goal of quality service. Owning what each of us brings to discussions makes everyone stronger, day in and day out. As we approached the later stages of the negotiation with the Red Sox, our team's varying skill sets and perspectives not only pushed its members further, but it also built bridges within the organization that benefit all of our clients."
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