William J. Strickland

William J. Strickland

Bill began his professional career in the private sector working for a couple of major aerospace companies in labor relations and human resources for approximately 10 years. He went on to work at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for approximately 4 years before starting his sports career.

As a transactional attorney, business executive and registered sports agent, Bill represented primarily NBA and NFL professional athletes for over 35 years. He started his athlete representation career working for the then two largest sports management companies in the world; he rose to become COO of Team Sports at ProServ, at the time the second largest sports management company in the world and later he became President of Basketball at IMG, then the world largest sports management company.

Some of his previous clients include NBA basketball players, Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Mitch Richmond, Adrian Dantley, Allan Houston, Chris Webber and Rasheed Wallace to name a few; plus former NFL footballers Chris Doleman, Boomer Esiason and Daunte Culpepper and current Indianapolis Colts head football coach, Frank Reich.

Bill went on to established his own sports management company, which he sold after 10 years of successful operations. During his sports management career, he negotiated on behalf of his clients contracts for personal playing services, endorsements, appearances, events, promotions and a broad array of other contracts which resulted in approximately $2 billion in gross compensation paid to his clientele.

He became the first African American agent to individually represent the number one overall pick of the NBA Draft. He also became the first African American to be recognized by The Sporting News on its “100 Most Powerful People in Sports” list. In addition, he has been recognized and received numerous other awards, among them: (i) Black Enterprise Magazine- “Top Fifty Lawyers” and “50 Most Powerful African-Americans in Sports & Entertainment” (ii) the National Bar Association – “Living Legends Award” (iii) a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Howard University Law School, and (iv) has been recognized twice by the 100 Black Men of America.

Bill has taught at every level of higher education, including stints as:

  • Instructor/Lecturer, UCLA Extension Custom Program: Corporate Governance & Innovation–UCLA (i) “Fundamentals of Board Directorships” (ii) “Effective Board Communications” and (iii) “US Corp. Innovation Management - Business Incubation & Development”
  • Lecturer, Cal State Univ. Dominquez Hills — (i) “Sports Dispute Resolution” (ii) “Sports & Entertainment Arbitration & Mediation” and (iii)“Mediation in Human Resources”
  • Lecturer in Law, USC Gould School of Law - University of Southern California – “Business Organizations”
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Exercise Sciences - George Washington University -- “Sports and the Law”
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Legal Studies – University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School “Contract Negotiations and Alternative Dispute Resolution”

In addition, he has been a guest speaker/panelist/interviewee, having addressed various sports and business topics at over 24 law and business schools around the country. He has also taught over 30 “Continuing Legal Education” courses, plus been interviewed by various forms of media.

Bill earned his Bachelor in Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University, his Master in Business Administration from UCLA, and his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University. He is a member in good standing of the Pennsylvania and District of Columbia Bars Associations.

He currently is Sr. Vice President at Life Sports Agency in Los Angeles and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Masters in Sports Law and Business Program at Arizona State University.