Brandon Steiner (http://www.steinersports.com) is a marketing genius. He can take even the simplest item, such as a brick from the old Yankee Stadium, and turn it into a collectible that people will buy. Recently, he spoke at Hofstra University about “Finding Your Entrepreneurial Spirit.” Below, four video clips from this presentation are embedded.
In this presentation, Brandon Steiner discusses his own career and offers a lot of career advice. Boy, is he enthusiastic and upbeat.
As a poor kid in Brooklyn, Brandon Steiner scrounged up the money to make the subway trip to Yankee Stadium and buy the cheapest ticket available. Raised in Flatbush with his two brothers by a single mother, Brandon attended John Dewey High School in Coney Island, NY and from there went on to Syracuse University, graduating in 1981 with an accounting degree.
Brandon started out in food service and hospitality, managing a hospital cafeteria in Baltimore. From there, he moved to a new Hyatt in that city’s refurbished inner harbor. Then, Brandon moved back to New York and was manager at the Hard Rock Café in the late 1980s. It was there that Brandon began meeting athletes he would later represent professionally. Brandon met more athletes at the next restaurant he managed – the Sporting Club – which was New York City’s first full-service sports bar; and he made his first foray into sports marketing – hiring athletes as “guest bartenders” for charity events and to be guests of honor to “Fight Nights,” where the bar would air satellite broadcasts of big-time boxing matches.
As he got to know the athletes, Brandon learned that they did not have anyone to represent them for speaking engagements and corporate appearances. To fill that void, he started Steiner Associates (later renamed Steiner Sports) in 1987, with only $4,000, a one-room office, and an intern. Over the years, the business slowly but steadily grew, and by the late 1990s, Steiner Sports comprised dozens of employees and represented many big-name New York athletes. It was also around this time that the company expanded to collectibles.
In 2004, Steiner Sports’ made a deal with the New York Yankees, which provides Yankees fans with authentic Yankees memorabilia and one-of-a-kind fantasy experiences at Yankee Stadium. Steiner Sports followed this with similar partnerships with Notre Dame Football, Syracuse Athletics, and Madison Square Garden. In 2008, Steiner Sports created yet another unique market, by buying the exclusive rights to the disassembled Old Yankee Stadium. Steiner created an entire, authentic Stadium product line; fans now have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take home seats, signs, bricks from Monument Park, and hundreds of other unique pieces which give the old stadium new life.
Outside the office, Brandon has become a permanent fixture in the media and is a regular on ESPN Radio 1050, along with his co-hosting duties on Yankees-Steiner: Memories of the Game, prominently featured on the YES Network. Additionally, Brandon has been an expert commentator for a wide variety of media.
In 2012, Wiley & Sons published Brandon’s second book, You Gotta Have Balls, which chronicles his long career, and the life and business lessons he learned therein.
Brandon devotes most of his free time to several charities, including Family Services of Westerner, which helps provide quality social and mental health services to strengthen families and children.