Navigating NCAA, and Major Junior
Uptown works closely with young players and their families to educate them on the differences between the NCAA and CHL. The decision making process between the CHL and NCAA often leaves players and parents confused and indecisive on what route they should choose. Our objective is to advise our clients and their families through the entirety of the process. Helping to guide the player and his family through this rather ambiguous area by providing factual information with several decades of experience is most beneficial to the player and family alike. We have advised many top college hockey players over the years, as well as represented some of the most sought after NCAA free agents to sign NHL contracts (Corban Knight- North Dakota, Matt O’Connor- Boston U, Daniel Renouf- Maine, to name a few). Our CHL client list includes WHL, OHL, and QMJHL graduates such as Byron Froese- Red Deer/Toronto, Mackenzie Blackwood- Barrie/New Jersey, Garrett Wilson- Owen Sound/Florida, Tyler Bertuzzi- Guelph/Detroit, and many more.
We ensure that your family does not rush into a decision without being properly informed. We assist in providing all of the pertinent information needed to make a confident and comfortable decision.
We ensure that your family does not rush into a decision without being properly informed.
A native of Peterborough, Ontario, Mike grew up playing minor hockey with the Minor Petes of the OMHA. The Sudbury Wolves of the OHL selected Mike in the 2nd round in 1997. In the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Mike was selected in the 2nd round (44th overall) by the Ottawa Senators where he would grow into a leadership role as assistant captain. Mike played in Ottawa until February, 2011, when he was traded to the Nashville Predators. Mike was the winner of the 2012 NHL Foundation Player Award, given to the player who applies the core values of hockey — commitment, perseverance and teamwork — to enrich the lives of people in his community.
Throughout an athlete’s career there will be numerous contracts that need to be executed properly and professionally in order to ensure that the player has received fair compensation for his services.
Though negotiating contracts at all levels is a key part of the service we provide, it is only one element of our business. At Uptown, we pride ourselves in ensuring that our client’s affairs both on and off the ice are handled in a confident, and professional manner. Such affairs include tax planning, wealth management, investment planning, real estate consultations, and immigration work, to name a few.
For a family electing to pursue the CHL route to professional hockey, parents and their children need representation with a history of practiced excellence and an astute understanding of the player contracts in the Canadian Hockey League. At Uptown, we have been dealing with major junior clubs across North America for many years, and have extensive experience in ensuring our players sign fair and equitable education contracts.
At the professional level, contract negotiations receive a lot of media attention, and every deal is seemingly debated on television and in the print media as to whether the player is a winner or loser in that specific negotiation. In order to ensure all of our players sign professional contracts which satisfy the parameters of market value and beyond, Uptown uses an innovative ‘comparative compensation matrix’. The matrix efficiently allows our staff to compile concise market value using objective statistical analysis, and sourced subjective support for our clientele. Using the salaries of players who fall within the group of comparable players derived from the matrix we are able to determine an appropriate salary for our clients. The system also allows for our staff to be exceptionally prepared in the case that the arbitration mechanism needs to be utilized.
At Uptown, we pride ourselves in ensuring that our client’s affairs both on and off the ice are handled in a confident, and professional manner.
Endorsement marketing can be local, national, or international in nature and Uptown puts a strong emphasis on ensuring endorsement opportunities are continually sought after for our clients. In order to ensure all opportunities of this nature are pursued we put a daily emphasis on staying in contact with firms who have a history of using sport as a vehicle for promoting their products and services. This ensures that our clients are given every opportunity to gain endorsement contracts with nationally recognized companies.
Currently, we have clients signed to endorsement contracts with companies such as Easton, Under Armour, McDonald’s, Reebok, STX, Upper Deck, Bauer, Brian’s, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Oil Changers and Subway… to name a few.
Often times, different businesses will approach our firm about having our client promote their product through a personal appearance at a product launch or through placing their name and likeness on promotional materials. It is our mandate to ensure our players receive fair remuneration for any promotional activity, and that all uses of the player’s likeness are within the legal realm agreed to in the endorsement contract.
Throughout the year, events or businesses will approach our firm to have our clients appear at various different outings, in an attempt to promote their event, increase sales, or to draw customers to their store.
Such promotions can include autograph signings or personal appearances on behalf of the many charities we work with. These sorts of events are important to ensuring our players are visible and accessible to the fans that support them throughout their endeavors.
We are strong advocates for all of our players giving back to the community through making appearances of a charitable nature, whether they are at schools, hospitals, or charitable events.
One of the main challenges for a certified player representative is ensuring that all clients are able to make the adjustment from student-athlete with little or no money to professional athlete, potentially earning millions per season. It is at this time that players without proper guidance can do severe damage to their financial futures.
Through our referral network of trusted investment firms, we pride ourselves in educating our players and their families on how to properly manage their finances. We closely monitor the player’s financial well-being to ensure that they are financially secure and prepared for when their playing career comes to an end.
Taxes & Immigration
A professional athlete is bound to face immigration issues at some point in his career. With Uptown as his representative he can be assured that all issues pertaining to immigration will be handled quickly and professionally. We work with the best immigration lawyers in North America to ensure that our clients and their immigration needs are met at every step. At Uptown, we also facilitate all income tax returns for our clients using industry-leading accountants in both Canada and the United States.
Every player’s career will eventually come to an end. Most will end sooner than the player would like. It is at this time that we value the opportunity to continue to help our clients achieve their potential. Every one of these situations is unique. We will help our client obtain the skills necessary to work in a desired profession or make contacts to employers on their behalf.