Danielle Cantor, FAME
Since then, she’s worked closely with Falk on every aspect of the business, from marketing to recruiting to player contract negotiations. Cantor is the only female National Basketball Players Association-certified agent with a current client in the league.
“She intentionally tries to keep a low profile — that’s her choice,” Falk said. “She is the smartest, most capable … I wouldn’t get hung up on power and who is a superagent. I would say she is the most intelligent, capable, well-connected woman in the business who is not a household name.”
Cantor works with Falk on all his player clients and is the lead agent on Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon, who became the lowest-drafted player to be named NBA Rookie of the Year this past June. Falk said Cantor has earned the respect of not only players, but general managers around the NBA.
“She does an excellent job of understanding contextually a lot about not only the opportunities for her players, but what suits them as people,” said Sam Presti, Oklahoma City Thunder general manager. Presti said he’s known Cantor since 2007 and is impressed with her constantly growing knowledge of the industry, as well as the way she works with Falk.
Falk admits he’s not the easiest person to work for because of his extremely high expectations. “A lot of people who worked for me couldn’t handle the pressure of those demands,” he said. “They couldn’t handle the expectations. It’s never been an issue for Danielle from day one, ever.”
- Where born: Washington, D.C.
- Education: University of Pennsylvania / Wharton School of Business.
- Attributes I look for when hiring: Preparation, instinct, confidence, competitive and humble.
- Networking tip I’ve learned: Use the network you already have to make connections. Be present. CONNECT and passionately engage. When you disengage, leave the person wanting more … you do not need anything from that person, other than a new connection. The best opportunities come unexpectedly, so focus on personal relationships rather than the potential associated opportunity.
- Best advice I’ve received for career development: Don’t be a prisoner of your own reputation: Successful people remain consistent in their value system but flexible in reaction to changing market conditions. It’s a long horse race: endurance and persistence, along with risks and failure, ultimately win the race.
- If I had it to do over again, I would: Become a certified NBPA agent earlier in my career. It happened naturally and it was never my intention or career goal, but I do wish I had done it sooner.
- Woman in sports business I’d most like to meet: Val Ackerman. She has had successful runs in leadership roles (first woman in such role in many of them) with some of the most important groups/teams/organizations in our business, all while being an involved mother.
- Is discussion about challenges women face working in sports necessary or played out? Continuing to progress the topic is necessary, but the discussion is played out.
- Charities supported: PeacePlayers International, Most Valuable Kids (board member), Boys and Girls Clubs of America.