First Family of Sports Management to Speak at MIT

Jeff Cochran


What does the agent who has represented more Hall of Fame baseball players than anybody in history, the President of the Cleveland Indians, and the former head coach of the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns have in common?  They’re all in the same family.  Ron Shapiro is the baseball super agent who represented the likes of Cal Ripken, Jr., Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Kirby Puckett, and Eddie Murray.  He currently represents, among others, Minnesota Twins star Joe Mauer and is a special advisor to professional teams outside of baseball.  Mark Shapiro spent 9 years as the GM of the Cleveland Indians before assuming his current position as President.  Eric Mangini, who is married to Ron’s daughter, Julie, was once the youngest head coach in NFL history.  It’s no wonder that the Baltimore Sun referred to this triumvirate as the “first family of sports management.”

All three will be speaking this weekend, March 2nd and 3rd, at the MIT Sports Analytics Conference.  Ron’s session is called “A Systematic Approach to Sports Negotiations”.  Mark will be part of a panel that discusses “Baseball Analytics”.  Eric will partake in two panels: “Football Analytics” and “Coaching Analytics”.  It should be an exciting weekend for everybody.

For more information on the conference, go to

Ron Shapiro to Speak at 2012 MIT Sports Analytics Conference

Jeff Cochran


SNI Chairman, Ron Shapiro, will be speaking at the 2012 MIT Sports Analytics Conference.  The conference goal is to provide a forum for industry professionals (executives and leading researchers) and students to discuss the increasing role of analytics in the sports industry.  He will be presenting at 5:00 PM in room 302 at the Haynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts on Friday, March 2nd.

Ron’s session, A Systematic Approach to Sports Negotiations, will focus on a
systematic approach to negotiation that Ron has developed.  It will include examples of, and ways to, practice this methodical approach. The session is based on over 40 years of experience from representing, among others, more baseball Hall of Fame players than any other agent, serving in other sports as special advisor to team owners and executives respecting negotiations, and training and consulting business departments of teams on sponsorship, media, suite, and ticket sales.

To learn more details about the conference, go their website at

Unlocking Deadlocks

Jeff Cochran


The room is dark and hazy.  The man across the table from you puffs on his cigar.  A cloud of smoke slowly plumes out of his mouth and rises towards the low-hanging overhead light above the table before dissipating into the air.  A small bead of sweat begins to trickle down your forehead.  Without unlocking your eyes from his, you slide a piece of paper across the table with another new proposal.  He grabs the paper and stares back at you.  The small bead of sweat finally slides down your face and drops onto your shirt.

Okay, maybe your negotiation is not this dramatic or intense.  Still, a deadlocked negotiation can be a difficult thing to get around.  Perhaps you can’t agree on the price or timing.  Maybe it’s an issue of control.  Whatever it is, a new approach needs to be taken so that the deadlock can be broken and a deal can be reached.   So how do you do this?

Change Locations

If you’ve been meeting at your office, offer to go to theirs.  A change in scenery can be good for both parties.  Sometimes a setting can be intimidating, stifling, stale, or negative.  Staring at the same walls can become boring.  Imagination and energies can wane.  Maybe the negotiators have begun to subconsciously associate the surroundings with a lack of progress.  By switching locations, both parties get a new perspective.  They’ll be in a different room, in a different seat, facing a new direction.  It may not seem logical, but attitudes can shift with locales.

Change Negotiators

Maybe you’re the problem.  It may not mean that you’re negotiating poorly, but that the other party isn’t hearing you anymore.  (You may be guilty of the same thing in reverse).  They are frustrated with how the negotiation has gone and may have tuned
you out.   Instead of being stuck at this impasse, bring in a substitute.  Let your partner or associate take over.  A fresh face with a new style can jump-start the stalled negotiation.

Call in a Mediator

This is a more dramatic suggestion to changing negotiators.  If both sides are stuck without a way out, a mediator may be the best option.  This person must be an expert in negotiations, but not necessarily in the specific topic.  They only need to understand the fundamentals well enough to facilitate progress.  The mediator does not need to get bogged down with the small details—something that has probably happened to both sides.  Instead, the mediator should be focused on the broad goals of the deal.

Mark Jankowski to Speak in Upcoming Training and Expo

Jeff Cochran


Come see  SNI President, Mark Jankowski, speak at the Training Conference and Expo 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. His presentation is at  9:45 AM – 10:45 AM on February 13th at the Georgia World Congress Center.  Hear about Gen Re’s 3D training, which won the Federal Virtual World Challenge for innovative development of instructional programs. Learn how instructors interact as avatars in dynamic environments and take an active role, such as walking to a letter to indicate their multiple-choice answer.  Discover how they offered negotiations training inside the Sistine Chapel, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, at the North Pole, and on Mt. Everest.  The result?  A program that costs dramatically less, avoids time out of the office, and delivers effective new skills that can be implemented immediately.

Mark is considered one of the leading experts in the application of virtual technology for training and development of employees around the globe.  Mark’s accomplishments include: Winner of Federal Virtual World Competition; Author of “Virtual Expert” column for Training Magazine; and Featured Company in Second Life’s @ Work Column.

Mark has conducted training in Virtual Worlds since 2008 and participants in his program have been from companies such as: IBM, Michelin, Nationwide Insurance, IGAF, SkillSoft, Northern Trust, GrantThornton, Walgreens, and Abbott Labs.

We are excited for the opportunity to speak and hope you are able to come see us. For more information about the
conference, check out their website at

Jeff Cochran Speaking at Training Conference and Expo 2012

Jeff Cochran


Make sure to check out our colleague, Jeff Cochran, as he speaks at the Training Conference and Expo 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  He will be speaking on Wednesday, February 15th from 12:15 PM – 3:15 PM at the Georgia World Congress Center. His presentation is based on the award-winning book, The Power of Nice: How to Negotiate So Everyone Wins– Especially You!, and will focus on a systematic process for negotiating deals will suppliers, vendors, and customers that helps to maintain an ongoing relationship long after “the deal is done”. You’ll learn how to negotiate in a way that is profitable, while also satisfying the needs of the other side so that negative ramifications down the line are minimized. You will:

  • Learn habits and tools that can be applied immediately to achieve greater negotiation success
  • Undergo Real Deal coaching
  • Participate in interactive exercises
  • Be able to train others in your organization in this process

We’re excited about the opportunity to speak and hope you are able to come see us.

For more information about the conference, check out their website at