SBJ/March 10-16, 2014/Forty Under 40

Forty Under 40: Rod Moskowitz


HHP / HAROND HINSON

Rod
Moskowitz

Company: Fuel Sports Management Group
Title: Principal, CEO
Age: 40 (turned 40 last Friday)
Where born: Willimantic, Conn.
Education: Vanderbilt University (B.S.), University of Maryland School of Law (J.D.)
Career background: Sports representation since
undergraduate
Family: Single

Favorite apps: Sporting News, The Wall Street Journal.
Favorite way to unwind: Going to the World Cup every four years.
Guilty pleasure: Major sporting events with clients.
Worst habit: Staying up too late.
Causes supported: Kasey Kahne Foundation, Denny Hamlin Foundation, Jamie McMurray Foundation.
Person in the industry I’d like to meet: Larry Bird, because he is a perennial winner.
I have a fear of … : Not being able to grow our NASCAR sponsor relationships.
Most adventurous thing I’ve ever done is … : Travel through Europe trying to convince elite soccer clubs to sign American soccer players.
2014 will be a good year if … : Our clients stay healthy and perform at a high level.

Rod Moskowitz was in law school when he traveled to France and Spain to pitch his roster of MLS players to clubs. The former Vanderbilt soccer player rented a car, hired a translator and stayed in hostels as he traveled from clubs like Paris Saint-Germain to Real Madrid.

“I was pitching naming rights and players and I didn’t have any luck,” Moskowitz said. “The soccer business was challenging then.”

Phil Anschutz and Lamar Hunt owned the majority of MLS in those early years of the league, and player salaries were small. So Moskowitz decided after law school that he needed to find another sport. He connected with Cary Agajanian, founder of Motorsports Management International, through the Sports Lawyers Association and asked about working in the world of motorsports.

Moskowitz joined the firm at the perfect time. Agajanian’s star client, Tony Stewart, had just moved into NASCAR, and the sport had recently consolidated its national TV rights. Stewart’s influence helped MMI sign Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Denny Hamlin and others whom Moskowitz began representing.

“He obviously did a great job when he worked for us,” Agajanian said. “When he’s focused on something, he gets into it with all of his efforts.”

SBJ Podcast:
Executive Editor Abraham Madkour and project editor Mark Mensheha talk about the Forty Under 40 selection process and the class of 2014.

Moskowitz left MMI after about a decade, in 2011, and founded his own firm, Fuel Sports Management Group. He took Kahne, McMurray and Hamlin with him and concentrated on creating a small, full-service agency that would manage elite drivers, sell sponsorships and consult for companies interested in NASCAR. His firm has succeeded in doing that, helping deliver deals like Great Clips to Hendrick Motorsports and expanding its client roster to include Matt Kenseth, runner-up for last year’s Sprint Cup Championship.

There have been extensions into other sports, as well. Moskowitz has formed a joint venture with former Def Jam President Kevin Liles to launch an agency, Revolution, to represent NFL players. Fuel also has partnered with golf agent Jens Beck in a soccer agency, Cor Sports Management Group.

Nearly 15 years after Moskowitz traveled to Europe, Cor agent Mike Gartlan finalized a deal to bring former MLS player Roger Espinoza to Wigan Athletic of the EPL.

Said Moskowitz, “The business is really coming full circle.”

— Tripp Mickle

Return to top

Related Topics:

Forty Under 40

Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug