BY JACOB PALMER
Catching up with Amen Teter, Portland-based global director of action sports for Octagon Olympics & Action sports talent agency.
BY JACOB PALMER
What motivates you to come to work every day?
The young athletes we work with are awesome. They’re the world’s most talented at what they do, and helping them capitalize on that talent and creativity is challenging, requires a lot of hard work, but is also a lot of fun and extremely rewarding for me. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of some really incredible journeys with my clients, and every day presents a new opportunity to build upon what we’ve already accomplished.
Favorite place to snowboard
Mt. Hood Meadows is amazing. I get a pass every year and try to get up there for the best powder days of the season.
Business role model
I have had the pleasure of working with and learning from some of the most notable executives in action sports, and the two who have had the most profound impact are Issa Sawabini, owner of Fuse Marketing, and my boss, Peter Carlisle. They have both played a significant role in my career development, dating back to when I started my own agency [Source Management] coming out of college all the way through to where I am today. Regardless of the circumstance – from good times to challenging times — they are the most trustworthy and dependable people I know in my industry.
Where would you like to see the company in five years?
I’d like to see our Olympics & Action Sports business maintain its steady growth. We have built a solid program I am really proud of, and I believe our momentum on both the summer and winter side has us well positioned for the global expansion of our industry. Action sports have come a long way in a relatively short period of time, and I’m really excited for what lies ahead.
What I’m watching
The movie that sticks out to me the most is Interstellar. I thought it was really well done, and the theme is fairly realistic.
I just updated my phone to the iPhone 6 Plus. It’s a monster phone but I love it. I travel a lot for work, so it’s nice to have a bigger screen for sending/receiving emails, accessing the web and reviewing documents. Also, the battery life is incredible compared to the previous model. I can go most of the day talking and emailing nonstop, and make it through on a full charge without having to carry an alternate power source.
What differentiates you from the agent of a traditional sport athlete?
In traditional team sports, the athletes are compensated through their team contract, while endorsements are a secondary stream of income for them. In my world, our clients’ ability to travel and compete on the international stage is completely reliant upon endorsement deals as their primary source of income. Olympic and action sport athletes do not have the luxury of competing on national television every night, and media coverage is limited, so exposure is a real challenge. For us, marketing is at the core of what we do. We build platforms for our clients that we align with brands to leverage their respective abilities and assets to reach fans.
Advice for young people entering the industry
Be resourceful and make yourself useful. We expect you to do the fundamental work that everyone needs to do. It’s a competitive industry, so I encourage you to differentiate yourself and strive to find ways to help brands and athletes increase their value in unique ways. Build trustworthy relationships, and be seen as someone who can unite people and bridge gaps.