Brandon Steiner, Steiner Sports, The Steiner Agency, CollectibleXchange

Brandon Steiner

Steiner’s Story

Editors’ Note

Brandon Steiner is a regular on ESPN Radio 1050 on Sunday mornings, along with his co-hosting duties on the YES Network. He has published the books, The Business Playbook: Leadership Lessons from the World of Sports and You Gotta Have Balls. He has guest lectured at Harvard Business School, the Kellogg School of Management, Columbia, and Yale. In 2004, Steiner announced the launch of Yankees-Steiner Collectibles to provide fans with access to Yankees memorabilia and experiences at Yankee Stadium. He has since cultivated team partnerships with the Dallas Cowboys, the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs, the University of Notre Dame, The University of Alabama, and Syracuse University. He sits on the boards of Syracuse University Athletics, David Falk Sports Management, Family Services of Westchester, and The Yogi Berra Museum. He earned an undergraduate degree in accounting at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management from Syracuse.

Company Briefs

Established in 1987, Steiner Sports (steinersports.com) has been a leader in sports memorabilia and sports marketing for over two decades. The company has evolved from procuring athletes for endorsements and speaking engagements to the world’s foremost provider of authenticated, hand-signed, and game-used sports collectibles. Steiner Sports is owned by Omnicom Group Inc.

Founded in October 2019, The Steiner Agency (thesteineragency.com) brings a unique, one-of-a kind business model together with over 30 years of sponsorship/brand activation and promotion experience, to connect clients with exclusive sports properties. It designs and executes unique events on behalf of clients featuring dynamic sports personalities. These strategic marketing events help tap into the emotional platform of sports, resulting in a cohesive alignment between brand and athlete, driving positive brand value and creating memorable guest experiences.

Also launched in October 2019, CollectibleXchange’s (collectiblexchange.com) mission is to provide a marketplace community that maintains the highest level of ethics and authenticity. It offers a trusted online collectible platform with a diverse product selection that caters to a global audience. This enables customers, top-tier collectors, store owners, celebrities, professional athletes and teams to sell their collectibles directly to consumers.

Steiner, CollectibleXchange

Samples of Steiner celebrity and sports memorabilia

Will you discuss the history of Steiner Sports and how the business has evolved?

I love what I built, which was a business focused on getting fans closer to the game and fulfilling the dreams you would have as a kid, whether it be meeting a player and getting something autographed or getting a keepsake used in the game. This was always a dream of mine as a kid that I never thought could come true, so being able to do that and then do it for so many was amazing.

The challenge is that the scalability of it was very difficult. When it comes to the players, considering what I’ve asked them to do and what they have done for me over the past 30 years, it is truly unbelievable. Today, there’s so much going on with them and so many pressures on their time and this stuff is labor intensive and takes a lot of responsibility. One of the reasons for me wanting to build something new and different was that it was really hard to get the players onboard and getting the full trust and getting their cooperation with what is necessary to take the category to another level.

Steiner, CollectibleXchange

I feel that way not only with athletes, but all celebrities. The burden on their time these days between everything going on with social media and other factors is enormous.

I saw a need to build a platform for players to sell their items so we’re trying to create a parallel platform for collectors and athletes because I think that athletes want their own platform, so we are creating platforms that would be side by side on our site where the athletes will have their own platform and then fans will be able to create a community which is what is missing in the collectable space. My goal in this new platform is to bring the stories back and to bring some of the interesting things that go along with collecting back.

We want to provide fans with a place to get all kinds of different items. The new site is a community where people are able to trade and find unusual things and have the security that the items that they’re buying are real. On our site, you have to declare the authentication that you have and how you got it. If it’s not one of the authentication processes that we’re familiar with, the customer has a right to buy it, but there’s also an option that they can send it to an authentication company to go and get it authenticated so you don’t get scammed.

You are known as a pioneer in the sports memorabilia market. What has made the industry so special for you?

I think a big part of happiness and enjoyment comes from being challenged. It is a complicated process as you get older because there’s always this desire for people to want to get rich quick. They think they’re going to become a multimillionaire overnight which is a fallacy.

I certainly enjoy mentoring and teaching. I try to keep myself busy with some of those things. I’ve always been interested in building something extraordinary.

It always starts off with misery and difficulty and hardship. I think I’d be lying if I told you that this is all bells and whistles. There is a lot of change going on in the world right now, but even as an older person, if you can stay current, your experience still carries a lot of weight. You’ve just got to stay current with some of the way things are going and for me, I put a lot of effort into new ways of digital marketing and social media. I put a lot of energy into that and when you couple that with experience, you are bringing something valuable to the table.