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©1998 The Tank

Eastern Kentucky University


No Limit Sports Management

Mr. Tevester Scott is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for No Limit Sports Management and Vice President of Business Affairs. Mr. Scott is a certified contract advisor of the National Football League Players Association and the National Basketball Players Association. He spent five years as the President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Southern Branch and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

As COO of No Limit Sports Management (NLSM), Mr. Scott’s day to day responsibilities is essentially to take care of all financial arrangements for NLSM. As part of that task, he oversees all contractual agreements and obligations and makes sure that sponsorship packages and endorsement deals are done. Perhaps most importantly, Mr. Scott directs the course of NLSM and makes sure that the clients are happy.

As Vice President of Business Affairs for No Limit Records, his day to day responsibilities are managing all financial arrangements, maintaining the accounting systems, overseeing the payment of royalties and contractual obligations, and maintaining artist relationships. Additionally, Mr. Scott oversees many of the other companies that Master P has launched.

According to Mr. Scott, many of their clients are young. So everyday he tries to sit down with a different player to work with them and counsel them on their financial arrangements and investments. NLSM takes seriously the job of making sure that the clients are set up for the rest of their lives, because after sports there has to be something else. Mr. Scott helps the clients develop career and business opportunities outside of sports.

Making sure that the clients develop outside opportunities is no trivial matter. Most of the clients at NLSM are young with an average age of between 20 and 22 years. For a person that young coming out of college, and even high school in some cases especially with regard to the basketball players, it is important that someone be looking out for their future.

The majority of these athletes come from urban areas and a lower class economic background. Suddenly, they are stars making vast sums of money with no fundamental understanding of how to manage all of this newly earned wealth. Helping these players bridge this gap is one of the critical services that NLSM provides the professional athlete.

Mr. Scott put it this way. "My job as an agent is to make sure our clients learn all of their social skills and financial skills from NLSM, and that’s what sets us apart from other agents." In addition to that, Mr. Scott feels that the clients can relate to the people at NLSM better than they can at some other agencies. They are around the same ages and perhaps clients more easily identify with the young, successful African Americans running NLSM. Beyond that NLSM has an advantage in that they often use the recording artist clients as examples to the athletes, to show them how to manage their success and wealth.

Mr. Scott goes to great lengths to emphasize to clients "don’t go out and buy five cars, and you are still living at your mama’s house." Part of the problem, accord- ing to Mr. Scott is the notion that clients feel as if they have to compete with other professional athletes. He says, "once they move into the NBA, now they have to compete against the guys that have been in the NBA, now that they are on the scene. But you can’t do that. If a guy has been in the league for five years, he’s over the three year hump. So now he’s making his major money, maybe 5 or 10 million dollars per year. So what happens is you are just coming in making $800,000 per year, and you are trying to match him and you can’t do that."

Mr. Scott teaches NLSM clients to take a step by step approach. "This year it’s cool, I can’t get the same house that Scottie Pippen has, but guess what, I’m going to get myself a nice house and a nice car, and I own it. I’m going to invest the rest of my money. Next year I might buy myself a little bigger house, and sell the old one I had or maybe turn it into rental property. So you slowly invest your money so that now I am at a level where three or four years down the line, if I am able to maintain in the league and I get a major contract, now I can get the house that I want."

NLSM has a bit of a different philosophy. While many accountants and advisors teach people to lease or rent everything, NLSM advises clients to buy outright. Their thinking is that if a player gets hurt and can’t continue to play, they might not be able to maintain those rents and or leases. So the goal at NLSM is to make sure that their clients keep what they have.

Mr. Scott asserts that "African Americans spend today for today, with no eye toward the future. The majority of athletes, or African Americans, that have the opportunity to earn $1 million dollars are broke before they reach the age of 40. Perhaps as many as 9 out of every 10. I know of many multimillion-dollar athletes that were rolling for 10 or 12 years, while they were in the league and now they are doing badly. It’s the same with the entertainers. Hammer (MC Hammer) had the opportunity to revitalize what he had done. But not many get that opportunity."

Part of the problem that Mr. Scott sees are a lack of social skills that help keep athletes and entertainers out of trouble. In his words, "the girl might look good, but everything that looks like gold isn’t gold. You have to look at the ramifications of the situation."

Obviously, the NLSM message is being well received. Although NLSM just started in January of 1998, they already have an impres- sive client roster that includes Derrick Anderson and Ron Mercer. On the basketball side that have approximately 10 clients. On the football side they have 6.

NLSM easily competes with others in the business like David Falk because of their comprehensive approach. Mr. Scott let us in on the NSLM’s recipe for success. "It’s easy because the difference between other agencies and us is the fact that the clients can relate to us. We are around their same ages, and we came from what they came from. Plus the clients see that we are already successful. Whether we sign them or not, it’s not as if we are going to go out of business, because we have already been blessed and we’re successful. So many of the other agencies have got to have these players to pay the bills. So I can invest more in these players because I have a total entertainment complex. I can have them involved in movies, endorsements, videos, talk shows, magazines…This is what we do everyday. David Falk and some of these other guys may have built relationships with different sponsors, but at the same time they are not involved with all of these different magazines, publications, and television shows like we are because that’s part of the entertainment industry. It’s an easier situation for me to call BET (Black Entertainment Television) or MTV (Music Television) and say hey man, we’re coming over and I want you to interview Ron Mercer or Derek Anderson or whom ever we may have at the time."

The team at No Limit has built an impressive track record. No Limit, at the time of this writing, has the largest market share for urban music for all record companies, not just independent labels. And if that were not enough, Master P made the Forbes magazine Top Ten on the Top 40 Entertainers list with $57 million. All of that in a mere seven years.

Mr. Scott says that this helps to quiet some of the critics that doubted their abilities early on. But they are not going to rest on their laurels. "The ultimate goal of No Limit is to take over the whole entertainment and sports marketing industry." Next on the agenda for No Limit is the R&B market. So this year there is a big push in that genre of music.

No Limit also has a clothing line that they introduced at the Magic Show. As per Mr. Scott, they sold more products than any other clothier at the show. And keep in mind that the clothes haven’t even hit the stores yet. The line is due out sometime around the end of November.

The team at No Limit is doing their thing in a big way. But according to Mr. Scott, "It doesn’t matter if I have 100 athletes. That’s not what I want. I want the 10 best, that’s what makes a difference. If I can have the top 10 athletes in basketball, football, and baseball then I’m fine."

NLSM has an eye on moving sports marketing to the next level. Mr. Scott sees tremendous opportunities subsequent to the fact that many athletes have been robbed. And even owning their own NBA franchise is not out of the question.

Don’t laugh, the folks at No Limit have a very long-term perspective. Master P plans things for years down the road and he is patient. They understand the future value of money and they are investing for tomorrow.

The success of No Limit is a case study in persistence. In the beginning, many radio stations wouldn’t play their music. But they never got angry or discouraged. Many of these same people eventually called them back. Mr. Scott argues that "racism can’t stop you from making money. If you want to make money you can make it. The number one fault of us (African Americans) is excuses. There is racism, and we do struggle, but if you keep trying you can make it."

It’s hard to argue with success. No limit has 12 records in the top 100. And 9 of the 12 are gold or platinum. I would bet that the No Limit Team is going to be successful for a long time to come. If you are looking for an agent you might want to give them a call. I know I would. One thing that I have learned in being in business: surround yourself with successful people and you increase your chances of success.

Thanx goes to On The Sneak Tip for the info.

©Copyrighted by Xaos for The Tank, 1998
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