The Best in the Business
The Best in the Business
Priority Sports & Entertainment was founded in 1985, and in the 30+ years the agency has been in business, CEO Mark Bartelstein has earned a reputation for being innovative and forward thinking in his approach to representing professional athletes. The firm has established itself as an industry leader by developing core values of integrity, hard work, and a steadfast resolve to always put their clients first. Priority Sports has received consistent acclaim over the years by maintaining a company-wide entrepreneurial spirit that exists within each department – Basketball, Football, Marketing & PR, and the newly founded Coaches & Broadcasters division. This approach has laid the foundation in creating the culture throughout the history of Priority Sports & Entertainment and has led to constant and steady growth throughout the existence of the agency, from inception to today. The agency is widely regarded throughout the business and sports industries as the leading independently owned agency representing professional athletes and has consistently been ranked accordingly in countless national media outlets.
Based on his familiarity with the intricacies of the Collective Bargaining Agreements in both the NBA & the NFL, Mark has helped his clients secure many landmark contracts and is often asked to speak on his experience in these negotiations, as well as the journey that Priority Sports has taken to the top of the sports business world. Mark graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He earned a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1984. He and his wife Sheri have four children (Josh, Morgan, Courtney, and Kirby) and reside in Highland Park, Illinois.
Reggie Brown has been with Priority Sports for over 18 years. An NBPA-certified player-agent, Reggie's involvement in negotiations benefits from his many relationships throughout the NBA. Reggie also excels in talent evaluation and the NBA pre-draft process. He has earned a reputation for identifying future NBA players and recruiting potential Priority Sports clients. Reggie coached NCAA college basketball for six years, and is extremely talented in player development at all positions. He works individually with our players to strengthen their overall basketball skills. Reggie graduated from Mississippi Valley State with a Bachelor's degree in physical education and secondary education. Reggie also earned a Master's degree in pedagogy from South Dakota State University. He resides in Chicago, Illinois.
Mike McCartney has been involved in college football and the NFL as a coach, scout and personnel executive for more than 25 years. As the Quarterbacks Coach and Assistant Recruiting Coordinator at Colorado from 1987 through the 1989 season, Mike helped his father, Head Coach Bill McCartney, turn Colorado into a national power before moving on to coach at North Carolina for the 1990 and 1991 seasons. Over the next 6 years, Mike worked as a College and Pro Scout for the Chicago Bears. In 1998, Mike joined the Philadelphia Eagles as their Director of Pro Personnel. During his tenure, Mike was a key contributor in transforming the Eagles from a 3-13 club to a team that was 2 games away from the Super Bowl. As Director of Football Operations for Priority Sports, Mike was the first top-level front-office executive in the NFL to leave the league, during the salary cap era, for a major football representation firm. Mike brings the perspective and contacts of an NFL Scout and Executive which is invaluable to Priority clients in preparation for the NFL Draft and the upcoming NFL season. Mike received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Colorado, and his Master’s in Sports Administration from North Carolina. He and his wife Jenni, reside in Downers Grove, Illinois, with their 3 sons, Nickolas, Justin & Brandon, and daughter Alexa.
As a partner, Rick Smith has played an integral role in the development of Priority Sports & Entertainment. Rick is involved in all aspects of client representation and business operations. Rick brings a unique analytical perspective to all areas of client representation. He is an expert in contract negotiations, and maintains a strong working relationship with every NFL general manager. As an attorney, Rick also reviews the legal issues inherent in all team, endorsement and personal contracts. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Rick received his Law Degree from Northwestern University. He and his wife Julie reside in Highland Park, Illinois, with their two children, Emily and Jared.
Kenny Zuckerman is a veteran agent in the sports industry. He has been in the business for over 30 years and is one of the most respected advisors in the game. As President of Athlete Representation and a partner at Priority Sports, he handles all football related issues pertaining to his clients. Kenny has negotiated hundreds of contracts and has successfully managed his new rookie clients through the rigors of the NFL Draft. In fact, Kenny has one of the best track records of helping his clients maximize their draft stock and get drafted higher than expected.
Additionally, Kenny has mastered the media and public relations to give his clients an edge on draft day. His NFL relationships are second to none. ESPN reporter Len Pasquarelli wrote that “Zuckerman is a former college football player and a longtime agent with deep ties and a fat rolodex.”
Most importantly, Kenny is always available for his clients. He answers his phone whenever he is not in a meeting or on a plane and returns calls as soon as possible. His hands on approach provides his clients a secure peace of mind. He is present at All-Star games, the combine and pro-day. He is a relentless worker who leaves no stone unturned. In the end, Kenny’s body-of-work, experience and reputation has elevated him to the top of his game.
He graduated from the University of Arizona, where he lettered and played wide receiver for the Wildcats. He is the founder of a non-profit youth tackle football organization that brings players together from all walks of life. Kenny and his wife, Shani, live in Los Angeles with their son, Reggie, and daughter, Mickie.
Julie Magrane has worked in the sports marketing industry for over 23 years. Her efforts over 17 years at Priority Sports have resulted in numerous national endorsement opportunities for our clients, as well as countless regional and local deals. She has also cultivated the speaking careers of many of our current and retired clients. Julie is the lead negotiator on our clients’ broadcasting deals and has worked with all the major networks. She has secured unique entertainment opportunities for many of our clients – from acting roles in major motion pictures to lead and cameo roles on hit network and cable TV shows. Equally important, Julie plays a role in our players’ efforts to give back to their communities through charitable programs. Before joining Priority Sports, Julie climbed the ranks of the South Bend Silver Hawks minor league baseball organization, working her way up to Assistant General Manager and managing everything from team marketing to game day operations. Julie attended Purdue University and studied Sports Marketing. She resides in Chicago, Illinois.
Alex joined the marketing team at Priority Sports in early 2011. Prior to joining Priority Sports, he spent 6 years at the NBA in the Entertainment & Marketing group where he focused on spokesperson agreements, player appearances, public relations, and overall player branding. Alex has 15+ years of experience in the sports industry - also working on the sports desk at the New York Times and in the basketball operations department of the New Jersey Nets. In 2008, Alex received his MBA in Sports Management from the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University. He also has a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois with his wife, Lisa.
Tabitha Brinkerhoff joined Priority Sports in 2002 as the Director of Client Services. Her efforts are directed toward the day-to-day personal and professional needs of the clients. Tabitha helps with the transition from college sports to professional sports, assisting with the entire process, every step of the way. Tabitha will assist with the logistics of pre-draft training, and then following the draft, also assist with the process of each client getting settled in their new city. Tabitha also plays an integral role in coordinating the promotional commitments associated with spokesperson deals and trading card signings. She has a wide range of duties and will assist with any task – big or small – ensuring that our clients can put all of their efforts and energy into their playing career. Prior to joining Priority Sports, Tabitha lived in New York where she worked at Goldman Sachs and pursued a career in theatre. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.
Sandy has been an integral part of the Client Services Team with Priority Sports for over 17 years. Clients depend on Sandy for tax preparation, advising on NBA and NFL league benefits and is the go to person for all insurance needs. Sandy will ensure all clients understand and receive all of their benefits when their career ends. Prior to joining Priority Sports, Sandy worked as a paralegal at the law firm of Shughart Thomson and Kilroy in Kansas City, Missouri where she dealt directly with the Licensing Department for The Major League Baseball Players Association. Sandy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from William Jewell College. She currently resides in Downtown Chicago with her husband, Jerry, and their sons Zachary and Jackson.
Before joining Priority Sports in June of 2012, Zach worked for six seasons in the Basketball Operations Department at the New Jersey Nets, from 2003 through 2009. Leveraged by his knowledge of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, Kurtin was involved in the team’s Draft preparation, trade evaluation, player contract negotiation and salary cap management, helping guide the Nets to four consecutive playoff appearances during his tenure. He also served as the Nets’ Player Development representative, a role which sought to educate players on their decision-making processes and lifestyle choices away from the basketball court. An NBPA-certified player-agent, Zach received his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of Colorado at Boulder and graduated in 2011 with a Master’s in Sports Business from New York University. He currently resides in downtown Chicago.
Andy Shiffman joined Priority Sports after two seasons with the University of Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team as a video coordinator and statistical strategist, before practicing as an attorney in Memphis. Andy also worked for the Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knicks, and Milwaukee Bucks. As Priority Sports’ Executive Vice President of Basketball Representation, Andy assists in the day-to-day management of both NBA and international clients, and utilizes his legal background in drafting and analyzing FIBA arbitration cases. An NBPA-certified player-agent, Andy also oversees the travel accommodations and draft workout scheduling for NBA draft prospects, is heavily involved with statistical analytics, the Draft, and Free Agency, and manages the placement of players throughout Europe, China, and Australia. Andy graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology. He earned a JD from Marquette University Law School, specializing in sports law. Andy currently resides in downtown Chicago.
Kieran joined Priority Sports in November 2014. An NBPA certified player-agent, Kieran utilizes his basketball and legal background to research, analyze, and draft player contracts. He is involved in all aspects of client representation, including player evaluation, recruiting, NBA Draft preparation, and NBA free agency. Prior to joining Priority, he worked as a collegiate sports attorney for three years, representing colleges and universities, coaches, and student-athletes in NCAA infractions and eligibility cases. Kieran played basketball at the University of Notre Dame, graduating with a degree in American Studies and Economics in 2007. He graduated from Notre Dame Law School in 2010, and was subsequently admitted to the New York State Bar. He currently resides in Downtown Chicago.
Kyle Dolan is Priority’s Director of Football Operations and a Certified Contract Advisor. A licensed attorney, Kyle is relentless in serving clients throughout their careers. His legal background and work experience as an Associate at Latham & Watkins LLP, where he focused his practice on complex commercial transactions, have helped shape his resolute approach to contract negotiations. Kyle ensures that clients never go into a situation unprepared, as he heads Priority’s study of contract analytics and maintains a comprehensive database of all NFL contracts. He also takes pride in his knowledge of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement and devotes himself to providing creative solutions and candid advice for any situation that a client is facing. A native of Syracuse, New York, Kyle attended The Ohio State University, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. He then received his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago, where he served as President of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society. He and his wife Allison reside in Lombard, Illinois, with their sons, Peter and Augustine and daughter, Mary Katherine.
Rachel joined Priority Sports as the Communications Coordinator in September of 2014. She facilitates all communication between the media and athletes in order to organize interviews and media obligations for our clients. Rachel uses her experience in public relations and social media to help our agency and athletes improve upon their own personal brands. Prior to joining Priority Sports, Rachel worked for the Texas Longhorns Men's Basketball program and the San Antonio Spurs Development League team, the Austin Spurs. Rachel earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies at the University of Texas. She currently resides in downtown Chicago.
Marc joined Priority Sports in 2015 as the Chief Financial Officer. In this role, he focuses on finance and operations, but also works to support the various needs of our athletes. Prior to joining Priority Sports, he spent 6 years at Dyson as Controller & Director of Financial Reporting where he focused on financial reporting, budgetary review and other various sales & marketing analysis. Marc has 17+ years of experience in finance, both as a consultant and in various corporate finance roles. He has a BS in Business from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and is a certified public accountant (CPA). He currently resides in Lincolnshire, Illinois with his wife and two children.
Ronnie joined the Coaches, Front Office and Broadcasters division at Priority Sports in April 2015 and works directly with Rick Smith and Dan Eveloff in representing both collegiate and professional coaches. Ronnie spent over a decade working with some of the biggest names in football at Auburn, LSU, Florida and Southern Miss before building a successful sports publishing business. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Auburn University. A native of Fort Payne, Alabama, he and his wife Becky reside in Celebration, Florida with their three children, Alexandra, Chase and Riley.
Brian joined Priority Sports in the summer of 2015 as Director of Marketing. His role at Priority is to drive revenue for our family of clients, while finding unique and creative ways to build their brands throughout corporate America. Before coming to Priority, Brian spent three years in IMG’s talent marketing group, where he specialized in negotiating off the field partnerships for their stable of athletes, entertainers, and broadcast personalities - which included two Hall of Fame quarterbacks, a Super Bowl MVP, a Pro Bowl wide receiver, and an American League MVP in baseball. Brian also worked for Octagon and the Detroit Pistons, where he was named their top overall salesperson in only his second season with the team. A native of Michigan and adoptee from South Korea, he received a degree in Business Economics from Brown University and currently resides in downtown Chicago.
Dan joined Priority Sports in August 2015 as Director of the Coaches, Front Office and Broadcasters division, working directly with Rick Smith, Ronnie Sanders and the division’s clients in representing both collegiate and professional football and basketball coaches. As both an attorney and a CPA, Dan utilizes his legal and business acumen to negotiate contracts, identify opportunities for career advancement, and manage day-to-day operations. Additionally, Dan coordinates with television, radio and other network executives to help the agency’s clients further their post-retirement broadcasting and entertainment careers. A native of Kansas City, Dan earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Kansas. After spending three years as a CPA at Deloitte, Dan earned his law degree from Northwestern University as was admitted to the Illinois State Bar. He currently resides in downtown Chicago.
Dominique Price is an NFLPA certified agent with Priority Sports and Entertainment. As a former student-athlete and undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys, Dominique has unique insight into the ins and outs of transitioning from a student athlete to a professional athlete and developing athletic talent to a meaningful career both on and off the field.
As a 4-year starter at strong safety for Northwestern University, Dominique developed a reputation as an intimidating force on the defense as well as a hardworking leader on the field and in the classroom. Dominique applies the same passion, work ethic, and commitment to excellence that led to his success on the field to his life after sports. Before joining Priority, Dominique practiced sports law and commercial litigation at one of the top law firms in the Midwest, providing specialized legal services for several Fortune 100 companies, earning him recognition on Super Lawyers Magazine's Rising Star list.
Dominique combines his wealth of knowledge and experience as a former athlete with a broad knowledge base in a variety of legal areas, to provide clients with comprehensive representation and personal service in their pursuit of a career in professional sports.
Ross Aroyo joined Priority Sports in September of 2015 after graduating from the University of Maryland where he majored in Marketing and Accounting. Ross collaborates with our Agents and Clients to provide video and graphics support across many different digital platforms and specializes in using film for scouting, marketing and recruiting efforts. Prior to joining Priority Sports, Ross worked for the University of Maryland Men's Basketball program as a Video Manager and then served as Director of Basketball Operations for a highly successful Under Armour Grassroots Basketball program out of New Jersey. Ross currently resides in the Lakeview area of Chicago.
Elissa Rasch joined Priority Sports as a Marketing and Client Services Coordinator in 2018. Her primary roles include building and maintaining corporate partner and agency relationships, coordinating appearances, endorsements and activations on behalf of our players and assisting in their off court and off the field activities. Prior to joining Priority, she was the primary liaison for all radio partnerships in the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox broadcast at Cumulus Media. Elissa uses her background and knowledge to exceed our athletes marketing and client services wants and needs all year around. Additionally, she serves on the board of event officers for a local, non-for-profit organization Search for Vision and volunteers with the Special Olympics and various other not-for-profit organizations. She loves giving back and equally enjoys assisting with community outreach opportunities for our athletes. Elissa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media at DePaul University. She currently resides in downtown Chicago.