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Meet Justin Rubin the President of Pro Connect, a full-service Sports Marketing Agency

Today we’d like to introduce you to Justin Rubin the President of Pro Connect (@pro_connect) and Players People (@playerspeople), a full-service sports marketing agency catering to athletes globally.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Growing up, Basketball was always my passion. I knew I wasn’t going to play in the NBA but was determined to work within the space in some capacity. The odds of making it to the NBA are slim to none, but there are a variety of leagues in different countries all over the world that allow players to compete and make a good living while doing so. I wanted to create an ecosystem for players coming out of college here in the U.S., as well as players already playing professionally abroad that would help them further their careers both on and off the court. That’s when Pro Connect was created, which provides basketball players with the opportunity to play professionally, receive exposure, or network with certified NBA & FIBA agents internationally. Once I realized I could get players signed to on-court contracts, I was determined to improve all aspects of their off-the-court life and business endeavors. Players People was established in 2021 and are a full-service sports marketing agency catering to athletes globally. Now, instead of solely working with overseas basketball players, we’ve expanded our reach and have started to work with athletes in the NFL, CFL, NBA, and even UFC. We assist our athletes with landing brand deals/marketing endorsements, personal brand development/growth, content creation, social media growth, and fan engagement.

 

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Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career? 

My most interesting story is about when I went out to Vegas for the NBA summer league in 2018. I made sure to rep my Pro Connect apparel and when I was walking on the Vegas strip a player competing in the Summer League stopped me and told me he loved my page, the content I was sharing, and the services I was providing. It opened up my eyes to the impact I was making and proved that people were taking notice of Pro Connect.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I don’t have any funny mistakes but I have made a ton of mistakes! The one mistake I made that sticks with me is when I tried to expand the business faster than I was able to manage. When you have a business plan in place you need to take things slow in a step-by-step process. All too often, I found myself rushing things and trying to jump into new business endeavors without ironing out what was most important. Success can’t be rushed!

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What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’ve been working to develop Pro Connect exposure camps for players looking to play professionally overseas. Players who attend would get updated film, and that film would then be promoted to our network of coaches, teams, and agents in over 25+ countries globally. Exposure camps already exist but a very small % of them provide players with job opportunities. We are here to change the narrative around these events and start getting players the looks they need and deserve. In regards to Players People, our sports marketing division, we are working to increase our footprint in the lifestyle management space. We already connect players to brands but are looking to take everything a step further by connecting them to the top restaurants, resorts, and events around the globe that otherwise wouldn’t be accessible to the average person. We want our athletes to enjoy their downtime and it’s our goal to make sure they are taken care of in the nicest ways possible. We have also started to develop connections with some of the most well-known brands, and will eventually be offering our athletes substantial discounts which will allow them to purchase items at a lower rate.

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See also  Professional Basketball Player, Eugene Campbell III Has Proven His Worth Today By Playing His Way Up to Higher Leagues

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Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

Daryl Morey, GM of the Philadelphia 76ers. He follows my business page on social media and gave me really good advice that has helped me develop as a person and business owner within this space!

Some other interesting people that I have interacted with are athletes such as Joe Harris, Theo Pinson, Garret Temple, Jarrett Allen, DeAngelo Russell, Juwan Johnson, R-Truth, and Darryl Strawberry, Ronnie Brewer, and many other successful athletes!

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Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

Take everything one step at a time. Come up with a game plan of what it is you want to accomplish and execute it to the best of your ability. Achieving success in this industry takes time but if you network and refuse to be outworked, the results will show positively. There isn’t a set period for success so go about your business at your own pace and don’t look at what everyone else is doing. At the same time, you need time to take care of both your physical and mental health. All too often I found myself working non-stop and lost focus because I wasn’t taking care of myself.  It’s okay to put the phone down and close the computer! Balance is key.

 

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You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure? 

If you’re scared to fail, this isn’t the career path for you. Failure played a key role in the development of my business and getting me to where I am today. Failure has allowed me to grow both as a person and a business owner. Every time I failed, I was able to assess the situation, learn from my mistakes, and develop a game plan to succeed. I strongly believe some of the greatest inventions and business ideas have come from trial and error.

 

Can you share with our readers any self-care routines, practices, or treatments that you do to help your body, mind, or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

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Doing the things I love most is the best type of self-care. For example, going to the gym, playing basketball, shopping, and spending time with friends/family. To keep my mind sharp I love listening to podcasts from other professionals within the industry. We can always learn from other people and gain knowledge while doing so.

 

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  • you need to spend money to make money. I started working in this industry during my freshman year of college so $ was a bit tight. Also, I was playing college basketball my first semester of college and didn’t have any time to work and make $. Thankfully, I got a good-paying summer gig in 2016 and invested that $ back into the business to get the ball rolling. If you want to build out your business you have to spend $. Between a website, licensing fees, social media content, and traveling to events and meeting clients, expenses can add up quickly!
  • It’s who you know not what you know. While it’s important to be knowledgeable in your field of work, knowing the right people will get you much farther in life. I’m not saying you shouldn’t educate yourself and learn as much as you, but if you spend all your time and energy doing that without developing a network you won’t get far. At the end of the day, networking is the true path to success.
  • Keep your circle tight. it’s great to network with as many people as possible but you also have to have people in your circle that you can trust. Have people in your circle that motivate you and inspire you to be your best self.
  • Compete with yourself, not others. this is a very competitive industry and it’s very easy to find yourself looking at what others have, especially with social media being so prevalent. Only focus on yourself and compete with yourself, when you find yourself constantly trying to be like someone else it can be very toxic.
  • Take time to take care of yourself. running your own business can be extremely time-consuming and stressful. Make sure you are taking time to do the things you love most! You won’t be able to run your business and perform if you aren’t taking care of your mental and physical health.

 

Can you please give us your favorite  “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?   

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“don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon”. I never thought I would get as far as I’ve come and I truly feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. I strongly believe that people have no limitations no matter what it is they are working on, or towards. Everyone can be successful at something if they make sacrifices and work hard. I started working in this industry at 18 and I’m still relatively young at 24. I’ve gained so many connections over the past 6 years and know the best is yet to come.

 

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

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I can’t give credit to one specific person because that wouldn’t be fair to all of the people who have played a role in pushing me to be my best self. My loved ones, friends, and athletes I work with have motivated me since day one and continue to support me along my journey. Once I learned how important it is to have people in your circle that you can lean on, that’s when I started to achieve the most success!

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You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

A financial literacy movement for aspiring and current professional athletes. Let’s face it, life is expensive and you need $ to live a comfortable life. Living “comfortably” is subjective but if you want to live the life you envision and one day provide for your family, you need to save $. All too often I see athletes making a good living but they can’t cover the smallest expenses and are living paycheck to paycheck. Also, I see athletes buying designer clothing, diamond jewelry, and other materialistic items just to fit in and compete on social media. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to what you want and like, but saving your $, investing it, and planning for a rainy day should always come first. You don’t need a ton of $ to invest! Every penny makes a difference and a lot of athletes need to learn how to budget accordingly to their income and not live above their means. Make your $ work for you even when you are not on the court/field!

 

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We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Mark Cuban, I think he is the best owner in all of the sports. It’s amazing to see how passionate he is about the game, players, and staff within the Dallas Mavericks organization. He’s also extremely knowledgable in the business, finance, and entertainment spaces and I always find myself taking something away from his podcasts or appearances on TV. Cuban also seems like a very genuine guy that cares for others and I think that’s extremely important to be a successful leader. Those who put others first will always be rewarded in one way or another. Mark, if you reading this lunch is on me!

 

How can our readers follow you online?

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Follow me and my business pages on social media!

All on Instagram:

personal: https://instagram.com/jrubin30?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

businesshttps://instagram.com/pro_connect?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

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businesshttps://instagram.com/playerspeople?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

 

Natalie is a journalism major with a focus on Entertainment and Music who aspires to become a Content Creator For Honk Magazine. Eventually, she wants to be the Publisher or Editor-in-Chief of a major Publishing House. She loves helping people find their voice and passion for writing and journalism, and she can always be found with coffee in hand, editing another article.

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Interview

Professional Basketball Player, Eugene Campbell III Has Proven His Worth Today By Playing His Way Up to Higher Leagues

Eugene Campbell III

Eugene Campbell III is a professional basketball player from Jersey City, New Jersey living in an environment where violence, drugs, and crime were the norm. Growing up, his family was not the wealthiest, but they managed to provide him with the best life filled with enjoyment and valuable life lessons. His passion for basketball is rooted in his relationship with his father and older sister. We had the opportunity to interview this incredible player on how he became a true dream chaser and how he has managed to overcome so many challenges and become who he is today.

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Hello Eugene, welcome to Honk Magazine. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Eugene Campbell III – “Before I took basketball seriously, I was into baseball in the eighth grade and was pretty good at it. Unfortunately, one of my teachers did not like the idea that I was playing on the baseball team and told my parents that I was failing her class and wouldn’t be able to play baseball. Come to find out, I was never-failing my class and was kicked off the team anyways, even though I wasn’t ever failing. This teacher never wanted me to play baseball and lied to my parents as I was never failing the class. When the Baseball incident happened, I stopped playing sports up until the end of middle school. It was hard for me to play any sport, knowing that I would always be cut just because of who I was. Once I went to high school, though, I started to get back into sports and focused more on basketball instead of baseball. I felt that I was one of the better players in my freshman year, but because my school was again not fond of me, I was cut from the team. I used this to motivate and fuel me to have the career I have today.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

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Eugene Campbell III – The most Interesting thing that happened at the start of my career was my teammate and I being placed in a city in Moldova where we were the only people who spoke English. We had to use sign language and pronouns just to communicate with people. It was also interesting that we were the only Americans in the whole city. At times we were often starred at walking to the stores and asked for photos with people. It was very interesting and it is something I won’t forget.

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Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Eugene Campbell III – The funniest mistake I made at the start of my career was bringing expensive white Jordana with me to Moldova during my rookie year. It was a funny mistake because when I got back to the United States my sneakers were brown. I learned my lesson and that movement on I either brought cheaper sneakers or darker colored sneakers.

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What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Eugene Campbell III – I am working on some new designs for my clothing brand coming out this spring. I am going to be modeling a couple of brands that I am a brand ambassador for and I’m working on getting news coverage from News 12 New Jersey to come my community service events coming up.

 

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

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Eugene Campbell III – The most interesting people I interacted with are people from Armenia. They had upbeat energy that was unmatched and very memorable. The best story is on my birthday when I went to the mall and I told the people at the burger place I always got to that it was my birthday and they gave me free food and played the birthday song in English and danced with me. It was very kind and sweet and it was a memory I will never forget.

 

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Eugene Campbell III – I would recommend them to take care of their bodies. The best ability is availability which is what my college coach uses to always tell me. If you are available to play you have a better chance of longevity in your career than someone who isn’t available.

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You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure? 

Eugene Campbell III – My advice is for the people out there seeking professional basketball careers is to stay locked in and make sure you give everything 120%. The bigger the dream is the early your going to have to wake up and then later you are going to have to stay up.

 

Can you share with our readers any self-care routines, practices, or treatments that you do to help your body, mind, or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

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Eugene Campbell III – The best self-care treatment for me is listening to Eric Thomas who in my opinion is the greatest motivational speaker in the world. Whenever I’m not feeling the most motivated I always listen to him and I am instantly motivated and ready to take a goal at hand.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

Eugene Campbell III – I wish someone would have told me that euros are worth more than the U.S dollar that way I would have known in advance that I would be losing money exchanging USD. I wish I would have known in advance that in my rookie year in Moldova that the city I was in didn’t have an ATM that way I would have just brought a lot of money to exchange. I wish someone told me that Armenia was a racist country so I would have been more prepared for it instead of dealing with the culture shock as soon as I entered the country. I wish someone told me that a full overseas season lasted 7to 8 months that way I would have packed more clothes and sneakers. I wish someone told me that bringing a laptop is very important being overseas. It would be 10x easier to get work done if I had my laptop with me.

 

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Can you please give us your favorite  “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life? 

Eugene Campbell III – “Trying suggests the option of failure and failure is not an option” This quote is very relevant in my life because it comes from a very special brother of mine Shawn Hawkins who was my educator in my intake process of being a proud brother of psi sigma phi multicultural fraternity incorporated. It made me eliminate the word trying out of my vocabulary and now I just say it’s going to get done it has made me more confident and determined in getting things done.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Eugene Campbell III – I have to give a big thanks to a great family friend of mine Kenneth Faried (NBA player). Kenneth is someone I grew up with and my father and his father are best friends. He was able to make it to the NBA have a great career and I was blessed to be able to receive some meaningful advice from him. Kenneth called me in the spring of 2019 when I told him that I officially wanted to be a professional basketball player. He sat on the phone with me for over 30 minutes giving me the blueprint and the tools I needed to become a pro I listened to every word he said followed the blueprint and became a pro two years later. I still talk to him to this day and I always thank him for giving me the advice and motivation I needed to get my career started.

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You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Eugene Campbell III – I want to build my recreational center for children and adults of all ages who like sports. They don’t have enough of these in New Jersey that cover all sports so I want to be the first. People don’t understand that sports not only build lifetime friendships but also keep people active and lower the obesity rate around the world. I will not only change the community but I will change the world.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Eugene Campbell III – I would most definitely love to have breakfast with my favorite basketball player of all time Paul Pierce. He is the reason I love basketball the reason I am a die-hard Celtics fan and was my biggest motivation to keep playing. I imitated everything Paul Pierce did from the headband to the wristband to even the trash talking. He is my role model and I would love to sit with him and just talk basketball.

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How can our readers follow you online?

Eugene Campbell III – You can follow me on Instagram – @iamgenecampbell

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Sports

Champion James ‘Savage’ Hagler Talks Family Legacy & More

 

One can only hope that a lifetime of athletic training would get them a hint of success. Luckily, this has come true for champ, James “Savage” Hagler Jr. As a child, his parents saw a future for him in football, enrolling him in the sport at a young age. They were supportive of him becoming the athlete of their dreams, but he made a turn where they didn’t expect. Hagler Jr moved to Alabama and began to box professionally at the age of 24.

 

He uncovered his dream of taking on the ring and began to meet extreme measures to ensure fortune. In 2016, he boxed in the Alabama Golden Globes after losing 65 pounds by committing to an intense vegan diet. It was the young buck’s first fight, so he lost but not without learning a valuable lesson. He discovered that he must accept that patience was not only a virtue, but something he had to apply to his own life.

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In his spare time, James enriches his heart with volunteering his time to his community. In local high schools, he is speaking and providing programs to struggling youths. He encourages them to ‘Put Their Hands Up and the Guns Down’ to show them there is another way of life that does not involve illegal activity. He sincerely wants them to be the best they could be, as his parents did for him.

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The Hagler legacy is one that strikes great importance to James. He plans to uphold the sparkling Hagler reputation by continuing the elevate himself as time goes on. In the next year, he is looking forward to a year-long boxing campaign that he put together. Every quarter, James will take on another champion in the ring and he hopes his fans will cheer for him along the way. The fighter can be followed on any of his social media profiles under @jameshaglerjr.

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